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Pooler apartment plan clears another hurdle

A proposal to bring nearly 250 luxury apartments to Pine Barren Road in Pooler got another green light from the city’s planning commission this week.

Planning commissioners voted unanimously Monday to recommend that the Pooler City Council approve a request from Pooler Parkway LLC to rezone about 16 acres near Pine Barren Road’s intersection with Pooler Parkway from heavy commercial to multifamily residential.

The proposal is to build 246 luxury apartments adjacent to the existing Bridgewater subdivision.

The planning commission’s hearing on a rezone for the property was the second in as many months. In December, petitioners had asked for a zoning map amendment for the property that would have allowed for as many as 20 units per acre.

In that case, the planning commission voted down that request, and recommended instead that city council entertain a less-dense zoning designation. City Council members subsequently turned down the heftier multifamily zone Dec. 21.

In January, the applicants submitted a new request, this time seeking a less-dense zoning designation that provides for a maximum of 256 units on the property. The petitioners wrote in the zoning map amendment application, filed with the city Jan. 21, that the change is justifiable because the multifamily property would serve as a transition area between the commercial property on Pooler Parkway and the single-family residential property farther east on Pine Barren Road.

Speaking on behalf of the applicant Monday, Hal Kraft of Savannah-based Hussey Gay Bell said the access road to the community would not connect to Pine Barren Road. Instead, he said, residents of the community would enter through a connecting road at a traffic light near the Lowe’s on Pooler Parkway.

There was little comment from the public this week, beyond some comments from Bridgewater resident Charles Archer.

Archer, who lives near the property line with the proposed apartment complex, asked about the plans to buffer the two communities and whether any study was conducted on the potential effects a large apartment complex could have on nearby schools.

“There’s going to be a tremendous effect to the school system,” Archer said, upon hearing no such study has been done.

If approved by the City Council at its review next month, the apartment community will include 10 buildings made up of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The community would also have garages, storage units, a playground and a clubhouse that includes a pool and theater, representatives of the petitioner said last week.

In other business, the planning commission:

• Recommended denial of a variance request for a 10-foot side yard setback at 334 Brighton Woods Drive.

• Signed off on a final plat for phase 17 of The Fairways, a townhome subdivision.

• Recommended approval of construction and landscape plans for phase 2 of the Davenport subdivision.

• Voted in support of a subdivision plant for phase 9B of the Westbrook subdivision.

• Approved the posting of a performance bond and signed off on the final plat for phase 5 of the Hunt Club subdivision.

More Info

Breakout Box: 

IF YOU GO

What: Pooler City Council hearing on rezone for luxury apartments

When: 5:30 p.m., March 7

Where: Pooler City Hall, 100 U.S. 80

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