MOULTRIE, Ga. — Local residents expressed disappointment when the Colquitt County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a rezoning and preliminary subdivision request on Tuesday night.

Neighbors Terry DeMott and Larry Wimberly became the impromptu spokesmen of the Camilla Heights neighborhood. Residents from there had come to voice their concerns about a new set of three rental houses being built in their neighborhood.

The operation is being developed by local property owner Troy O’Hearn, who seeks to build a subdivision of three houses known as Woodland Moultrie, located on the right side of Highway 37 West just outside of the Moultrie city limits.

O’Hearn asked the commissioners to change the zoning from AG (agricultural) to R2 (residential), which would allow him to build duplexes on the land.

“By changing the zoning to R2 instead of R1 that means there will be multi-family duplexes and doing that makes it all renters,” said Jerry Laney, one of the neighbors who attended. “The rent will be $1,200 a month; that’s high end. And sure, that’s what he’ll get, but what if the tenants can only pay $600 a month and the taxpayers will have to pay the other $500? He’s never clarified that, never said the tenant will pay the full amount and now you put multiple tenants in there?”

The commissioners voted to approve O’Hearn’s rezoning request, though it was not an easy task. Three commissioners voted to approve the preliminary request, but three others opposed it. Chairman Denver Braswell gave the deciding vote to approve the motion.

The board assured the audience that there was a lot more work for O’Hearn to do as far as making the subdivision a reality, but last night was just a preliminary request.

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