RICHMOND HILL, GA (WTOC) - The City of Richmond Hill is in the beginning stages of what could mean massive growth for Bryan County.
The city council approved the annexation of over 5,000 acres for potential development.
People inside city hall are very excited for this. The mayor said he saw this as nothing but positive for the residents and businesses here.
The annexed property is south of Richmond Hill. In the maps to the left, the red line marks the city limits right now. The highlighted yellow area is the annexed property. Breaking that down, you can see a lot of that, maybe even 40 percent of it, is environmentally protected wetlands.
Radient Places and Properties owns the land. They plan to do mixed-use residential and commercial development. The mayor said the move will be done responsibly and not before the necessary infrastructure is in place.
All the area right now is mainly wooded. It's important to note—this decision only approves the annexation. All the necessary permits for building still need to be approved.
"If the city is going to continue to grow and expand, this was really the only way we had to go. The city is trying to be very proactive as we move forward. It's something we're very much looking forward to," said Mayor Harold Fowler.
"One of the things I love about this annexation is that growth is going to happen, but you're going to have controlled growth. You're going to have the infrastructure in place," said realtor Randy Bocook. "You're going to have the roads. You're going to have the interchange there."
"This all ties in with the new interchange, the industrial park. We brought the first new industry two years ago in over 35 years in the city, so we're looking for great things," said Mayor Fowler.
The county commission chairman said the county just learned of these plans recently. He said what he wants is responsible annexation. He also wants to make sure it will take care of citizens in the city and county.