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April 4--  A standing room only crowd showed up at the Vidalia Municipal Annex Tuesday night to oppose a zoning change which would have introduced low income housing to their neighborhood.


Former Vidalian Drew Read is attempting to sell ten acres of land at the corner of Rocky Creek Road and Amberwood Drive to a Savannah developer who needs a zoning change in order to build 40 to 50 units in what is described as a cottage patio configuration.

A partner in the proposed project, Curry Wadsworth of Athens, says the project would be for low income citizens ages 62 and above.  However, after viewing the location for the first time before the meeting, Wadsworth said he could understand neighborhood opposition.

"I would stand right here and be with the group.  I don't necessarily mean that I would oppose it because if I saw that it is smaller, flat aparrtments for 62 and older an I could be assured it would be a nice development, I would not be opposed to it, but given the information that the community has been given, I can see how they would be opposed to it," Wadsworth said.

The Planning and Zoning Board voted to turn down the rezoning request and will send its recommendation to the Vidalia City Council for approval.

After the meeting, Wadsworth said there may be other locations in Vidalia which are properly zoned and could be developed to meet what he says is a real need for affordable housing.

"You need a decent, safe, energy efficient-place to live across the country.  The real estate and housing markets for quality housing are going up and there's no place for people who are on fixed incomes or lower incomes for people just starting out.  Everybody needs affordable housing, particulary for our senior citizens.  It's a real problem across the country and Vidalia is just one place," he said.