Wednesday, January 9, 2013
When is 109,382 square feet not 109,382 square feet?
When you add a 10-foot wide alley.
Sunbelt Ventures submitted a new site plan for Pawleys Plaza to Georgetown County on Wednesday afternoon. It’s Sunbelt’s third site plan for the plaza, and the second one submitted since Dec. 13.
Sunbelt now wants to build a retail space “not to exceed” 60,000 square feet, build a 16,000-square-foot retail space, and rehabilitate a 33,382-square-foot existing space. The 10-foot alley would be located between the large building and the existing building.
Originally Sunbelt wanted to build a 119,500-square-foot retail space on the site. After a public outcry and threats of lawsuits, the plan was denied by the county Planning Commission and sent to County Council with a recommendation for approval with a building no larger than 60,000 square feet, which is what’s allowed in the Waccamaw Neck Commercial Corridor Overlay Zone.
Sunbelt then submitted a site plan last month that showed 109,382 square feet of retail space, which Sunbelt claimed was three buildings.
County Councilman Bob Anderson, who represents Pawleys Island, said at the time it looked like one 109,382-square-foot building, not three smaller buildings.
Anderson said Thursday that if Sunbelt was allowed to say the 109,382-square-foot building was three buildings, another person might come along and build 450,000 square feet of space and claim it was ten 45,000-square-foot buildings.
After getting clarification of the county’s definition of a “building”, Anderson and County Administrator Sel Hemingway met on Wednesday with Sunbelt partner Dusty Wiederhold.
“We finally understood what the law was and what our interpretation of the law was,” Anderson said. “We’re just asking them to follow what’s in the law.”
Anderson and Hemingway told Wiederhold that the county did not consider the space to be three buildings.
“They feel that this is their interpretation of the ordinance,” Wiederhold said. “It’s a compromise that we worked out and we hope that it will work with everybody.”
After the meeting Sunbelt submitted revised plans.
Anderson said he felt that after five months of dealing with Sunbelt and its opponents, “it was time to come to an agreement.”
Although the plans call for a building “not to exceed” 60,000 square feet, Anderson said it is possible the building could be smaller depending on who Sunbelt signs as a tenant.
The ordinance authorizing the redevelopment of Pawleys Plaza will be up for second reading at County Council’s meeting on Tuesday. Anyone wishing to comment on the plan must sign up with the council clerk before the meeting starts.
A final vote is scheduled to take place on Jan. 22.
“That’s when we go to work,” Wiederhold said. “[We’ll] try and find a tenant that fits in that 60,000-square-foot box.”
County Council meets at 5:30 p.m. in the Old Courthouse at Screven and Prince streets in Georgetown.
By Chris Sokoloski
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