The approval of two preliminary plats Thursday by the Columbia County planners helped along projects for a new Wal-Mart shopping center near Grovetown and another long-awaited shopping center in Martinez.
Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial Corp. received an approval on a preliminary plat for its Village at Fury's Ferry shopping center from the Columbia County planning and zoning board during a Thursday meeting. With the approval, developers can start clearing and grading the property.
Located at the corner of Furys Ferry Road between Blackstone Camp and Evans to Locks roads, the grocery store-anchored center features nine tracts on about 14 acres.
Blanchard and Calhoun had sought to change the planned unit development earlier this year, but a disagreement between developers and a land owner of a two-acre parcel delayed that approval.
Planning officials and developers have repeatedly argued about the artist renderings of the grocery store. The source of the conflict is the varying interpretations of what constitutes neo-classical architecture, as required by the zoning, said Matt Mills of Blanchard and Calhoun.
The renderings of the grocery store were not submitted Thursday evening, but will be required before a building permit is issued, according to county documents. Previous proposals from Blanchard and Calhoun have identified the grocery store as Kroger.
The proposed Wal-Mart shopping center will be constructed on about 61 acres in an area many officials call "The Gateway," which is north of Grovetown near the intersection of Lewiston Road and Interstate 20. The proposed center is referred to as the Wal-Mart Gateway project on county documents.
Thirteen tracts will be developed on the property, with one tract going to Wal-Mart. Details on who might build on the remaining tracts was unavailable Thursday evening.
Though planning commissioners approved the preliminary plat, they did place conditions on developers: buffers and landscaping must be installed adjacent to any properties zoned residential, a final plat must be submitted for approval and tracts on the property zoned light industrial and residential must be rezoned commercial before they are developed.
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