New neighborhood set to be built along Appling-Harlem Road in Harlem

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF)- It seems growth in Columbia County is never ending and it’s being felt in rural areas.

The Columbia County commission just approved zoning for hundreds of homes to be built along Appling-Harlem Road in Harlem.

There’s already a lot of action there as construction crews work on the new middle school.

Soon, you can expect even more work as developers work on turning more than 150 acres into the new neighborhood expected to have more than 500 rooftops.

“I think they’re looking at where the growth is headed, They’re trying to get ahead of it. They’re clearing some lots and getting ready for that next wave of growth, said Deputy County Administrator Matt Schlachter.

Although the neighborhood won’t be in the city limits, business owners there are hoping to benefit with the new homes close by.

Renee Dean, owner of The Acorn Restaurant at Red Oak Manor, says she’s hoping to cash in.

“The more the merrier. We have the bed and breakfast. We’re hoping when family members come to visit their family’s new home, they’ll stay here and, of course, we have the restaurant open six days a week,” said Dean.

Many residents have voiced concerns in the past about the city losing it’s southern charm with more rooftops popping up.

“The Merchants Association is really working hard to keep us with that hometown feel…lots of  lots of locally owned businesses,” said Dean.

The county says a growth management plan in place to keep the appling-harlem area from getting too crowded.

“There’s now areas that are defined for residential growth, there’s areas designed for commercial, industrial, and we’re going to follow that plan,” said Schlachter.

The contractor for the neighborhood says he hopes to have renderings of the neighborhood design turned over to the county by next month.

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