VALDOSTA -- City Council is expected to table a Patterson Street rezoning request at today's meeting to give property owners a chance to submit a proposed site plan for the property.

Local real estate agent and state representative Ron Borders is representing the property owners seeking to rezone 7.05 acres from Single-Family Residential to Residential Professional along Patterson Street near South Georgia Regional Medical Center.

Council will take up the request again at its Aug. 8 regular meeting.

The request sparked heavy opposition from nearby residents who fear the uses allowed under R-P zoning could wreak havoc on their neighborhood by increasing traffic and noise. Neighbors also cited a fear of the unknown, given that Borders and property owners were yet to provide a site plan or be specific about potential usage of the land.

Several residents attended the June meeting of the Greater Lowndes Planning Commission to voice their opposition to the request. The Commission agreed with many of the concerns raised and recommended denial of the request on a 4-1 vote.

Providing a site plan for the acreage would allow the property owners to seek some sort of Planned District zoning, giving affected neighbors the opportunity to comment on the specifics of the proposal and the Planning Commission and City Council a chance to review any significant changes to the original site plan during development.

Most worrisome to residents was the possibility that an apartment complex could be built on the site under R-P zoning. Borders told the Planning Commission that there were no plans for multi-family development, because the $600,000 per acre price tag for the tract made apartments economically infeasible.

Some medical-related use is most likely for the property, given its proximity to SGRMC, he said.

Staff planners with the South Georgia Regional Development Center recommended approval for the request, noting that Patterson and Oak Streets -- the two roads flanking the neighborhood of those in opposition -- are rapidly transitioning away from residential uses. Planners also offered Office Professional zoning as an alternative, because it would allow offices or medical related businesses, but prohibit multi-family development.

Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the Mayor-Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall.

To contact reporter Bill Roberts, please call 244-3400, ext. 245.

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