Developers for a new Martinez shopping center unveiled artist renderings of the project during a Columbia County Planning Commission meeting Thursday.
For weeks, planning commissioners denied an amended rezoning of the about 14-acre property between Blackstone Camp and Evans to Locks roads until Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial Inc., the project developers, provided an updated artist rendering.
The renderings, which feature Food Lion as the anchor tenant of the shopping center, incorporate a "neo-traditional" architecture, which county planning officials said works for the zoning regulations governing the area.
Planning officials and developers previously argued about the artist renderings of the development. 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.
Though the zoning board last month granted the project a preliminary plat approval, which let developers start clearing and grading the site, Mills said he is thankful for the rezoning amendment as the project is behind schedule. Still, he hopes to open the shopping center in June 2009.
Planning Commissioner Tony Lively said he appreciated developers' patience and that the new design "sets a high standard" for the area.
Also during the meeting, the board granted a rezoning of about 4 acres of property on Lewiston Road from industrial and residential to commercial. The sliver of land abuts a much larger property already zoned commercial that will be developed as part of the Gateway project. The added land will aid the developers, Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial Inc., with building a retention pond for the site.
The planning board also approved the commercial rezonings for a small plot on Old Evans Road to become an adult day-care facility, and for a small parcel on Pleasant Home Road to match the surrounding commercial zoning.
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