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As housing need grows, rezoning request sparks West Bainbridge neighbors' concerns

Tuesday, Bainbridge City Council rejected a proposal to rezone the former Pathways School on Martin Street to HUD housing.
Posted at 6:19 PM, Dec 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-22 18:19:42-05
  • After recent announcements that new companies are heading to Bainbridge in 2024, an estimated 700 jobs are coming to the city.
  • More jobs will likely increase demand for housing within the city.
  • Watch the video to see where the project was planned and what's next.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

With hundreds of new jobs on the way to Decatur County, a need for new housing will likely not be too far behind. As the city looks to provide more homes… People who live here say the location matters.

"I feel like it would disrupt the neighborhood. The influx of residents coming from different places,” said West Bainbridge resident, Shekethe Sessions.

Sessions said her family has lived in West Banbridge for decades. It's an area she said is considered the heart of the black community.

Now the area is being looked at for a new apartment complex. It's something that is sparking concerns in this otherwise quiet community.

"Everybody around here knows everybody. We take responsibility for each other,” said Sessions.

Tuesday, Bainbridge City Council rejected a proposal to rezone the former Pathways School on Martin Street to HUD housing.

While that was well received there was some concern over the prospective buyer’s plan to also open an arcade business on the property.

While the plan may be off the table for now, million-dollar projects like Anovion and primate husbandry stand to bring in an estimated 700 jobs to the city. It's shining a bigger light on the need for more housing in the city.

"[There's] a fair amount of demand for housing here, rental housing especially,” according to Rollins Miller, a broker for Premier Group Realty.

I asked Miller to give me a better idea of just how great the need is."There's a demand for housing. We don't have much low income housing available,” said Miller.

As developers and the city look for ways to accommodate the housing need, Sessions said she hopes people are more included when it comes to the decisions that are made about what’s happening in their own backyards.

"I would like for city officials to be more open about what they're doing, because this was snuck up on us,” said Sessions.

As for what will come of the Pathways school property we will have to wait and see if that developer plans to come back with a new plan.