Wal-Mart Doesn’t Appeal Zoning Rejection

Deadline passes without Wal-Mart appeal

May 31, 2008

By Brandon Honig – Beaufort Gazette

Wal-Mart’s deadline to appeal Beaufort’s decision to reject plans for a store on Lady’s Island passed Friday without an appeal being filed, but the retailer has not given up the idea of building a Lady’s Island site, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

The retailer applied in January for permission to build a 195,000-square-foot store on a 40.8-acre wooded site known as Airport Junction on Sea Island Parkway. The application was rejected by Beaufort’s planning director Libby Anderson in February, a decision that was upheld by the Beaufort Zoning Board of Appeals in March.

Wal-Mart could have appealed the zoning board’s decision in circuit court.

“We’re still looking at what our options are both with the city and legally,” Tara Stewart, Wal-Mart spokeswoman, said Thursday.

Though the property’s zoning allows up to 250,000 square feet of commercial space, Anderson ruled that a 95,000-square-foot building does not comply with the “master plan” for the site.

Development of the site need not match the master plan exactly, but the plan should be used as a guide, she said. A Wal-Mart store consistent with Airport Junction’s master plan would be considered for approval, she added.

Plans for the Wal-Mart on Lady’s Island prompted vocal opposition from residents who said the store would increase traffic on Lady’s Island, damage the environment and hurt local businesses.


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