Most of Thursday’s Hinesville City Council meeting focused on a request to approve a “concept proposal” of the final plat for the Magnolia Oaks shopping complex at the intersection of Highway 196 West and 15th Street.
The council declined the request by Darren Tuitt of the Durban Group of Charlotte, N.C.
All council members present, as well as Mayor Jim Thomas and City Manager Billy Edwards, told Tuitt he was asking the city to approve a final plat that his company was not making available to them at the time of the request. Tuitt assured councilmembers they would get the final plat soon and said the electronic version provided by Rachel Hatcher of the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission essentially was the same as the final plat.
“You’re asking us to sign off on a final plat we haven’t seen,” Thomas said. “My concern is that this has been going on since 2007, and your company doesn’t have a final plat. You’ve had six years, we’ve seen no action, and you’ve had no communication with this council. I prefer not to make a decision on a concept proposal.”
Thomas told Truitt the council would reconsider his request during its June 6 meeting. Tuitt said that was too long to wait, adding that he had been communicating with the LCPC and did not realize he also needed to communicate with the city council.
In 2007, with the LCPC’s recommendations, the city council approved the concept only of the proposed subdivision plat for Magnolia Oaks, requesting a subdivision plat for the Food Lion shopping complex. At that time, the council expressed concerns about the Department of Transportation’s approval of access points, lack of a detailed site-plan review of what would be built on each outparcel and treating the proposal like a planned unit development.
“I see your concern, but I don’t understand your concern,” Councilman Keith Jenkins told Tuitt. “Why is it so (important) that you ask us to buy into it right now? We can’t approve this without the documentation.”
Tuitt said his company is refinancing the project’s loan and needs all the approved documentation by the end of the month. Thomas then asked the council to gather next week for a special meeting if Tuitt could get together the documentation they need. The council agreed to hold a special meeting next week if Tuitt could get the final plat to the LCPC by Monday.
In other business Thursday:
• a bid for $131,866 for a dry trash combo truck was approved for the public works department
• action on proposed changes to the city’s group medical-insurance contract was postponed.
• a 2013 peddler’s license was approved for Israel Fleming to operate an ice-cream truck in city limits
• Southern Wings (aka Wingstop) was approved for a change in the local manager for its 2013 alcohol beverage license.
• representatives of two other restaurants spoke during the public-comments session. Chris Hicks, owner of Chris’ Curbside Grill off E.G. Miles Parkway next to Mission Essential, and Monnet Thomas, owner of the Rolling Crab at 708 E. Oglethorpe Highway, asked the council to consider a waiver to the ordinance that prevents their businesses from obtaining licenses to sell beer and wine due to the proximity to residential areas. After a few questions by council members, Thomas told them the council would consider their requests, examine the applicable ordinance and give them a written response.
• Thomas said the Small World Festival at Bryant Commons saw more than 400 vehicles parked at the site at one time and nearly 3,000 people in attendance. Mayor Pro Tem Charles Frasier suggested that the next Bryant Commons event should have more signs pointed to the event.