Just a week after developers were cleared to rezone nearly 60 acres of property in Pooler for new warehouses on Jimmy DeLoach Parkway, planners in the west Chatham city are set to field another request to rezone property for more industry on the parkway — this time, perhaps, for the expansion of an existing business.
The Pooler Planning & Zoning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing Monday on a request to amend the zoning map for 65.3 acres on Triple B. Trail — a connecting road to Jimmy DeLoach — from a residential agricultural to a light industrial zoning designation. According to the letter sent to adjacent property owners, the purpose for the change is to construct a warehouse facility.
Indeed, a second public hearing is scheduled Monday for the planning commission to review a second request from the petitioner for a 10-foot height variance for the property. If approved, the warehouse could be 55 feet high — matching a nearby facility maintained by Atlanta-based cold storage company Nordic.
The agent for the petitioner, Brad Bartell of Savannah-based Coleman Co., said he couldn’t speak to how many warehouses the site may contain or who may occupy the space once it’s developed. This is simply a rezone request, he said, and no site plans have been developed.
But exhibits submitted to the city showing the subject property indicate they were prepared for Nordic.
Reached by phone Friday, Ross Maple, Nordic’s director of business strategy, said the company is looking at its options.
“We’re looking at a lot of different things right now,” Maple said. “We don’t have anything concrete just yet, but there are some properties that we’re interested in, and those individuals are trying to see if they can get rezoned. ... (But) nothing is finalized.”
Maple said it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if Nordic did opt to further expand its location in Pooler. He referred to comments made by Nordic CEO Don Schoenl in April, when the company celebrated completion of its second phase — a new, 200,000-square-foot facility near the original site on Jimmy DeLoach. At the time, the company hinted it would continue to grow around the Port of Savannah.
“Naturally, with all of the growth on Jimmy DeLoach, (Schoenl)’s interested,” Maple said. “I don’t have to tell you the Pooler area has just been fantastic for us. It’s been very successful there, and phase two has gone quite well. ... We are definitely looking. ... (But) nothing’s poured in concrete just yet.”
If approved by the planning commission Monday, and subsequently the Pooler City Council the following week, the rezone will be the third such change to a light industrial designation along Pooler’s stretch of Jimmy DeLoach Parkway this year.
In early February, Pooler officials signed off on the rezone for more than 300 acres of property for the Morgan Lakes Industrial Park, which is under construction now. Last Monday, the city council approved the rezone for another 60 acres for the industrial park’s second phase.
The zoning changes haven’t gone unopposed. In Pooler, residents of the Farm at Morgan Lakes and Hunt Club communities on Jimmy DeLoach Parkway have spoken out against the zoning map amendments. Following the Pooler City Council’s approval of the rezone for the second phase of the industrial park, a group of area residents formed an online petition to demand an “end to production of warehouses on Jimmy DeLoach.” As of Friday afternoon, the petition had more than 200 supporters.
Also up for consideration by the Pooler Planning & Zoning Commission on Monday:
• Preliminary construction plan/tree compliance review for the Farm at Morgan Lakes, phase 1C
• Site plan/landscape plan review for Outparcel 19 of Tanger Outlets
• Site plan/landscape plan review for Building 3 at Morgan Lakes Industrial Park
• Site plan/landscape plan review for Parker’s convenience store, 1601 Dean Forest Road.
IF YOU GO
What: Pooler Planning & Zoning Commission meeting
When: 6 p.m. Monday
Where: Pooler City Hall, 100 Southwest U.S. 80