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Richmond Hill City Council approves plat for The Commons
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In a late addition to the Richmond Hill City Council meeting agenda Tuesday evening, the council approved the preliminary plat of “The Commons,” a 273-acre development of 517 single- and multi-family lots off Harris Trail Road near Port Royal Road.

Being developed by local developer Simcoe at the Commons LLC, the plat is expected to have 64.2 acres of open space, which is considerably more than the required 10 percent. That open space would be interspersed throughout the development. The development also would have more than 122 acres of wetlands and be zoned PD, Planned Development.

Prior to the preliminary plat approval, the council unanimously agreed to revise the site plan to change an original designation of Planned Development zoning from single-family homes and commercial to single-family patio homes (conditional use) and multifamily.

The council unanimously approved both the change to the site plan and the preliminary plat. One condition added to the approval was that a tree buffer of 10 feet be increased to 15 feet. That would allow 30 feet between single-family homes.

The council also heard the first reading of a request from Elbow Cay Land Holdings to rezone 11.74 acres on the northwest side of Port Royal Road from a county zoning of AR-1 to a city zoning of Planned Development, level 2, with a designation of multifamily/apartments. The council unanimously approved the request.

In another planning and zoning matter, the council approved a rezoning of 7.91 acres on Harris Trail Road across from Cypress Pointe Townhomes, from a county zoning of AR-1 to a city zoning of R-3 multifamily. The developer, Scott Stafford, recently requested annexation of the tract into the city. That annexation was approved by the City Council and Bryan County Board of Commissioners. The council also unanimously approved the rezoning request.

City Council also approved requests to make changes to the city’s zoning ordinance to bring it in line with state law in terms of allowing temporary and permanent fireworks-sales facilities in certain zoning districts. Temporary fireworks facilities will be allowed as a conditional use in C-4, Interchange Commercial, I-1, Light Industrial and I-2, General Commercial, zones.

Permanent fireworks facilities will be allowed as a conditional use in light and general industrial zones.

Other council actions included approving a 90-day duration, $25 water-service fee to create a temporary water-service application fee for service to vacant properties; and approving a request from Melice Gerace to serve beer and wine at a birthday party Dec. 20 at the John W. Stevens Wetlands Center in J.F. Gregory Park.

The council went into executive session to discuss the possibility of property acquisition. Councilman Johnny Murphy recused himself and did not take part in the executive session. Usually, council members who take such action do so because they have an interest, financial or otherwise, in the property being considered for acquisition. However, no further details were released, and no final action was taken.

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