The Islands Planning Commission ended their meeting Tuesday without taking formal action on an application to change three facades in the Pier Village on St. Simons Island.
The application asked the IPC to authorize the owner of three commercial units — currently occupied by St. Simons Bait and Tackle, Island Breeze Clothing Co. and Fuse Frozen Yogurt — to replace their current awnings with a cream-colored, stucco facade identical to that of Tonya’s Treasures, according to a planning and zoning division staff report on the application.
“The front facades of other businesses along Mallery Street are a mixture of architectural styles, but metal, wood and sloped awnings are predominant features. The proposed facades for the three businesses do not include those materials or mimics the style that is predominant in the area,” the report states.
At present, St. Simons Bait and Tackle features a sloped, sheet-steel awning, while Fuse and Island Breeze sport shingled awnings.
The IPC voted 5-2 to defer the item, as the applicant did not attend the meeting, Carla Cate and George Ragsdale voting against the motion.
Cate said after the meeting that she and Ragsdale still wanted to discuss the application, even if the applicant wasn’t present. If they did, they could have determined if anything in the application needed to be changed or amended or make requests or recommendations. Doing so would have made it easier on the applicant in the long run, she said.
Earlier in the meeting, Ragsdale made a motion to add an agenda item. He wanted to discuss scheduling a work session to talk about administrative procedures before the county’s Community Development Department takes action on an expedited subdivision plat for the Orchard, a planned residential neighborhood on Plumbroke Road off Demere Road.
The owner of the property, IPC member Patrick Duncan, is currently involved in legal action over Plumbroke Road, the only road into the property. He contends he owns the road, while abutting neighbors claim it is public. Fellow IPC member and Brunswick attorney Samatha DiPolito represents one of those neighbors.
One of the property owners addressed the Glynn County Commission at a meeting earlier this month, after which county commission Chairman Mike Browning said he would ask County Attorney Aaron Mumford to look into the issue.
Ragsdale’s motion failed 3-2, Duncan and DiPolito abstaining. Ragsdale, Cate and Odessa Rooks voted in favor, but the commission’s bylaws require a minimum of four affirmative votes to take any official action.
Following the meeting, county resident Julian Smith criticized the IPC for holding the meeting and not actually doing much.
He said it was a waste of taxpayers’ time and money to rent a ballroom in Sea Palms Resort’s conference center, have county IT personnel rig up audio and video equipment and bring out county staff members to the meeting.
County Planning Manager Stefanie Leif, Senior Assistant County Attorney Will Worley and Community Development Director Pamela Thompson were all at the meeting, although Thompson did not participate.
The IPC’s next meeting is scheduled for May 21.