Residents push for change in east Macon at public hearing

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb’s last planning and zoning public hearing on Thursday night left some residents with questions about where they fit into the the bigger picture. One woman in east Macon says she has a few concerns.

“My main concern is that east Macon seems to be left out,” said resident Ollie Tharpe.

Tharpe says she’s lived on the east side of Macon for more than 50 years and in all that time not much has changed as far as infrastructural improvements.

“Jeffersonville Road is terrible for driving on and they had promised us that they were (going) to resurface and they hadn’t (done) anything yet,” she said.

That’s why she decided to attend the county’s planning and zoning public hearing and voice her frustrations.

“I like the improvements that they’re doing, but don’t just do it all on certain sides of town,” she said.

Director of Planning and Zoning Jim Thomas was there to hear from Tharpe and others.

“Most of the comments evolved around future land use. One of the bigger ones was the Walnut Creek land use plan,” said Thomas.

Tharpe says she pays her taxes just like everyone else and wants to see the money go to improvements in her own community.

“They don’t seem to keep the grass cut on that side of town like they should have but they do on the other side of town. Well, we in east Macon need the same treatment,” she added.

But Thomas says there’s change ahead for several parts of Macon-Bibb including the east side.

“Other plans that are out there: the plan to expand the national monument, the urban redevelopment plan, and other locals plans that have already been done,” he said.

The comprehensive plan maps out the next 20 years for Macon-Bibb so new additions will be take some time, but Tharpe is looking for those promises to be made good in the much more near future.

Tonight was the last public hearing but they’ll be taking comments until next Thursday August 24th. Next steps for the comprehensive plans are sending it to the mayor for his signature and then passing it on to the regional commission for further review by August 29th.

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