Leaders refuse appeal of Jones Creek Golf Course rezoning

Columbia County homeowners filled every seat for Tuesday’s commission meeting.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 5:35 PM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Columbia County homeowners filled every seat for Tuesday’s county commission meeting.

That’s because the Jones Creek Golf Course was on the agenda. Locals want the property to be restored to its former glory, which is why they are upset the county refused to repeal the rezoning they granted to the owner of the property.

No one seconded the motion, and the appeal failed.

Tripp Nanney is the Jones Creek homeowners association president. He said, “I’m very disappointed. I’m disappointed in these people that we elect, and we expect to uphold not only our laws but also public opinion.”

Jones Creek’s clubhouse and some of the property surrounding it are owned by local developer Mark Herbert. He’s looking to sell it and found a buyer, but the buyer wanted it rezoned so they could turn the property into a restaurant or catering combination.

“We don’t want a restaurant and a hospitality center in the middle of our neighborhood,” he said.

District 1 Commissioner Connie Melear looked to reverse the original decision to rezone the clubhouse property but received no support from other commissioners.

“We didn’t think the Columbia County Board of Commissioners would support us based on their previous opinions,” said Nanney.

Homeowners are upset because they believe the value of their golf course depends on the availability of a clubhouse to go with it. Not an event space separate from the golf course.

“A facility that, according to the document, is going to be open from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week, that’s 16 and a half hours, right in the heart of Jones Creek,” he said.

The rezoning also doesn’t allow for trash pick-up between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., but there’s still concern over the noise this could bring.

“I’m sure there’ll be them paying close attention to the noise and or the traffic. I’ll pay attention to the traffic. At 11:01, I intend to call the police if they’re people up there and say they’re violating the PUD revision and they need to clean it out and get them out of there,” he said.

The next step now is to close the deal with the new owner but says the new owner doesn’t intend to put in a bar and wants to have conversations with the homeowners to do what’s best for the neighborhood.