The proposed change to the county’s future land use map for the 128 tracts totaling 796.45 acres, more or less, to institutional/public, was proposed to accommodate for the plans for the new airport site. Community Development Director Chad Jacobs explained at last month’s Planning Commission meeting that the change “is in keeping with the county’s comprehensive transportation plan.”
The proposed change was unanimously recommended for denial by the Spalding County Planning Commission at its meeting last month, when more then 40 residents in and around the area in question turned out for the hearing with five speaking out against the change.
Jacobs told the room full of concerned residents that the proposed change would not change their current zoning or use of their property. He said the future land use map is just a tool the county uses for development and as a guide or road map in rezoning requests.
Jacobs and County Zoning Attorney Newton Galloway told the residents this would not affect their current use and any improvements made to the property would be compensated if or when the land is bought for the airport. Most of those at that meeting were opposed to the airport and to the changes in the land use map, even if it wouldn’t change the zoning.
The area of the proposed airport site is roughly between Jackson and High Falls roads from Griffin city limits to Musgrove Road. The current future land use map of the are includes a variety of zoning uses including residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and institutional.
The request also had opposition from members of the Planning Commission.
Member Bruce Ballard, who is also the facilities director for the Griffin-Spalding County Schools, questioned the impact of the change in the land use map on the schools and the proximity of two schools, Jackson Road Elementary and Kennedy Road Middle, to the proposed site. “If we go to improve these schools and go to get state funds, they will turn us down because we are too close to the airport.”
According to Griffin Spalding Airport Director Robert Mohl, Jackson Road Elementary is 2,520 feet from the proposed airport site and Kennedy Road Middle School is 4,150 feet away. Molh noted two other schools are closer to the current airport — Anne Street Elementary is 2,515 feet away and Crescent Elementary is 3,970 feet away.
Jackson Road Elementary, according to the map presented by Jacobs is already zoned institutional/public and appears to be the western-most portion of the proposed change in the future land use map.
There is also an existing agreement between the county and City of Griffin that the new airport site, once purchased, would be annexed into city limits.
Also at the called meeting, the commissioners will consider the rezoning request from Sons Hyundai Real Estate, for 3.15 acres off Manley Drive from AR-1, Agricultural and Residential, to C-1B, Heavy Commercial. The site is located behind the former Honda dealership on North Expressway and if approved would be utilized for additional parking for Dealers Choice Auto Auction.