MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- There was a sea of "no's" in the audience at Macon City Hall Tuesday afternoon, but not enough to convince all five members of the Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning commission to keep 25 acres of land on Zebulon Road, as residential only space.
"All of the residents are against it, and I really thought they would hear us," said Libby Penn, resident of nearby subdivision.
The land in question is 5801-5885 Zebulon Road. It's across the street from the Ashford Park subdivision, and is next to and in front of the Stone Edge subdivision.
In a 3 to 2 vote, the board voted to rezone the property to make way for mix-used development including commercial and residential space.
That wasn't the resolution residents were hoping for and one, Charles Wolf, is confident legal action is coming.
"This is not over, as they say the fat lady has not sung and the fat lady will sing, and the courts are going to make this decision," said Wolf.
The decision the board made paves the way for an Alabama-based development company, Blackwater Resources, to present new plans for a 250,000 square foot shopping center. However, the way the property has been rezoned, the developer has to incorporate residential space as well.
John Abernathy, who spoke at Tuesday's meeting on behalf of the Alabama company, agreed to the terms saying his team will work with P&Z to meet all the conditions of the zoning.
"That is something we will be working with the staff is to figure out in addition to the retail and office that we had on our plan already, where is it most appropriate to put some residential," said Abernathy.
He's confident new retail and development will bring a much needed boost to the area.
Penn and Wolf fear it will do the opposite, and decrease their property values. They say there's already too much noise and traffic in the area, and their neighbors did not sign on for this.
"We have enough people cutting through our neighborhood as it is going to FPD. It's just going to be a nightmare and they did not support the residents of Bibb County which I think is part of their job," said Penn.
Resident Glenn Smith, who lives in the Ashford Park subdivision told 41NBC over the phone, the only thing the community can do to appeal the decision at this point is file a lawsuit in Bibb County Superior Court.
Smith is not sure if that will happen, but added he and others in the area are looking into it.
About 550 people signed a petition to keep the land zoned as residential, and nearly 50 sent in letters opposing the change.