The Planning & Zoning Commission in Pooler this week OK’d a request from developers to etch out a 1.12-acre section of land on the south end of Pooler Parkway to house a new Savannah Tire franchise.
Because no representative of the project was present at the board’s meeting Monday, Planning Commissioner Ernest Buckstine asked that it be noted in the meeting’s minutes that the planning commission has concerns about the development’s future effect on surrounding traffic, and these concerns will need to be addressed when developers return for site plan review.
According to city documents, the land in question is part of a large and mostly vacant area known as the Armstrong Tract, which sits near the corner of Pooler Parkway and Pine Barren Road. If the subdivision request is approved later by the Pooler City Council, it will become the second parcel to be pulled from Armstrong Tract to accommodate new development in recent months.
In December, the council approved a request carve out another 1.53 acres from the tract for construction of a new credit union.
While the bulk of new commercial projects on Pooler Parkway has generally taken place farther north — near the intersection with Interstate 95 and the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport — developers have more recently started setting their sights on the southern area of the parkway — around Interstate 16. Just in the past few months, city officials have entertained plans for a new assisted living facility and a micro hospital, and set aside land for future development in the Savannah Quarters community.
Plans have also been announced for a mixed-use development in Savannah Quarters that encompasses construction of additional hotels, retail stores and an amphitheater. And construction of a new Publix supermarket near the entrance to Savannah Quarters on Blue Moon Crossing is underway.
In the past, city officials have pegged commercial growth on the south end of Pooler Parkway as one way to improve traffic conditions on the north side.
Pooler City Manager Robbie Byrd said during a city council workshop last summer that new development near I-16 could effectively disperse the concentration of traffic that currently bogs down the parkway around I-95.
“That’s the only thing that’s going to help (congestion on) that (north) end of Pooler Parkway,” Byrd told the council last August, “more construction down this side.”
In other business, the Pooler Planning Commission:
• Recommended approval of lot size variances and a minor subdivision plat for properties at 204 and 206 Holly Ave.
• Signed off on the final plat for Phase 6B of the Westbrook development.
• Voted to recommend approval of site and landscape plans for Phase 2 of the Pinewood Village apartment complex at 755 Rogers St. The recommendation is for approval contingent upon construction of a berm where the property borders South Rogers Street.
• Heard from resident Aaron Higgins on a petition he has started to press for wise development in Pooler. He said he plans to introduce the finalized petition to the Pooler City Council next week.