Harris Teeter protest

Cindy Cross, left, and Linda Hefti hold signs at the intersection of Sea Island Road and Frederica Road Saturday morning opposing Harris-Teeter’s plans to open a gas station at its St. Simons Island store. They and other opponents held signs in shifts on the chilly, windy day.

The Islands Planning Commission will consider whether to support a permit request from Harris Teeter for the construction of a gas station when it meets Tuesday.

At an IPC work session last week, Bill Schilling, a transportation planner for Kimley Horn, called it a “customer incentive-based fuel center,” where lower fuel prices will draw potential shoppers to Harris Teeter.

Gas stations are allowed by the property’s zoning but only after approval of a conditional use permit. The grocery company would also have to submit a site plan for approval by the IPC before construction.

Plans attached to the permit application propose to raze the existing building, which is leased by Signature Property Group, to make way for seven fuel pumps, an attendant kiosk and a canopy.

At the earlier work session, Kimley Horn and Harris Teeter representatives made statements assuring IPC members and the public that impacts to traffic will be minimal and that the engineering firm has done as much as possible to preserve trees when planning for construction.

Schilling said the station will not increase average trips to and from the commercial site by more than 1 percent because people already in the area are the target market. At peak hours, he said the gas station might attract less traffic than the existing building and tenant.

Planning commissioners also raised concerns about the impact the fueling station might have on parking in the shopping plaza.

Patrick Duncan, a member of the IPC, also expressed doubt in the contention that tankers coming to refuel the station would not cause traffic issues on Frederica and Sea Island roads.

A Harris Teeter representative said the commission would be provided with documents supporting their statements before the meeting.

The planning commission will convene at 6 p.m. in the Sea Palms Resort Conference Center, 515 N. Windward Drive on St. Simons Island.

The final decision on conditional use permit application will be made by the Glynn County Commission. Planning Manager Stefanie Lief said this could happen as early as February.

Other items on the IPC agenda include:

· A site plan for a convenience store and small offices at 109 Butler Lake Road on the north end of the island. The project is called Hampton Market in county documents.

· Site plans for homes at two addresses in the Yacht Club neighborhood, 123 Yacht Club Lane and 317 Yacht Club Lane, both of which include requests to construct part of the homes, pools and patios in the 25 development setback from the marsh.

The IPC has the authority to approve site plans.

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