PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (WSAV ) – Community members in Port Wentworth are asking for support as the Port Wentworth City Council meet Thursday night to vote on a controversial rezoning request.
The rezoning request is petitioning Mayor Gary Norton and the City Council to enable developers to build warehouses on a tract of land that covers 102 acres—including space along Hendley Drive, adjacent to Monteith Road and Ga. State Route 21. Locals in the area said they have generations of family who call Port Wentworth their home, and said they’ve been fighting against rezoning the area for years.
“We are all community, it’s not just Monteith area, it’s Meinhard area and all the way down the road. We’ve all been one unit and we’ve been fighting this issue for 15 years,” Janet Hester, a community member who has five generations who have grown up in Port Wentworth, said.
Greenland Developers Inc. owns the land and submitted a zoning request in November that was voted down. The organization’s attorney said it was not “properly denied” and plans to resubmit it to the mayor and city council Thursday night.
Community members said they want to negotiate with the developers so the land by their homes is used for business that would support their community. They said building warehouses would make their already busy roads even more dangerous, and point to the city’s growth as an indicator for keeping the area conducive for families and farmers who utilize a lot of the land.
“We shouldn’t have to keep going to the table saying we don’t want the warehouses. Help us stay a community,” Hester said.
Locals said they believe the land is being considered solely from a revenue standpoint—expressing concern about the future of their communities.
“We still have no place for the children to play. We still have no recreation representation out here and we feel like that location is centrally located,” Hester added.
“We shouldn’t have to keep going to the table saying we don’t want the warehouses. Help us stay a community,” another resident said.
Community members plan to gather Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. in front of Port Wentworth’s City Hall. The request will be voted on at 6:30, and people will be able to dial into the meeting over the phone.
People told WSAV News 3 they don’t feel like they are being heard, and said they have been petitioning their city leaders for an opportunity where the community could negotiate with the developers. Community members are asking for local support and consideration from the mayor and city council.