Building boom planned in recession-stalled west Macon neighborhoods

Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission approved 257 new homes in three subdivisions near Lake Tobesofkee


Liz Fabian

In Phase III of the Treetops at Lake Tobesofkee, construction of 80 single-family homes has been approved on lots where building stalled in the 2008 recession.

Three partially undeveloped neighborhoods that have been dormant for about 15 years following the 2008 recession are getting a jolt of new life, according to plans for 257 homes approved Monday by the Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission.

Phase III of The Preserve will bring 30 single-family houses and 108 townhomes where building stalled in 2008. (Liz Fabian)
McKinley Drive remained a dirt road on the back end of the Preserve in the Thomaston Overlook. (Liz Fabian)
The Villas at Moseley Dixon will be built near Pineworth Road. (Liz Fabian)

Rowland Engineering can proceed with plans for 30 single-family residential lots and 108 Townhome lots for Phase 3 of The Preserve at Thomaston Overlook at 5850 McKinley Drive near Headwaters Cove Drive. Sunrise Developers will be building on a little over 57 acres near the eastern edge of Lake Tobesofkee that was formerly in an agriculture district before it was rezoned for planned development in 2004.

“It was taken out by the recession,” applicant Steven Rowland said.

Also near the lake, Rowland Engineering submitted plans on behalf of Three Oaks Construction and Development that were approved for single-family detached homes at The Villas at 5986 Moseley Dixon.

Nearly 18 acres formerly rezoned for a planned residential development of 58 single-family houses will be subdivided for 39 homes.

Commissioners also approved Rowland Engineering’s and Three Oaks’ revised plans for Phase III of the Treetops development at 6300 Moseley Dixon Road.Developers will subdivide 80 lots off of extensions of Basin Way and Horizon Trace.

P&Z Commissioner Josh Rogers noted the irony of the timing of resurrecting developments where construction halted in the economic downturn of 2008.

“We’re looking at all this stuff and we’re about to go into a recession again, right?” Rogers said. “I mean, we’re finally getting applications for unit production right before we slide back into recession. So, we’ll revise this now and do it again in 10 years?”

“Yup,” P&Z Chair Jeane Easom said in agreement.

Getting ready for industry at Airport East

The Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority successfully made the case to rezone about 26 acres of agricultural land near the Middle Georgia Regional Airport.

The two parcels at 8360 Hawkinsville Road and 9011 Feagin Road will expand the footprint of property available for wholesale and light industrial in what is known as Airport East Industrial Park.

Industrial Authority Executive Director Stephen Adams said the rezoning will allow the authority to certify that land and neighboring parcels as eligible for the Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development or GRAD program, meaning things like environment assessments, zoning and utility access have already been done and parcels are ready for fast-track construction.

“Just a bit of internal housekeeping we have been doing to prepare our properties for potential site prospects,” Adams said.

Other P&Z business

191 Hines Terrace – P&Z reluctantly approved existing exterior modifications to the home of Cassidy and Alexander Mims. The renovation, done without the necessary permits, was deemed inappropriate for the Vineville historic district standards. Approval was granted under the stipulation the Mims restore historic elements of the house within one year or face additional consequences in their three-year battle with P&Z and the Design Review Board.

400 Poplar St.  – New signage approved for First Choice Primary Care and its driveway.

1181 Columbus St. – Revisions approved for a single family home built in the early 20th Century. A rear shed will be removed, new windows installed and a painted wooden fence will be added across the front.

1388 Calhoun St. – Commissioners approved a new fence for the rear and side yards.

1630 Eisenhower Pkwy. – Indoor self-storage and mini-warehouse business is approved for the 7 acre-property that formerly housed the two-story AT&T Call Center. The building will be retrofitted for 538 interior storage units.

Civic Journalism Senior Fellow Liz Fabian covers Macon-Bibb County government entities and can be reached at [email protected] or 478-301-2976.