Pooler officials on Monday cleared the developer of a new industrial park on Jimmy DeLoach Parkway to add nearly 60 more acres to the site.
The Pooler City Council unanimously approved a request from Morgan Lakes Property LLC to rezone 58.65 acres of land east of the Morgan Lakes Industrial Park on Jimmy DeLoach from an existing planned unit development to a light industrial designation. According to the developer’s application to the city, the rezone is slated to accommodate construction of five more warehouses.
A site map included with the application shows existing plans for the Morgan Lakes Industrial Park, which includes construction of five warehouses and truck parking. The proposal for the newly rezoned site is for another five warehouses immediately east of the existing park.
In a narrative submitted to the city in support of the rezone, the agent for the developer, Phillip McCorkle, wrote that because of the recent extension of the parkway to the main entrance of the Port of Savannah, the remaining land along Jimmy DeLoach should be used for “port-related activities.”
“There is an imminent need for the property to be zoned (light industrial),” McCorkle wrote, because other industrial property along the parkway in Pooler — including the Morgan Lakes Industrial Park, which was rezoned by Morgan Lakes Property LLC to light industrial in February — is either already developed or under construction.
But not everything along Jimmy DeLoach Parkway is zoned for warehouses, and residents of some of the housing communities on the parkway continued to oppose further rezoning.
Mary Beth McPeters, an eight-year resident of the Farm at Morgan Lakes, asked the city council to take its time on the proposal and not approve the rezone right away. The city should keep in mind the effect several more warehouses would have on the community, she said.
“I just feel if you change the zoning, it’s not going to be a fit place for my family to live and my friends to come visit,” McPeters said.
Another city resident, Jim McGaffin, who lives in the Hunt Club community across the parkway, had similar concerns. McGaffin said he patently opposes rezoning in the city and asked the council to honor the designations put in place by city planners years ago. The port may need more warehouses, McGaffin said, but Pooler does not.
McCorkle countered that the developers had made strides to accommodate nearby residents — by promising installation of a traffic signal at the industrial park’s entrance before the first certificate of occupancy is issued, and by ensuring at least 800 feet of buffer between the warehouses any residences.
The governing board of the Farm community’s property owners association expressed no objections to the rezone when it was presented to them, McCorkle added.
In other business Monday:
• The council voted on second reading to change the due time for utility bills left in city drop boxes on their due date. The change requires bills to be received in drop boxes by 3 p.m. on the bill’s due date, however, bills can still be delivered to city hall or paid online through 5 p.m.
• Council members approved an amended schedule of fees for city services, which changes the convenience fee charged to residents who pay bills online from a flat $3 to 3.5 percent of the payment amount. The change also sets fees for replacing, co-locating or modifying existing cell towers to $500 and removes the fee for submitting sketch plans.
• The site plan for a Your Pie restaurant in the Morgans Corner shopping center was approved.
• City Council voted unanimously in favor of a requested minor subdivision plat, which creates a 1.04-acre parcel on Towne Center Boulevard in Godley Station. The new parcel is slated to house a Kauffman Tire store.
• The council held a first reading of an amendment to Pooler’s soil erosion, sedimentation and pollution control ordinance that aligns it with state guidelines. A second reading is required for the amendment to go into effect.
• Council members held a first reading of an ordinance amendment that updates the streets in the city which are eligible for radar use. If approved on second reading, police could use radar to detect speeds on areas of Benton Boulevard, Pine Meadow Drive and Tanger Outlet Boulevard.
• Mayor Mike Lamb announced that the U.S. Postal Service has selected a new location for its Pooler office. Although a USPS representative was unable to confirm the location Monday, Lamb said he was notified the new location will be in the BI-LO shopping center, less than a mile to the west of the existing location on U.S. 80.