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Land use: Fast-food project moves forward with traffic study approval

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Two new fast-food restaurants on Highway 17 in Pawleys Island moved a step closer to construction this week when Georgetown County Council approved second reading of a rezoning proposal for the property.

Developer Jody Tamsberg of Georgetown plans to develop Pavilion Square at Pawleys Island on 4.82 wooded acres between Pawleys Wine and Spirits and JP’s Auto Sales on Highway 17. The L-shaped lot will also border Petigru Drive behind the liquor store. County planning director Boyd Johnson told members of County Council the development will have 19,750 square feet for office space, 5,500 for retail and 10,000 for restaurants. It is being designed by the architectural firm of County Council Member Steve Goggans, who recused himself from the rezoning vote.

The property is being rezoned from “general commercial” to the county’s new designation of “flexible design district.” That zoning classification was developed to be an alternative to the “planned development” district with its required residential component.

The restaurants will be built in the first phase nearest the highway and include the 167 required parking spaces and stormwater retention elements for the development. The design must meet the standards of the Waccamaw Neck Commercial Corridor Overlay Zone, Johnson said.

A traffic study by Stantec estimated the development would generate 3,295 new daily auto trips. The proposed design includes four access points for cars: two on Highway 17 and two on Petigru that line up with Pawleys Plaza driveways. Johnson said the state Department of Transportation signed off on the traffic patterns. He said he would work with developers to put up signs directing traffic leaving the development to the stoplight at Highway 17 and Petigru.

Tom Stickler, president of the Hagley Estates Property Owners Association, raised the only objections to the development’s traffic study. He told members of the Planning Commission it was done two weeks before the new Publix grocery opened.

“If the data were taken today,” he said, “those counts would be considerably higher.”

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