Nearly 60 acres of land in north Pooler originally pegged for a residential subdivision could soon be the site of more industry.
The Pooler Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday voted to recommend that the Pooler City Council approve a request to rezone 58.65 acres of the Morgan Lakes Property on Jimmy DeLoach Parkway from an existing planned unit development to a light industrial designation. The change is to accommodate more warehouses and distribution centers along the route to the Port of Savannah.
In a letter in support of the change, Phillip McCorkle, representative of petitioner Morgan Lakes Property LLC, said the rezone is justified by the continued development along Jimmy DeLoach Parkway.
“The ‘last mile’ has been completed to the main gate of the Port and property is being acquired by the (department of transportation) to link Jimmy DeLoach from its existing terminus on Highway 80 to (Interstate) 16,” McCorkle wrote. “Jimmy DeLoach will be the major truck corridor for products coming in and out of the Port going north and west on I-16.”
There is no longer a drive to build houses in that area of the parkway, McCorkle added, and the homebuilder who originally purchased the land in question for part of the existing Farm at Morgan Lakes subdivision has since abandoned the remainder of the housing development.
Although there is still residential construction planned for the area immediately north of the existing lots and to the west of the community’s entrance, he wrote, much of the remaining land originally intended to be part of the Farm community will be used for a large lake.
McCorkle reported Monday that the proposal has been presented to the property owners association for the community, and received no objections. Plans call for a buffer between any industrial development and nearby residences, he said, and any new warehouses constructed after the rezone would be at least 2,000 feet away from the nearest home.
Even so, the property has been the site of some contention during the past year. After being turned down on their first request, developers earlier this year were cleared to rezone more than 300 acres nearby to house a new industrial park — with the promise that the construction would come with a traffic signal. The first two warehouses are under construction there now.
And there continue to be opponents of rezoning for more industrial in the area. MaryBeth McPeters, a resident of the Farm at Morgan Lakes, opposed the rezone and argued that the planning commission should consider the residents, just as it considers the developers when making its decision.
“Enough is enough,” McPeters said. “I think there has to be some way of leaving something the way it is. ... I know there’s big business in this, but I think there needs to be a place for folks who live here, too.”
Jim McGaffin, a resident of the Hunt Club community across the parkway, also spoke in opposition to the rezone.
In other business Monday, the Pooler Planning Commission:
• Recommended approval of site and landscape plans for a convenience store at 1507 Quacco Road.
• Recommended approval of site and landscape plans for a Your Pie restaurant in Lot 6 of the Morgan’s Corner shopping center.
• Voted to table a major subdivision plat for five lots in the Pooler Park of Commerce at Godley Station until the board’s Oct. 10 meeting.
• Voted to send a requested minor subdivision plat for a little more than an acre of property on Towne Center Boulevard on to the city council with no recommendation. No representative of the project was present to speak to the request, which included a concept plan for a Kaufman Tire store.