Troup County Zoning Board votes ‘no’ on Highway 18 development

Published 1:09 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Troup County Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission turned down an application Wednesday that had the potential to spur commercial development along West Point Road. However, due to residents’ safety concerns in the development’s prospective area, the board decided that denying the request was the best decision.

The application was for a 43-acre property along the intersection of Highway 18 and Shoemaker Road in Troup County. The applicant and property owner, Manish Desai, had plans to develop the property, which is currently zoned as single-family medium density, for commercial use in the form of warehousing and manufacturing facilities. An abandoned structure which the board was unable to identify as a former home or business sits on the property. Prior to the meeting, an additional parcel on Shoemaker Road was removed from consideration. This parcel would have allowed access to water to support the 43-acre warehousing plan.

Troy Anderson, director of community development, recommended denying the rezoning, citing it could create further noise pollution on the already busy highway. He also noted in county documents that the rezoning could have created adverse environmental impacts, including air pollution and natural resource depletion.

In 2006, Desai requested to rezone the parcel to be rezoned to R-100 in order to build a series of apartments, but this request was also denied. Desai said he owns 51 other properties in Troup County, including an additional two-acre property on Shoemaker Road that he purchased recently.

“This property was bought because Shoemaker Road was one of the roads going toward the KIA plant and we thought we would have good housing [there],” he said. “We decided that we should develop the property to commercial … and then there might be a small office warehouse for the KIA plant or somebody else.”

The area the property is on, according to city documents, consists of residential, general commercial, and some general industrial uses. The parcels are primarily small and medium lot size.

Before the meeting, 17 inquires and a petition of approximately 140 signatures of non-support was sent to the board. At the meeting, four individuals, all who live or have a property in the area, came forward to voice non-support of the development.

One resident was Kaylan Watson, who lives beside the property in question. Watson noted traffic as her major concern and the impact it could have on property owners like herself.

“It is not an easy in and out and I have problems pulling out of my driveway every morning,” she said

She also noted recent accidents on the road, such as a head-on collision that occurred on Oct. 15 near her residence, as well as the death of Akelia Ware, who was shot and later crashed on Highway 18.

“I don’t want any type of warehouse or anything commercial, even if it was something like a convenience store,” she said.