The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a rezoning petition filed on behalf of a developer with plans to build a grocery store and gas station at 1422 W. Oglethorpe Highway.
The request first was heard at last month’s LCPC meeting. However, after multiple residents voiced opposition to the development, the petition to rezone 5.33 acres of land from R-1 (single-family dwelling) to C-2 (general commercial) was tabled until more information could be gathered.
Ben Berry of Berry Engineers returned to the commission Tuesday evening with the requested information.
Berry said that a search for the title-holder of the mobile-home park that currently sits on the property yielded no conflicts of ownership.
He also presented findings of a traffic study, addressing a chief concern of neighborhood residents.
According to Berry, the study concluded that a traffic light was warranted at the development’s proposed main entrance on Meloney Drive.
He said that the traffic study also revealed that south-bound store patrons attempting to avoid the traffic light would add 17 seconds to their travel time by “cutting through” on Topi Trail and Brittney Lane — something that area residents had expressed apprehension over.
Residents also voiced concern over hubbub the development would generate. Berry responded by saying that planned buffers would be an average of 37 feet wide, nearly double Hinesville’s requirement of 20 feet.
Berry also said that the developer plans to install an 8-foot-high wooden fence along the buffer — 2-feet higher than the required 6 feet.
After hearing from many of the same residents who opposed the petition at last month’s meeting — and a few community members in support of the development — the commission approved the rezoning request by a 5-1 vote.
The request next will go before the Hinesville City Council for final approval. The commission’s approval comes with a recommendation to turn Britney Lane back into a one-way street heading north to offset the potential of store patrons cutting through the residential roads.
In other business, the commission:
• unanimously approved a petition to rezone 1.22 acres of land from B-2 (general commercial) to AR-1 (agricultural residential) to allow a church at 49 N. Bypass Road.
• unanimously approved a special permit application to allow a used-car sales lot at 1241 W. Oglethorpe Highway.
• unanimously approved a special-exception petition to allow a homeowner to give piano lessons at 116 Village Drive.
• unanimously approved a final plat request for the Preserve at Cinder Hill, phase 2-B. The subdivision is on Sandy Run Drive in Hinesville.
• approved a final plat request for the Retreat at Oak Crest, phase 2, by a vote of 5-1. The subdivision is at Red Oak Lane and English Oak Drive in Hinesville.