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Shopping center is proposed to go near Wal-Mart Supercenter in Hinesville
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What’s next

• On Thursday, Hinesville City Council will consider the proposed shopping center. The meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. at City Hall.

A new shopping center could be built between Wal-Mart Supercenter and Ralph Quarterman Drive in west Hinesville.

The Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission recommended approving the rezoning of 20.76 acres from R-4, single, two-family dwelling district to PUD, Planned Unit Development, which includes C-3, highway commercial, uses.

The application was filed by Hutton Development on behalf of MCRD Holding LLC, Mary C. Morgan, Hortado Wilson, Sonya Gay Hough and Annette Givens, the owners of the combined parcels.

The proposed shopping center would have restaurants, retail stores, 600 parking spaces, and four outparcels — individual retail sites located within a shopping center.

According to a Hinesville city ordinance, PUD is for the establishment of shopping centers, planned residential areas, planned industrial developments and similar large-scale developments. This zoning district encourages innovations in residential and nonresidential development.

LCPC Chairman Jack Shuman said the proposal was not in compliance with the sign ordinance. Jeff Ricketson, the executive director of the LCPC, said the purpose of PUD is to allow for flexibility and custom development. He said the sign request is consistent with the ordinance because the request is under PUD instead of a C-3 rezoning request.

Gabriele Hartage, LCPC zoning administrator, said this would be the first PUD zoning in Hinesville.

The LCPC staff recommended that the site plan include access from Ralph Quarterman Drive, a traffic signal interconnected with the light at the Wal-Mart entrance on West Oglethorpe Highway, a left-turn lane for traffic turning left into the plaza, and an exit driveway with right- and left-turn lanes.

Ben Barry, of Barry Engineers, said it’s possible to incorporate an entrance from Ralph Quarterman Drive by having an access point be required in the site plan for the business that wants to be located on that outparcel. He also said he received positive feedback from the Georgia Department of Transportation on the proposed traffic signal.

Planning Commissioner Phil Odom asked if the traffic light will interfere with the divided corridor planned for West Oglethorpe Highway.

“The plan for the divided corridor was put together about 10 years ago and will certainly need some refining before it’s built. There’s already been other places where development has compromised the original design,” Ricketson said. “If that light is planning to be there, that will have to be another place where the plan is modified. But that divided-corridor plan also called for Ralph Quarterman (Drive) to be moved, but that might have to be reconsidered as well.”

The proposal will go to the Hinesville City Council on Thursday.

The planning commission also recommended for approval the rezoning of 2.5 acres for a proposed Parker’s convenience store and gas station in Walthourville, along Oglethorpe Highway between Talmadge and Busbee roads. The application was filed by Bill Bishop, agent for Gregory Parker, Barbara Busby and Lloyd Busby to rezone the combined acres from R-2, two-family residential district to B-2, general commercial district. There will be access points on Talmadge and Busbee roads, and a right-in, right-out access along Oglethorpe Highway.

Planning Commissioner Timothy Byler was concerned with the right-in, right-out access. He said drivers could use that access point to cross the intersection instead of making right turns only. Byler also said the access on Oglethorpe Highway could impact plans to create a bypass around Hinesville.

Nathan Long, of Thomas & Hutton Engineering, said that his firm is working with the GDOT, has prepared a traffic study and is still in preliminary discussions about the site. He said the plan is to make it more convenient for drivers heading west on Oglethorpe Highway to turn into the gas station and that this entrance is critical.

Odom suggested keeping the access points to Talmadge and Busbee roads for safety reasons. He said that in the last 25 years, the GDOT has been trying to close every driveway on Oglethorpe Highway, and he noted that the Parker’s along McLarry’s Curve in Flemington does not have an entrance along the highway.

The proposal will go to the Walthourville City Council on Nov. 12.

In other matters, the planning commission recommended approval of Russell Guyett’s application to rezone 2.23 acres from R-1, single-family residential district, to R-2A, single-family, two-family and mobile-home residential district. In January, the same property was rezoned to R-1. The owner now wants to place mobile homes on the lots or site-built homes.

An application for a variance to a monument-sign setback was filed by Jim Woods for the IGA grocery store in Midway. The request was recommended for approval.

Daniel Dasher’s request to rezone slightly more than 3 acres at the intersection of Dunlevie and Douglas roads from R-4, mobile-home park residential, to R-2, two-family residential, was recommended for approval.

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