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Midway may get new shopping center
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Midway’s City Council Monday gave preliminary approval for a shopping center on a 1-acre site at the intersection of Highway 84 and Isle of Wight Road.

Property owner Heather Brannen got a conditional-use recommendation from the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission and approval from the council as a first step toward the development. Site planning and other preliminary work remains to be done and submitted for approval.

Brannen said her plan, which is preliminary, includes a 6,000-square-foot building which could house six businesses. Because the site is in the Liberty Gateway District, it will have to meet the design guidelines as well as conform to Midway’s master plan and other regulations.

Parking, building setbacks, landscaping and loading zones are topics that shopping-center planners have to deal with. Highway 84 will be widened and turn lanes will be added, so setbacks will have to allow space for the expansion.

The Islands Real Estate office, built nearby in 2008, was designed to conform to Gateway District guidelines. The two-story realty office is set back significantly from the highway.

The LCPC’s Alissa Davis, who presented the recommendation, said, “The LCPC recognizes that there may be some design challenges, but we feel we can work them out with the applicant.”

As the project develops, the LCPC and the city will be consulted and have the opportunity to approve or deny specifics.

In other business Monday, Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington reported a lack of progress in the city’s effort to settle its longstanding dispute with the Liberty County Development Authority. The entities share water and wastewater services, but have never reached an agreement on bills. Each owes money to the other.

James Coppage, an attorney Midway hired to handle LCDA matters, has reported that he has been unable to meet with LCDA attorney Kelly Davis to discuss the case. Council member Terry Doyle has complained that the council has not heard from Coppage since the January council meeting.

“We get very little information about this ...,” he said.

In April, the council voted to continue mediation of the dispute. Washington said there was another move toward Davis and Coppage meeting, but that she had not heard the result. On May 30, the mayor said she was writing to Coppage to ask for a progress report.

The council’s next meeting will be a workshop at 2 p.m. Monday when fire protection will be discussed with county officials.

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