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County okays subdivision fronting Five Points Road

After much discussion and considerable outcry from neighbors, the Lamar County commission approved a 11-lot subdivision on Five Points Road near its intersection with Hwy. 41 North. Developer Bowen Jones will subdivide 36.44 acres. No change of zoning will be required because the lots and home sizes will fit the current AR agricultural-residential zoning for the property which has water service but no sewer. The average lot size will be 3.31 acres. AR requires homes be at least 1400 square feet but Jones stipulated his minimum size would be 1800 square feet. At a public hearing prior to the commission session, several area residents commented on the proposal. Gene Cosby Five Points Rd. Cosby said his great-grandfather farmed all the land in the area, including Jones’ property and his nearly 24-acre tract across the street. ‘I don’t want Lamar County to become Henry County. I’m concerned with the changes in our part of the county. We’re talking about 11 driveway where now there are none and 125 foot setbacks. You’re talking about putting a neighborhood in front of farm land,’ Cosby said. Cosby alleged Five Points Road has become the busiest bypass in the county and termed it a ‘˜speedway’. Cosby also questioned the amount of grading required to create the driveways. ‘This is a bone of contention. Mr. Jones talks out of both sides of his mouth,’ Cosby added. Harold Raines Five Points Rd. Raines also lamented high speeds and heavy traffic along Five Points which he alleged led to many potholes along the route. ‘Thomaston folks use it as a shortcut. The lots need to be bigger. There also needs to be a (deceleration) lane on the four-lane and Jones should have to foot the bill for it,’ Raines said. Robert Davis Grape Creek Rd. ’I have a wetlands on my property. Runoff from this is going to hurt my wetlands. This is not a good move. All those houses in one place? I can’t see it,’ Davis said. Melaine Hardwick Five Points Rd. Hardwick, a cattle farmer whose late husband Gene served on the commission, also talked of speeding traffic along the road. ‘I’m not opposed to development. I am opposed to development not done right. Eleven driveways is too much. This needs to be a subdivision with an entrance,’ Hardwick said. Bobby McKee Five Points Rd. ’I fled Henry County. My fear is, somewhere down the road, Lamar County becomes Henry County. I moved her to get away from all that,’ McKee said. After the public comments, Jones addressed the issues. He noted that, according to the current zoning ordinance, he could put in 22 lots with 100 feet of road frontage each. He said buyers could combine two lots and noted he has never built a 1400-square foot house. ‘We are at 330% of the county requirement on acreage and 176% of the requirement on frontage,’ Jones said. The vote, when it came during the regular meeting, was unanimous for approval of the subdivision.

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