Empty storefronts became a topic of conversation Thursday for the Columbia County Planning Commission.
According to a survey conducted by county staff, Washington Road -- from the Richmond County line to Club Car -- had the most vacancies with 36, followed by Furys Ferry Road with 19 vacancies, Petersburg Road with 12 and Bobby Jones Expressway with 10.
Sixty vacant store fronts, the most of any zoning district, were found in the county's general commercial district.
"We will very likely be keeping up with this to see how the trends are," planner Justin Snyder said.
An update about the county's growth management plan also was provided to planning commissioners at the meeting.
Planning manager Nayna Mistry said her department is still evaluating several presentations and documents.
"We will be reviewing it and keeping all the ideas that were in the plan that still work," she said.
The deadline for the county to adopt or update the plan is February 2011.
Also on Thursday, planning commissioners approved a 110-foot cell phone tower that will provide additional service for Verizon Wireless customers near Bobby Jones Expressway.
The planning and zoning board accepted the request 4-0 to rezone nearly two acres on Settlement Road from single-family residential to special district and a special use permit for wireless telecommunications facilities, which is required to build the proposed tower.
Though Verizon service is already provided for the area, a representative for the company said that many customers have complained about having dropped calls on the expressway.
The planning staff recommended the standard monopole so additional antennas could be mounted, reducing the need for more towers in the future.
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