Glynn County’s Mainland Planning Commission approved an expanded site plan for a grocery store in Sterling at its Tuesday meeting.

Strickland Plaza, LLC, proposed a site plan for a grocery store on the same lot — across U.S. Highway 341 from McKenzie Road — in 2017, which the MPC approved. Since then, however, the property was combined with an adjacent lot, and the plans were changed to shift the locations of the proposed building, parking lot and retention pond.

County planner Maurice Postal presented the new site plan, which included the grocery store, a planned expansion to the building and associated infrastructure.

While the 2017 site plan proposed a 15,000 square foot building, the new site plan detailed a 24,200 square foot grocery store called Satilla Grocery, along with the 10,700 square foot add-on.

The add-on will not be built right away according to the site plan application. It’s part of the second phase of construction.

MPC member Richard Strickland said the original plan had some issues. He said he remembered the Georgia Department of Transportation asking for significantly more expensive entry and exit points than the applicant had planned to construct.

That was accurate, said Jonathan McDill, an engineer with Roberts Civil Engineering, and the plans had only expanded since then. Commissioner Gary Nevill asked McDill if he knew when the building was going up. While he didn’t want to speak for the owner, he said he understood that they wanted to start construction as soon as possible.

The MPC voted 7-0 to approve the site plan.

In other business, the planning commission voted to recommend the Glynn County Commission rezone a property located at the corner of Blythe Island Highway and Lake Drive. The property was split-zoned in 1982, said Planning Manager Stefanie Leif. The back half of the property was zoned R-9 residential while the half fronting on Blythe Island Highway was zoned highway commercial.

The owner, Andrew Tostensen, said he gave the county a strip of his property along Lake Drive as right of way in 1999 so it could improve the road. At the time, he was told the county would handle rezoning the whole property to highway commercial, and he’s operated under the assumption that it did until now.

Leif said the planning and zoning division could find no evidence the county had ever attempted to rezone the property. One person, county resident Julian Smith, spoke against the application during the mandated public hearing on the rezoning. At first blush, he had no problems with the rezoning. However, he took issue with the state of the property and claimed that planning and zoning staff made a number of errors in its report on the application. He asked the commission to deny the application until the errors were corrected.

The MPC ultimately approved the rezoning 7-0, on the condition that Tostensen brings the back half of the property in line with highway commercial buffer requirements.

The planning commission also voted to defer a site plan for a 5,000 square foot expansion to the Chapel, located off Cyprus Mill Road.

The MPC’s next regular meeting is scheduled for June 4.

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