Columbia County's planning and zoning board failed to decide Thursday on changes to the Marshall Square development.
After discussing the revised site plan for nearly 1 1/2 hours in a public meeting, the planning commission tabled it until April.
Despite a lengthy presentation by Marshall Square developers and numerous comments from residents, board members said they had too many unanswered questions.
"This is a lovely area that is going to be the center of our community, and as we've all recognized, there's got to be a balance," Chairwoman Jean Garniewicz said. "We have one chance to make this right, or not, and we want this to be the showplace for Columbia County."
The revision separates residential units from retail buildings and eliminates a high-rise residential tower on the site.
More than a dozen people, including homeowners association presidents and Joe Marshall, whose family owns the property, spoke about the revisions.
"I'm actually impressed with this plan, because I think it represents progressiveness," said Jim Norwood, who lives in Deerwood Circle off North Belair Road. "With that said, I'm also concerned about striking a balance as a homeowner with all the second-order effects that my colleagues expressed."
Among some of the concerns expressed were traffic flow and changes in the plan's concept.
Marshall said he wants to do what is right for the community while dealing with economic realities.
"We've never lost vision of an upscale project here, and that's what we want," he said.
The commission wants more information about the development, including a detailed footprint, before its April 16 meeting.
"Right now ... I've got more questions than I do have answers," Planning Commissioner Bob Newkirk said. "I'm having great difficulty at this point based on the information that has been presented."
Developers also are seeking input from other county residents in order to achieve a balance with those in the immediate community. Residential developer Bill Marsh suggested forming a committee with residents.
"We need community input," he said. "We want to do the right thing for the community, but we can't guess at what's going to make everybody happy."
Also at the meeting, a final plat for a subdivision on 7.37 acres along Hereford Farm Road was approved.
The item had been postponed after a county resident informed staff in the Development Services Division that Belair-Evans Associates sold a lot before approval of the development's final plat, which resulted in a violation.
The violation was nullified after both Belair-Evans Associates LLC and ACC Family Limited Partnership requested approval of the final plat, county planner Justin Snyder said.
Also, the commission unanimously approved a rezoning at 247 Settlement Road from single family residential to special district. The property will be used as a parking lot for a new Golden Corral restaurant to be built adjacent to the restaurant's current location at 231 Bobby Jones Expressway.
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