250,000-Sq.-Ft. Shopping Center Planned for Zebulon Rd.

11:20 AM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
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Residents of Macon's Stone Edge subdivision off Zebulon Road are gearing up for a big fight.

An Alabama-based developer wants to rezone 250,000-square-feet of property adjacent to the neighborhood from residential to commercial.

Jim Thomas, executive director of the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission, said Blackwater Resources has submitted plans to construct a 178,000-square-foot shopping center in the area between Northway Church, 5915 Zebulon Road, east toward the development across from the Ashford Park subdivision.

The remaining 72,000 square feet would be used as outparcels, Thomas said.

"We're hearing a lot of negative about this," Thomas said adding that the neighborhood has hired Macon attorney Bill Larsen and Macon land planner Zan Thompson to lead its efforts to challenge the rezoning.

The land includes seven homes on about 25 acres.

Thomas said residents have submitted a petition with 400 signatures in opposition to the proposed rezoning. They recently had a neighborhood meeting to discuss the plans that included more than 100 residents, Thomas said.

Southern Pines Plantations Commercial, owners of the Kroger shopping center near the planned development, is also opposed to the proposed rezoning.

"They're concerned the (proposed) new development will use up the capacity they invested in," Thomas said.

The Planning & Zoning Commission is preparing its staff report on the project which should be completed Thursday.

The matter will go before the P&Z at 1:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall in the council chamber in downtown Macon.

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