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Meeting planned for Exley tract proposal
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Effingham County staff will meet tonight with developers of the Exley tract and nearby residents to go over proposed plans for the area.

At issue is the developers’ intention to rezone the tract, approximately 1,043 acres, from residential to industrial use.

Commissioners, developers and residents met last month to discuss the plans, and the tract is scheduled to come before the commissioners Tuesday night during its planning board presentments.

“We had these people come in and they had questions and lot of them weren’t answered,” Commissioner Verna Phillips said at the commissioners’ March 4 meeting. “So far, we haven’t answered them. I don’t have any answers. How are we going to address that?”

Much of the details are in the developers’ hands, interim County Administrator David Crawley said. Zoning Administrator George Shaw said the developers are doing studies on soil and air quality and on lighting for their plans. Those results were expected to be delivered to the county by Wednesday.

“My goal is to share those with the citizens as soon as possible,” Shaw said.

Shaw added he told the developers he didn’t know how the commissioners would react if they didn’t get those answers until the March 18 meeting.

Phillips said she has had a handful of requests to postpone the matter until April. Crawley said that couldn’t be done.

“It is advertised as a public hearing for the next meeting,” he said. “You have to hear it on the 19th.”

The planning board approved the rezoning request for the Exley tract at its January meeting. At their Feb. 19 meeting, commissioners tabled it until March 18.

The county also will hold another steering committee meeting on the comprehensive plan prior to the Exley tract meeting.

Crawley said county staff has met with the state Department of Community Affairs on revisions for the solid waste plan.

County officials also straightened out state officials on the county’s soil erosion ordinance. The state had told the county the ordinance was not acceptable — except that it wasn’t Effingham’s regulation they were reviewing. County engineer Steve Liotta corrected the state officials in charge of going over those laws.

“They pulled an ordinance from a totally different county,” Crawley said. “We got a note from them saying they were sorry.”