HomeNewsBusinessRezoning On Retail Development Outside West Lake Delayed

Rezoning On Retail Development Outside West Lake Delayed

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Efforts to change the zoning on commercial property just outside of West Lake subdivision on Fury’s Ferry hit a snag at the Sept. 16 Columbia County Planning Commission meeting.

A motion was filed to postpone the planning staff’s recommendation until the next meeting on Oct. 7 to give Rafy Bassali, the property owner, and the West Lake Property Owners Association time to discuss issues before the POA will grant its blessing for the development to move forward.

The subject property is a 5.68-acre area between the University Prompt Care at 1100 W. Lake Commons Dr. and the Claiborne at 557 Furys Ferry Rd. The proposed change would allow for 31,800 square feet of retail and restaurant space, including Swank, Posh Tots and others. The rezoning application indicates it could take three to four years to fully develop the area.

MORE: See Proposed Changes Here

The main issues for the POA are related to storm water piping, driveways and verbiage in Bassali’s proposal related to drive-thru structures on the development, according to Wright McLeod, the POA manager and a local lawyer.

According to the Secretary of State’s website, Mcleod is also the registered agent for Bassali’s corporation, West Lake Commons, LLC.

Schematics from the planned revisions.

Mahi Majanovic, who lives at 3713 West Lake Dr., detailed some of the storm water concerns during the public comments portion of the meeting.

“The current storm water system for the University Prompt Care building enters a 36-inch pipe that goes under the entrance of West Lake. It then empties out in green space. There was supposed to have been a retention pond built, but then the design was changed,” Majanovic said. “When we have significant rainfall, this system cannot handle it.”

MORE: Changes Proposed to Development Adjacent to West Lake

He said he’s been involved with storm water issues when the nearby Bi-Lo was built (which is now Final Cut), as well as with the nearby dermatology office and The Claiborne, which is adjacent to Bassali’s property.

“Every one of these structures has a retention pond. This 5-acre site does not,” he said. “We’ve had storm water issues surrounding Reed Creek for 25 years. To not put adequate or above-adequate controls on this development is not responsible in my eyes. What I’m asking for is to not throw more problems into Reed Creek.”

Jim Cox, chairman of the Planning Commission, asked if two weeks would be enough for Bassali and the POA to work out their differences. Bassali and McLeod both agreed.

“I believe the people of West Lake are, as a general rule, positive toward this development,” McLeod said after the meeting. “It’s a high-end development directly adjacent to a high-end neighborhood.”

Tyler Strong is the Business Editor for The Augusta Press. Reach him at [email protected]

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