Looking back on it, this process is kind of like a submarine. The little sign is the periscope that comes up and then, all of a sudden, there is an explosion that happens off in the distance and we this huge warehouse complex that went up.Wade Britt, president of Silverwood Plantation Homeowners Association
RINCON — An irksome issue to a group of residents who live on or near Chimney Road is still smoldering.
More than two weeks have passed since the Effingham County Planning Board denied a request to rezone 741.6 acres along Chimney Road from R-1 and AR-1 to I-1 so that it can be used for a commercial warehouse complex. The board’s vote didn’t end the matter, however, as the request by Kern & Co. on behalf of Old Pines LLC will be considered by the Effingham County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
“I’d like to believe that the commissioners will follow the Planning Board, but I do know that at least a couple of them are very favorable to this thing,” said Wade Britt, president of the Silverwood Plantation Homeowners Association. “... I think we still have an uphill fight on our hands.”
Planning Board staffers recommended approval of the request — with some stipulations — but the board rejected it unanimously.
Britt stated several reasons to deny the rezoning request, including noise and increased traffic. He presented the board a letter from Silverwood residents with more details about their concerns.
Britt said, “The main point is that Rincon, in 2015, was voted the best small community for young families and (now) we are rapidly on the way to becoming Garden City ...”
During the Planning Board meeting, nearly two dozen people voiced opposition to the warehouses. Many, including Britt, said they felt like county officials tried to sneak they rezoning request past them.
“We were flatly caught off guard,” Britt said.
Britt rejected a claim by a Kern & Co. official that he had spoken with nearby residents about the warehouse plans.
“We find out about it when we see the sign (about the July 27 meeting) go up (on Chimney Road),” Britt said.
Britt spoke more about that last week.
“Looking back on it, this process is kind of like a submarine,” he said. “The little sign is the periscope that comes up and then, all of a sudden, there is an explosion that happens off in the distance and we have this huge warehouse complex that went up.”
Area residents believe the property is better suited for additional houses. Britt predicted a nearby warehouse complex would reduce property values in Silverwood Plantation by a total of $24 million.