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Richmond Hill Council approves plans for strip shopping center, rezoning of Parkers Square property
RH City Hall

The Richmond Hill City Council on Tuesday approved the site and landscape plans, and a building-elevation request for a strip shopping center that has listed Starbucks as a tenant.

The property is located at the corner of Ford Avenue and Rushing Street.

At a City Council meeting last month, Starbucks was listed as a tenant in a 5,000-square-foot development. The Hutton Co. had filed a request for a variance on a perimeter buffer requirement for reduction of a landscape buffer between the property and nearby Richmond Hill United Methodist Church. The variance was approved, with one of the conditions being that the fence be a minimum of 6 feet tall in the back of the property in order to prevent people from parking in the church parking lot and going to the commercial property.

Also Tuesday, the council approved rezoning 4.78 acres on Timber Trail Road from neighborhood to multi-family residential. The property is behind Parker’s convenience store in Parker’s Square, which is at the corner of Timber Trail Road and Ford Avenue.

Bill Bishop, vice president of real estate and development for Parker’s, told council members that the property was developed a few years ago, but that it’s not an appropriate place for business anymore.

“I think just the traffic patterns and the fact that you’re so far removed from any of the rest of the commercial development just doesn’t lend itself to future development,” he said. “And the highest and best use I think in this area is certainly residential.”

Bishop said the existing building on the property can be converted to residential use once the leases on the building expire.

Councilman Russ Carpenter moved to approve the rezoning, with the conditions that the commercial perimeter buffering required under commercial zoning will remain in place, any variation from the previous site plan must come before council for approval, and the goal is to protect adjacent residential property that predates the development by at least 30 years. Councilwoman Jan Bass seconded, and the motion with conditions was approved.

In other business Tuesday:
• Carpenter was re-elected as mayor pro tem.
• Council heard the first reading of a text amendment to a zoning ordinance in order to put a sporting-goods store with gun sales at 3766 Highway 17, Suite 103. The text-amendment application was submitted by Mike Pinault of Pinault’s Defensive Solutions.
• Council approved a building-elevation request for the remodel of Clyde’s at the intersection of Highway 17 and Ford Avenue.

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