LINCOLN COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Some Lincoln County homeowners are upset about a proposed water park that would be located near a popular state park.
Cherokee Park is on Clarks Hill Lake and is off Augusta Highway. It’s located right after the Little River Bridge.
The Planning Commission and the Commission both had meetings this week approving the rezoning of 16 acres from residential to commercial.
Now, people who live near the proposed water park site are upset because they moved to the lake for peace and quiet.
“We decided to come back up here where we can go to work down in town, but we can come back and be up here, quiet and to ourselves,” Ronnie Partridge said.
But Partridge and other homeowners believe that will all change now that plans are moving forward for a water park right down the street from his house.
“When you come home, you’ll have noise, but then you start bringing 650 people, if that’s the average that they’re expecting, now you have a potential for those people to start wandering around our neighborhood,” Partridge said.
The company, Spirit of America, recently built a water park in Macon, Georgia.
The Lincoln County attraction will be located next to Cherokee Park and will have a lazy river, a splash pad, water slides, a surf pool and concessions.
Partridge and others say the proposal doesn’t make sense for the area.
“If you’re going to bring something to the first piece of property that you hit in Lincoln County, you’re going to put something that’s seasonal and the biggest competition to that seasonal business is a huge lake,” Partridge said.
Partridge also says there’s no need for a water park there when there’s a bigger one being planned in North Augusta.
He and several others have told county officials they don’t want this project to happen, but commissioners unanimously approved the project anyway.
“In that meeting, all the citizens who are not affiliated with the government opposed it. The one person that was for it was the head of the Lincoln County Development Authority,” Partridge said.
County officials say the water park will be good because it will bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue and will create more than 40 seasonal jobs.
For Partridge and his neighbors, none of that matters.
“Being a lake property owner, we pay the highest taxes of anybody, but we chose that because this is where we want to be and my family has had a place here since 1956. This is home,” Partridge said.
Spirit of America will lease the property from the county for 15 years, then the company will own it.
If all goes according to plans, city officials say the water park could be ready by Summer 2017.