Zebulon Road Homeowners Fight Rezoning Project at Court Hearing

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Updated: Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:21:56 EST

A commercial development approved last year on Zebulon Road has neighbors s in an intense battle to get the decision overturned.

27 residents and the developers faced off in Bibb County Superior Court today over what impact the development will have.

In November, a rezoning development on Zebulon Road that would bring a 30-million dollar shopping center to the area was approved by the Macon Zoning and Planning Commission.

Residents that live there filed an appeal urging that it would create problems.

Glenn Smith, a 20 year resident, says a hefty number of properties will be affected.

"That shopping center is surrounded on three sides by residential property, including my home along with many of my neighbors, Smith said.

16 single family homes surround the site based on a map from the lawyers representing the residents.

The biggest concern in the argument is that the shopping center would attract heavy traffic while presenting residents with a list of problems including  decreasing in property values, noise and pollution.

While the shopping center may bring tax dollars and jobs to Macon, lawyers argue there is no regard for the people who live around it.

Lawyers representing the commission and the developer, Blackwater Resources of Alabama argue that plans aren't final and the development would include residential and commercial use.

While residents appear organized in opposition, developers claim some in the area support it.

John Abernathy, director of Blackwater Resources, says many are in favor of the new center.

"That's their opinion at this point, at the same time we received tons of letters of support that were sent to the commission from people in the general area that say their excited and can't wait to see it," Abernathy said.

In two weeks both parties will submit their written arguments to the court.

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