Residents push back against proposed Pooler development project

Residents push back against proposed Pooler development project

POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - Pooler and development seem to go hand in hand. But one section of town is pushing back, and at least for now, winning.

Monday the Pooler Planning and Zoning Board unanimously voted to recommend denying the “Pooler Promenade Development”

The proposal includes adding several three story buildings near the neighborhood.

The property, which is just off US-80 West in Pooler, finds itself caught between a developer who’d like to take advantage of Pooler’s growth and neighbors in the area, like Beverly Waters, who say this project still has kinks they need to iron out.

“The traffic, the noise, the lack of privacy.”

Beverly Waters, Vickie Godbee and Joy Aiken live in three of the eleven homes that surround the land where the proposed multipurpose development would be located.

A project they’ve all been keeping a close eye on.

“We’ve been opposed to this development since day one,” said Godbee.

“Neighbors here have been here 40 years, and they’re trying to evidently run us out of Pooler.”

The proposal includes four three-story buildings that would be home to restaurants, businesses and on the third-floor residential housing.

Buildings that would not only be a mere 10-feet from their property line in the back, but residents claim would also take away their privacy.

A notion Pooler Fire Chief Wade Simmons understands.

“What that was going to allow was the second and third floor to look over the fence into the surrounding single-family homes that were around there,” said Simmons

In fact, Chief Simmons also serves on the planning and zoning committee and it was the Chief who introduced the motion to deny.

But for him it was about more than just privacy.

“What the biggest issue for me was the overall density of the project in a small area,” said Chief Simmons

A small area that would then be dealing with a large influx of traffic on a stretch of U.S. 80 that he doesn’t feel is ready for it yet.

Meaning a higher risk for accidents. Instead, Chief Simmons suggests not filling the whole 6-thousand square foot lot.

Start small with buildings that would be shorter and less invasive to neighbors, bringing less traffic to the area.

However, according to representatives for the property owner that I spoke with, nothing they have proposed is outside of the current light-commercial zoning of the property.

As for the future of the property that is in the hands of Pooler City Council who will make a final vote on the proposed project Monday, Dec. 16.

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