Monday, Bibb County leaders approved plans for a new apartment and retail development off of Macon's Zebulon Road, a controversial project Bibb County's Planning and Zoning commission approved for rezoning back in December of 2015.
Neighbors have argued that the development could increase traffic and lower property value.
According to a Norcross company's traffic study, the new development could bring 2,700 more cars to Zebulon Road daily.
Robert Harville is the architect behind Sierra Development's new apartment and retail space going near the 5800 block of Zebulon Road.
Harville says they are adding a traffic light at the intersection of Ashford Park and Zebulon Road to help with the increased traffic.
“It'll control access at the main entrance, so we'll have a traffic light. It'll be three lanes of traffic out of the community at that point,” says Harville.
Harville says there will be 241 apartments in 4 buildings.
“The retail parcels are fronting Zebulon Road. The first two apartment buildings will have ground level retail,” says Harville.
However, Arthur Brook says the development may not be best for the area.
“I’m representing all the residential property owners of Bibb County that don’t realize how important this particular project is because it sets the tone from here on out,” says Brook.
Brook does not live in the neighborhood, but he says he just wanted to speak up as a community member.
He says he has seen the county try to put commercial real estate near residential neighborhoods, like on Lee Road on Riverside Drive, and fail.
“You have to gerrymander yourself out of there or into there because they found out it would not work,” says Brook.
Harville says with commercial spaces already on Zebulon Road this project is a great way for the community to grow.
“That way a lot of the traffic and points of destination are very closely linked with one another which cuts down with traffic in the greater community. It allows people to live here, shop here and play here,” says Harville.
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