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'That risk is greater than what we should take': Peach County neighbors worry about development 'megasite'

Some people who live near the megasite have mixed feelings about this. Their biggest worry is their homes and why the county is doing this.

PEACH COUNTY, Ga. — Governor Brian Kemp says an 1,100-acre "megasite" will bring jobs to Peach County.

Central Georgians on social media had mixed feelings about the idea and some people in town are asking if it's worth it. 

Some people who live near the megasite have mixed feelings about this. Their biggest worry is their homes and why the county is doing this.

The 1,000+ acres of land are about five miles off Interstate 75.

"It can provide for easy access to a site with utilities for larger OEM-types of projects," says BJ Walker, Peach County's Development Authority Executive Director.

Other people aren't taking the news so well.

"The potential environmental impact, I think, that risk is greater than what we should take," says Harry Houpt.

Houpt has lived in Peach County for a few years now. His home is right outside the area recently rezoned for the mega site, and he says construction would ruin the area.

"If this land sat, it would go back to nature and look beautiful," said Houpt.

Peach County recently rezoned the area to allow industrial development online.

A site design on the county website shows space for several factory buildings, millions of square feet of production, and parking for thousands of employees.

BJ Walker says they've been working with property owners and other state departments for about a year, "But overall, I think at the end of the day, we look back and if the project lands in five years, that it has the opportunity to be transformational in a good way, not just for Peach County, but our region."

Peach County Commissioner Shanita Bryant says she voted against the site because this affects neighbors, and she was the only commissioner to vote against it. 

Houpt says there should be alternatives to the rezoning.

"If we're talking about bringing in industry to attract people to the city, I don't think that's going to work," Houpt said.

Walker says currently, they do not know what type of business will be on the property but have been talking with buyers. 

The property cost about $18.6 million to purchase.

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