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Commission rejects bid for rezone
The Glynn County Commission unanimously rejected a request to rezone a tract on the north side of Demere Road, currently zoned medium residential.

Taylor Haley, a lawyer representing the owner of the St. Simons Island property, Lindsey Cordell III, said her client was asking for the tract, known as the Cordell Property, to be rezoned planned development.

Haley said studies show commercial development of the 1.24-acre tract would not have an adverse impact on traffic.

Before the vote, Haley told commissioners granting the request would likely improve property values in surrounding areas.

"It reflects the reality of Demere Road," she said. "It's a commercial corridor. It is an extension of businesses on Demere Road."

But residents living nearby said they were opposed to rezoning because of the potential impact a commercial development would have on traffic. Commissioners rejected a request to rezone the property two years ago to allow a fast-food restaurant to be built there.

Commissioner Bob Coleman said the property owner knew how it was zoned when he bought it, and he should not have assumed the property could be rezoned.

"Maybe your client made some assumptions that weren't true," Coleman said.

Haley said she wasn't involved when Cordell bought the tract.

"I can't say what his thoughts were at the time," she said.

Commissioner Tom Sublett, whose district encompasses St. Simons Island, said most of the complaints he hears from residents are about parking in different parts of the island and traffic congestion on Demere Road.

"Demere Road during the season is almost impossible to navigate," he said. "I think it will create more traffic."

Sublett made the motion to reject the rezoning request based on concerns about the impact it could have on island traffic. He also pointed out there was nothing to prevent the owner from building a 16-unit condominium at the site under the current zoning designation.

In other business, commissioners unanimously voted to pay $177,890 to hook up water and sewer at the detention center construction site. The money, which was not included in the jail construction budget, will come from the county's general fund.

Commissioners also renewed alcohol beverage licenses for 116 businesses in the county.

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