News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Some call it a nightmare on Wallie Drive. People living near an Augusta haunted house packed the commission chamber Tuesday night to speak out against the attraction.
"For the first time in my life, I hate Richmond County," said neighbor Pamela Williams after commissioner approved a zoning request from the business.
Williams left the meeting with tears in her eyes. Plantation Blood owners wanted the city to rezone several acres of the property for commercial status to bring their parking up to code.
Neighbors used the discussion as a chance to push the haunted house out of the neighborhood. They say it brings noise and more traffic. Commissioners sided with the business owners.
"I think this is a good idea because if you have a paid parking area with lines on it," said Commissioner Bill Lockett. "It is telling you this is where you are supposed to park."
"I feel like we've been good for Augusta. We have traffic." said co-owner Mark Jackson. "I think traffic is good for any business. I mean, where I come from, it is."
State Rep. Ernie Smith was also on hand to speak against the haunted house. It has been two years since a 9-year-old boy was hit and killed leaving the popular attraction. Donovan Brown was walking home on Travis Road when the vehicle hit him. The driver has not been identified.