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Simpsonville City Commissioiners on Wednesday gave unanimous final approval to the plans for a second outlet mall in the city.
They supported on second reading an ordinance that approves zone changes and the plans for a mall submitted by Trio Property and Paragon Outlet Partners to build a mall on the southeast corner of Interstate 64 and Buck Creek Road.
Commissioners passed the ordinance’s first reading on Dec. 4 after nearly an hour of public comment by property owners who live near the mall site and at least one resident of the city.
Trio/Paragon’s request is the second to be considered by the city. Commissioners in September approved Horizon Group Properties’ zone changes and plans for a mall on the southwest corner of that intersection and adjacent to Veechdale Road.
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.
Triple S Planning Commission recommended approval of the by projects with only commissioner Larry Stewart, who lives near the area, voting against them.
Property owners have voiced repeated concerns that the county’s Comprehensive Plan does not support one outlet mall – much less two – for that area and that traffic studies for the widening of Buck Creek Road and rerouting of Veechdale Road are both inaccurate and ill-conceived.
Triple S’s recommendation was stipulated to include a list of proposed conditions that developers had negotiated with a lawyer hired by the Hunters Pointe Homeowners Association, and that association’s president, Robert Neff, told commissioners on Dec. 4 that his group is OK with the plans as long as Trio/Paragon lives up to that agreement.
One area resident who addressed the city that night hinted, though, that there could be legal action to step these projects.
“We’re looking at losing our home values,” Ron Pottinger said. “We don’t want to spend money on attorney fees. The only people who make money in this situation are the attorneys. We don’t want to tie this up in court.
“But if you own a three-hundred-thousand-dollar house and you are going to lose ten percent, why not invest thirty thousand to fight this?”