EARLIER: Planning commission OKs 2nd outlet mall

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Trio/Paragon's plan moves to Simpsonville City Commission for final approval

By Todd Martin

The Triple S Planning Commission followed a familiarscript Tuesday night by recommendingapproval of a zoning change for a second outlet mall for Simpsonville.

Trio Properties/Paragon Outlet’s plan was passed by a vote of 4-1. Commissioner John Wills was absent. Commissioner Larry Stewart voted against the plan.

The request, made by Paragon Outlet Malls and Trio Development, was to rezone 47 acres south of Interstate 64 and east of Buck Creek Road in Simpsonville zoned Agricultural to Limited Interchange (X-1) and to allow for a 400,000-square-foot retail center. The other 17 acres included the development, which also feature nine out-lots around the retail center, is already zoned X-1, and appropriate for an outlet mall.

After tabling the decision at their meeting in October, commissioners moved on a motion by Scott Merchant and a second by Quintin Biagi.

Stewart had made a motion to reject the zone change because it did not meet the comprehensive plan, but that motion died for lack of a second.

The commission’s approval of the preliminary unit development was stipulated on the approval of the zone change by the Simpsonville City Commission.

The Simpsonville City Commission now has the final decision on the zoning change and project plan. The city can approve or reject the recommendation by Triple S, or if it takes no action, after 90 days the recommendation would become final.

“We were pretty comfortable coming in,” said Bill Bardenwerper, the attorney who has coordinated plans for Trio/Paragon. “There was very little opposition. We know we have the perfect site.

“We still have to go through Simpsonville. If it is approved, we would start construction plans right away. If it gets through, we hope to begin in early spring and open in fall of 2014.”

This decision from Triple S was in line with a decision in August that recommended approval for Horizon Group Properties on a zone change and preliminary plan on a 364,000-square-foot outlet mall on the west side of Buck Creek Road at the intersection with Veechdale Road, directly across the Trio/Paragon site.

Horizon has not started preparation work on the site because the company has yet to receive a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow for the filling of wetlands and a 6.5-acre pond on the site. Representatives with the Army Corps of Engineers have said the permitting process could be finished by the end of the year.

The concept of an outlet mall at the Simpsonville intersection with I-64 has been a public topic for more than a year. Since November 2011 residents in the area, nearly all living outside of Simpsonville’s city limits, have tried to fight the development – with Hunters Pointe Subdivision Homeowners Association even hiring a lawyer during the process – for reasons including traffic, safety and noise along with a feared decline in their property values.