A Publix supermarket planned for the intersection of Washington Road and William Few Parkway received preliminary plat approval Thursday from the Columbia County Planning Commission.
With the approval, developers of the store and surrounding shops can start clearing and grading the property.
Publix will be on a 15-acre lot at the entrance of Riverwood Plantation.
The proposal includes five more lots, which will be subdivided and will front either Washington Road or William Few Parkway.
The development will be built on a larger tract of 30 acres, and the developer, Pollard Land Co. Inc., wants to clear the entire property, which stretches to Lake Cumberland, said Jeff Browning, the director of planning and development.
The plat was accepted under the stipulation that any trees cut down must be limited to the specific site and a 25-foot natural buffer along the grocery store's Washington Road side be maintained.
The clearing of trees, with the exception of the 25-foot buffer, will extend to the site of a road that will nearly divide the piece of property in half.
"The ordinance is clear that the removal of trees has to be based on the site plan," Browning said.
The clear-cutting surrounding each out-parcel will be evaluated individually, he said.
The developer, Browning said, could not maintain the same type of buffer along William Few Parkway, because a substantially high bank will have to be cut down.
The ordinance requires the landscaping to be replaced, he said.
"We're looking for something, so that (if) you have to look through it, you don't see a mass graded site through there," Browning said.
Also at the meeting, residents from Amberley neighborhood spoke against a proposed revision in a planned unit development at Riverwood Plantation.
Developers had asked for a postponement of a public hearing to discuss the change.
The revision to the Amberley II section of Riverwood Plantation called for eliminating a large number of trees.
"You need to be extremely sensitive to the wetlands that are separating this property," said Amberley resident Frank Spears, a former member of the Columbia County Commission. "It's a very sensitive area."
Representatives of Ivey Residential, the Amberley II developer, were not at the meeting.
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