It was standing room only Monday when Midway’s city council, in tie votes, turned down two proposed housing developments.
The four council members deadlocked 2-2 on annexation for a 232-unit subdivision to be located on Isle of Wight Road. Mayor Levern Clancy Jr. broke the tie by voting against annexation.
Clancy said he opposed the annexation measure because residents of other areas not now in the city had been asking for annexation and the city should consider them first. Minutes before ending the annexation bid Clancy had cast a tie-breaking in favor of the rezoning linked to it. Developer Claude Dryden had asked for annexation and rezoning of the land for the project.
With annexation killed the rezoning will have no effect.
During the public hearing phase of the meeting several citizens spoke in opposition to the project. Most of those against the development cited traffic problems on Isle of Wight Road, especially at its intersection with U.S. Highway 84.
Some speakers called for a traffic light at the tee intersection where Isle of Wight Road ends at Highway 84, saying congestion was already bad there. The Cattail Crossing shopping center occupies one corner and a county recycling convenience center and the intersection of another county road are on the other corner.
Engineer Marcus Sack spoke for Dryden in favor of the project; he said his estimate of 9,000 trips per day would not warrant a traffic light. He said he lives on Isle of Wight and he drives that road himself every day; the increased traffic impact “will not be unbearable,” he said. Sack said the last traffic count on Isle of Wight Road was done in 2017 and showed 1,700 vehicles per 24-hour period.
One speaker said she was against the project: “If one developer goes in, they’re going to try for another one, soon we will be like Hinesville.” Others said they were not opposed to growth but were only concerned about traffic safety on the Isle of Wight Road as well as Highway 84.
The 76-acre tract proposed to be annexed and rezoned is owned by Huey and Gail Jeffers and is currently zoned residential/agricultural by the county. Its future use now is unknown.
Dryden Enterprises had proposed a similar rezone/annex action for a much smaller project, Auburn Ridge Phase II on Charlie Butler Road in Midway. The rezoning for this 20-acre tract was approved by the Midway council last month but the members delayed consideration of the linked annexation plan. Part of the site is in unincorporated Liberty County and part is within the city limits of Midway. Also Monday Midway deannexed its portion of Auburn Ridge Phase II.
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