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EARLIER: Trio/Paragon gets its nod for outlet mall in Simpsonville

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Simpsonville City Commission unanimously approves zone change, plan

By Steve Doyle

SIMPSONVILLE – Representatives of Trio Properties and Paragon Outlet Partners were out in full force at the Simpsonville City Commission meeting Wednesday morning, and they heard what they were hoping to hear.

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Commissioners unanimously and perfunctorily approved on second reading an ordinance requesting a zone change and formal plans for the companies to build an outlet mall south of Interstate 64 and east of Buck Creek Road, much to the audible frustration of several residents of that area who attended the meeting.

This is the second zone change and mall plan that the commission has approved for that area, with Trio/Paragon following Horizon Group Properties concept for a mall just west of its site, on the corner of Buck Creek and Veechdale Roads.

Both companies have said they plan to break ground early in 2013 and hope to open by the time students return to school in the summer of 2014.

Bill Barderwerper, the attorney who has led Trio/Paragon’s planning process and presentations, said after the meeting that his group was working on its plan.

“We’re about to sit down and talk about that,” he said. “We have our engineer with us, and we’re going to work on that.”

Trio/Paragon plans a  400,000-square-foot outlet center and requested to rezone 47 acres from Agricultural to Limited Interchange (X-1) and allows the retail center. The other 17 acres included the development, which also features nine out-lots around the retail center, already are zoned X-1 and appropriate for an outlet mall.

Horizon Group plans a 364,000-square-foot outlet mall on 55 acres and continues to await approval from the Army Corps of Engineers to drain a 6.5-acre lake on its property. All of its other legal approvals have been met.

The homeowners association of Hunter’s Pointe, an upscale development just south of Trio’s property, had entered into an agreement with the developers on some adjustments to their plans that would help protect that neighborhood, and when moving along the plan for approval, the Triple S Planning Commission specified that the list of agreed points be part of the approval by Simpsonville officials.

During his reading of the ordinance before a vote, City Attorney Hite Hays made a point to mention that the agreement was an exhibit attached to the ordinance and, thus, part of the record.

Those conditions are:

  • Protecting the wooded area along the stream, aside from one crossing area.
  • A 10-foot shadowbox fence built around the perimeter of the ring road on the south side of the property facing the subdivision, and plantings in the area will be enhanced.
  • More stringent lighting requirements, including no light bleed onto residential properties and a minimum of 50 percent dimming of the lighting after closing hours.
  • Pylon signage only on the north side of the property facing I-64.
  • Maximum building heights of 40 feet.
  • Limiting noise-emitting machinery and Dumpsters facing the subdivision.

Residents from that development and others around the two properties continually have expressed their concerns that the traffic studies submitted with the plans were inadequate and that the plans themselves were not in agreement with the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

But Triple S Executive Director Ryan Libke addressed commissioners to ensure them that Triple S had found it absolutely in agreement.

“The applicants comply,” Libke told the commission. “The Comprehensive Plan encourages development consistent with the applicants’  proposal. Agriculture zoning no longer is appropriate with the development.

Commissioner Vicky wise moved to approved the second reading of the ordinance, and that was seconded by Sharon Cummins. All four commissioners were present and voted, along with Mayor Steve Eden, to approve he request, which not only completed the process – barring legal opposition by residents – but also quickly emptied most observers from the commission meeting.