New compressed natural gas station, apartment complex coming to Tobacco Road

News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- "Eleven lots would actually back up to it," said Planning and Development Director George Patty, pointing to the building plans.

The construction for a seven-building, 250-unit apartment complex is right on the horizon and right at the edge of Doreen Coleman's backyard.

"We have some family members here that are not pleased with this project whatsoever. If we had known, we would have protested this," Coleman said.

Patty says the vision for the complex is an upscale, multi-family facility. Sitting less than a mile from Gate 5 of Fort Gordon, the complex is intended to serve the military community.

Neighbors in that area are worried that this complex and the new compressed natural gas station going in across the street will bring even more traffic to an already congested area.

"We're going to have traffic all over the place that we're going to have a hard time getting into our property," Coleman said.

"The apartments are going to bring traffic. I mean, there's no debate about that," Patty admitted. "And it's already a congested area in peak periods when travel to and from the fort is."

But city leaders say the compressed natural gas station across the street will have little to no impact at all. About 20,000 cars drive down Tobacco Road each day, and this new filling station will only add about 30 more trucks per day.

According to the apartment plans, there will be a fence and tree buffer at the property line.

"I'm sympathetic to the owners that didn't foresee at some point that property would be developed, but that's what's occurring now, and I suspect it will not be as bad as they think it will be," Patty said.

The plans still have to be approved by the city, but developers say they could start construction in the next few weeks.

Those against the plan are working on a petition. They say if they can't stop the apartment complex from coming, they at least want a brick wall between the complex and their property for security reasons.

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