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Commissioners reject coastal rezoning plan
barry wilkes
Colonels Island resident Barry Wilkes speaks before the Board of Commissioners in opposition of the rezoning of Angler's Edge. - photo by Tiffany King

Angler’s Edge will not be turned into a mobile-home subdivision.
The Liberty County Board of Commissioners unanimously denied the petition to rezone 58 of 60 lots in the subdivision from R-1, single-family residential, to, R-2, two-family residential, Tuesday evening.
The request was first filed with the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission by Ernest Collins, an agent for ELI Collins LLC, to place double-wide manufactured homes on the lots. Planning commissioners voted to recommend disproval of the rezoning. The matter then went before county commissioners for the final decision.
Liberty Consolidated Planning Commissioner Planner I Jeremy McAbee, who presented the request at both meetings, said there are areas near Angler’s Edge subdivision zoned R-2 that have manufactured homes on the property. He said that, if approved, the zoning change could possibly have a domino effect on
other subdivisions, with someone wanting to do similar rezoning. McAbee told commissioners that there are restrictive covenants currently in effect that prohibit the placement of mobile homes in the subdivision.
Commissioner Justin Frasier said, “Once upon a time I was in the real estate business. I just can’t see a subdivision with 58 mobile homes and two-site built homes in the same subdivision.”
Commissioners Chairman Donald Lovette asked to hear from Collins, but he didn’t attend the meeting. No one spoke in favor of the rezoning request.
Joel Rushing, the developer of Angler’s Edge, addressed the commissioners.
“I’m the chairman of the protective covenants in that subdivision. If you can’t depend on protective covenants to protect you, then what are they for?” Rushing said. “I got two houses in there, and I think rezoning is going to depreciate the value of the home. It’s going to depreciate the value of the subdivision, which could be used for homes in the future. It’s going to depreciate the value of all the properties around it.”
Commissioner Pat Bowen agreed with Rushing.
Colonel’s Island resident Barry Wilkes owns property next to Angler’s Edge. He said Rushing invested $2.7 million in developing Angler’s Edge, but because of the “… debacle of the mortgage-lending business that occurred 10 years ago” Rushing had to sell the lots, which Collins later purchased at an auction.
“What Mr. Rushing attempted to do was have real growth in Liberty County by having site-built homes,” Wilkes said. “Putting mobile homes there will not yield the same amount of tax dollars that you would have from site-built homes.”
“Mr. Rushing has restrictive covenants that have full force and effect on the subdivision. Because he did a deed in lieu of foreclosure to the bank, and from the legal opinions that I’ve gotten, those restrictive covenants are still binding,” added Wilkes, who also is Liberty County’s clerk of superior court.
Wilkes said rezoning for mobile homes would be in violation of the covenant. He read what the covenant prohibits and mentioned a petition of more than 250 signatures from neighbors opposing the rezoning.
The commissioners then voted unanimously to uphold LCPC’s recommendation to deny the request to rezone Angler’s Edge.

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