Effingham Co. community challenges rezoning proposal

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 11:39 PM EDT
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EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A community in Effingham County wants commissioners to reject a company’s rezoning request for a surface mining operation near their neighborhood.

Effingham residents near McCall Road and Racepath Road showed up to a commissioner’s meeting on Tuesday night.

The proposal on the table from the Mcgraley Company would change agricultural land to industrial.

“Sooner or later...I hate to say it but it’s going to be zoned industrial somewhere down the line. There’s a lot of opposition, but to echo my colleague, it’s feeding my family too,” said a representative from the McGraley Company.

There was a lot of opposition in the room with residents saying the rezoning will only complicate their day-to-day.

“Anyone who leaves the county knows we have issues getting out as it is so when we add dump trucks to it it’s gonna make it that much worse,” a resident said.

“I don’t understand why you have zones if someone’s just gonna come in and say, ‘oh I like this piece of property, how bout we just rezone that so I can make however much money... millions of dollars?’”

The county zoning committee already recommended approval of rezoning the land. The noise and disruption are two main concerns from taxpayers.

A resident said: “The only thing I had was, if it’s approved, is there a way to limit the operating hours and days of the week so we’re not hearing it in the middle of the night, on Sundays, and everything else when we’re trying to relax and sleep?”

Hearing out what they had to say, the chairman agreed with where some of them are coming from.

“We are not looking to make this a Port Wentworth warehousing area,” said Effingham County Board of Commissioners Chairman Wesley Corbitt.

But some commissioners couldn’t get on the same page.

“I tell you what imma do...yall just shut up...imma make a motion...” said District 4 Commissioner Reggie Loper.

Commissioner Roger Burdette said this will impact their citizen’s daily lives.

“Its need versus impact. If a need is there, then everyone will share that impact. That’s one thing, but if the need is not there...why would we impact these people?”

Commissioners voted unanimously to table this decision so they can get more information on the cost, impact to roads and highways, and times of operation.

They’ll reconvene at 5 p.m. on November 15th, but there will be no additional public comment.