Garden City councilmembers deny rezoning for industrial land near farmer’s market, Rossignol Hill

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 10:47 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 6, 2023 at 11:14 PM EST
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GARDEN CITY, Ga. (WTOC) - There was a similar feeling at Monday’s council meeting as the townhall last week regarding a development near Rossignol Hill.

Developers are waiting to get approval for a site plan that would put a warehouse near the neighborhood and farmer’s market off Hwy. 80.

While the property has been zoned industrial for at least 15 years, many residents are opposed to them following through with their plans.

“Our kids already don’t have anywhere to go...anywhere to play...already coming out in the street, big trucks coming by and everything else. That’s putting everyone in harms way,” a resident said.

The city’s attorney Jim Gerard said downzoning a property is unusual for them. They typically only rezone properties with that request coming directly from the developer. He said if they end up going to court because of it, the city might be told to pay the difference in the value of property going from industrial to residential.

“You don’t want to divest a developer or owner’s rights vested in a particular development and you don’t want to take the value of someone’s property unless it‘s necessary to promote the public health, wealth and safety of the adjoining property owners and there aren’t less severe methods of doing so,” said City Attorney Jim Gerard.

Councilmember Richard Lassiter responded to him directly saying his opinion isn’t law.

“GDOT sent a letter out to one of the residents in Garden City. That particular area...the faucet tract at the back of Rossignol Hill, is actually under the Brampton Plantation battlefield historic preservation. Also, there is a burial ground back there. Thirdly, the Civil War came through that area. Council, I would urge you not to disturb the quality of life based on a matter of opinion.”

Council ultimately denied the rezoning request 4 to 2. With Councilman Lassiter and Councilwoman Morris voting “yes”.