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Development: Fresh Market grocery plans under review

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

Plans for a Fresh Market grocery store at Pawleys Island first approved in 2008 are under review again by Georgetown County.

The 21,078-square-foot store is planned for 4.1 acres on Highway 17 south of the Holiday Inn Express. The grocery chain has submitted stormwater plans to the county and the state Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

“We’ve been having a series of meetings with them,” said Boyd Johnson, the county planning director. “They’re still in due-dilligence. They’re working with us to make sure there are no issues.”

The county Planning Commission approved the project two years ago with the addition of buffers along the highway and Library Lane, which separates the store from the townhouses at Pawleys Place. In the current plans, the store is 3,800 square feet smaller than the one approved.

The main access will be from Hotel Drive, but there is also access for delivery trucks from Highway 17 on the south side of the building.

A traffic study in 2008 showed the grocery store would generate 2,900 trips a day. Fresh Market asked the state Department of Transportation to approve a traffic light on the highway at Hotel Drive, but the agency said it wouldn’t approve the signal until it could assess the actual impact of the store.

Fresh Market has not submitted building plans. Those provided in 2008 did not meet the county’s design standards for commercial buildings along the highway.

Johnson expects plans once stormwater permits are approved. He said talks with Fresh Market were “very, very, very positive.”

Calls to the Fresh Market headquarters in Greensboro, N.C., were not returned. The chain opened its 100th store Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“They wouldn’t be submitting stormwater plans if they weren’t planning to move ahead,” Johnson said.

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