A Publix grocery store, and other shopping, is coming to Arbor Springs.
Property at the intersection of Arbor Springs Parkway and U.S. Highway 29 was rezoned for a shopping center back in 2001, but that development has never taken place. Now, it’s moving forward and will be known as Arbor Springs Plaza.
The plat shows a “major” store with 48,387 square feet, and one 5,600-square-foot shop adjacent to it, at the rear of the property. There are two mid-size shops in the middle and three out-parcels along U.S. 29. An additional 4,200-square-foot shop would face Arbor Springs Parkway. The shopping center would be accessed from Arbor Springs Parkway and a new entrance to the south on U.S. 29.
Tuesday night, the Coweta County Board of Commissioners approved a change in an old condition on the rezoning that would have limited parking in one particular parcel, known as tract 6.
According to the rezoning application, the topography and configuration of the land and access and grading limitations resulted in an “engineered site plan which requires parking in excess of 170 parking spaces” on that particular parcel. The site will meet the county’s current parking standards, according to the application.
The property was originally rezoned before the county’s current zoning and development ordinance was put in place, said Assistant Community Development Director Angela White. They were concerned about protecting the Cedar Creek watershed.
More rezoning took place in 2018, and the commercial area was expanded. Under the current plan, there will be some shared parking, White said. People will be able to walk from the various locations. Additional parking spaces could be obtained by the use of previous materials. The original plan showed “random commercial offerings and independent parking for each business.” The shared parking will reduce the overall impervious area, according to the staff report.
According to the Coweta County Public Works Department, no transportation impacts are anticipated from the request. The finding of no impact applies to the change in parking, not the entire project.
Arbor Springs resident Renee Pitzer said she is not opposed to the rezoning and welcomes the Publix, but is concerned about traffic.
Traffic is already bad during morning and evening rush hours.
“The roads are jam packed with trucks and cars,” she said. With the Coweta Industrial Park, Vulcan Quarry, the railroad tracks and traffic coming off Interstate 85, “it’s almost impossible to travel these roads during these hours.”
School buses have a hard time getting out of side streets, and Pitzer said she’s seen tractor-trailers lined up waiting to unload at the industrial park. She wants to make sure the Publix parking lot will not become a waiting area for the trucks.
She’s hoping that Coweta County and the Georgia Department of Transportation will work on improving the intersection of U.S. 29 and Highway 154 to accommodate the current traffic as well as new traffic from the development.
There are plans for a massive improvement that will move the intersection and include a bridge over the interstate, but it is many years away.
Arbor Springs developer Dan Zavada said that the shopping center will be a great addition, and it will hopefully help relieve some traffic because people won’t have to go to Thomas Crossroads for a grocery store. Arbor Springs residents will be able to take their golf carts to the store or walk, he said.
“Obviously with the other expansions, 154 does have to be addressed. I would hope that the commissioners would address it pretty soon,” Zavada said.
Arbor Springs resident Roy Goodwin said that most everybody he’s spoken to is “very much in favor” of the shopping center. “It will be great for us,” he said.