Albany commission votes against rezoning for apartment complex

Albany commission votes against rezoning for apartment complex
(Source: WALB)
Russell Gray, neighbor (Source:WALB)
Russell Gray, neighbor (Source:WALB)
Joseph Johnson, developer representative (Source:WALB)
Joseph Johnson, developer representative (Source:WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - City commissioners have denied a rezoning proposal from a Valdosta developer who wanted to put in an around 80-unit apartment complex in Albany.

The planning and zoning commission voted against the proposal, even though two members were in favor of the proposal.

Homeowners in the area were also against the proposal, and on Tuesday night, the Albany City Commission struck it down.

MORE: Residents upset by proposed apartment complex

The land is located where the current Knights of Columbus building stands.

Neighbors voiced concern at the meeting regarding a wide array of issues, from property value and flooding to noise.

Commissioner Jon Howard also spoke about the city's desire to attract homeowners, rather than renters.

An employee of the developer, Investors Management Company, Joseph Johnson, argued that the project would provide discounted rates to some low income residents.

He added that those saying the building provided no benefit to the area were not thinking about those are less fortunate.

"Its a less negative way of saying that they do not want to associate with people who have less means than them," Johnson said. "If they are not an affluent homeowner, then, they do not want you to be in their neighborhood."

A man representing neighbors in the area said the group, which claims to have more than 200 signatures on a anti-project petition, was happy with the decision.

"We knew that our case was solid and we felt confident, however, there is still a lot of legal wranglings," neighbor Russell Gray said.

Developers can still build a smaller apartment complex on part of the land zoned for it.  Business representatives said they'll consider developing the area, but are also look at other communities.

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