Because of procedural errors, a rezoning request dating from 2016 came back before the County Board of Commissioners at Thursday night’s meeting, but the outcome was no more productive for the petitioners.
The Godby family had requested rezoning parcels fronting on Ebenezer Road totaling roughly 39 acres so the land could be developed as a single-family subdivision with 17 lots.
Steven Jones, an attorney representing the Godby family, pleaded with the commissioners to grant their request.
“I ask you to make the right decision under the rezoning factors for the county, under the (Comprehensive Land Use Plan) that existed at the time, and under the trend that has developed in the subject area,” he said, noting seven potential or realized developments of the same zoning.
Commissioner Charles Oddo sided with the Godby family because the requested zoning fits in with the land use plan that was in effect at the time of the request.
“Two acres has been on our land use plan for years, and it seems a very reasonable rezoning for this piece of property,” he said.
Commissioner Steve Brown preferred to go with the current land use plan and its focus on a controlled build out on key roads.
“What are the assets that we appreciate and how we do preserve those assets in perpetuity?” he asked of rural nature of the area.
Commissioner Randy Ognio said his concern is that it would be a precedent to ignore the current land use and would open up the county to other requests to ignore the plan.
“It gets to be hard to control that,” he said. “It’s really hard to control as it is.”
Chairman Eric Maxwell recused himself from the vote because of prior dealings with one of the petitioners. That left the rezoning votes at a 2-2 stalemate with Oddo and Charles Rousseau in favor and Brown and Ognio in opposition. The lack of an affirmative vote means that the prior ruling, a no to rezoning, remains in effect.