Upset Pecan Lane neighbors spark heated debate

Upset Pecan Lane neighbors spark heated debate

DOUGHERTY CO., Ga. (WALB) - Dougherty County residents said they don’t want any more commercial businesses built in their area.

A heated debate took place Monday after neighbors made it their mission to try and stop a new business from coming to the Pecan Lane area.

Commissioners heard their complaints and denied the zoning request in a five to two vote, which actually sparked a bigger conversation about businesses operating past their approved hours.

“Man, if they want to be good neighbors, I’d hate to see what bad neighbors look like,” said Dan Lowell, an upset neighbor.

Lowell said he and his neighbors have lost faith that any new business can be built in the Pecan Lane area.

“That machine beeped til 5:30, 6 o’clock in the morning,” said Lowell.

A rezoning notice sparked the heated debate.

Larry Walden applied to build a surplus car lot in the area near the Marine Corps Logistics Base.

“No crushing concrete or anything like that. This will be primarily a parking lot,” Walden said.

Neighbors said there is a recycling plant in the area already that is operational and responsible for the beeps keeping Lowell and his neighbors awake at night.

“They noise us today. Even daytime, nighttime. And I guess they’re going to light us up at nighttime now," said Lowell.

Walden said the new lot wouldn’t be as noisy as the businesses currently there, but it would be lit with lights. He failed to convince the neighbors of its benefits. And failed to convince the majority of commissioners, as they denied his request to build the commercial business in the neighborhood.

"If you can’t find that quality of life in your own home, where do you get it from?” asked Commissioner Anthony Jones.

The rezoning issue sparked another conversation about how you can file complaints with code enforcement.

This would be if you think a business is operating too loudly, or past their approved hours of operation.

A complaint can be made by calling the 311 number.

More from Monday’s Dougherty County Commission meeting:

Putney Park will become a fun recreation center once again.

Putney Park. (Source: WALB)
Putney Park. (Source: WALB)

Dougherty County Commissioners approved the more than $1 million project, which was exciting news from the Government Center Monday.

Now, Putney Park renovations can begin with a new playground, a pond and room to play, all for the people of Putney.

Putney Park is off of Radium Springs Road.

It's currently full of overgrown grass and dilapidated equipment.

Dougherty County commissioners got the land for free after the Land Bank acquired it from an owner who no longer wanted it.

Now they can repair the area and create a new recreation center.

“This is Christmas in May for the citizens of Putney, Georgia. And this has been complaint driven for a long time. With so many complaints of it being a blighted area. So we’ve had this project in the works for a long time,” said Jones.

There will be pond improvements, a new playground and commissioners said hopefully a community building.

The project will cost a little more than $1.4 million.

This is an extension of the Radium Springs Renovation Project and the same designer Ron Huffman will do this project, as well.

Dougherty County leaders will host a town hall meeting Tuesday night to go over the park plans with people in Putney.

The meeting will take place inside Putney United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m.

That’s near Mike’s Country Store, just off of the Liberty Expressway.

Another update from the Dougherty County Commission:

DOCO EMS teams recognized

After a year of hard work and battling natural disasters, Dougherty County Emergency Medical Services staff are being recognized.

The team received the 2019 Region Eight EMS Service of the Year Award.

To continue the celebration, County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas proclaimed this week Emergency Medical Services Week.

“Dougherty County EMS is very proactive in the community, in the school system, along with the local hospitals. The staff, everybody we can reach out to, the local churches, we’re promoting safety and we’re promoting information about how to handle emergency situations,” said EMS Director Sam Allen.

County commissioners also celebrated another team’s work this year: the County Public Works.

Cohilas proclaimed this week National Public Works Week as well.

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