Developer withdraws Gregg Tract application

MOUNT PLEASANT — An application to develop 40 acres across from Towne Centre as a 400,000-square-foot shopping center has been withdrawn, officials said Monday.

“We did get a letter from them saying ‘withdrawal,’ ” said Christiane Farrell, director of the Department of Planning and Development.

The Planning Commission was due to consider the project on Wednesday.

The tract is surrounded by subdivisions such as Montclair, Snee Farm, Wando Lakes and Wando East. Many residents had voiced concerns about traffic, noise and bright lights disrupting the tranquility of their homes. How stormwater drainage would be managed was also a concern.

Doug Wilgus, president of the Wando Lakes Homeowners Association, said hundreds of people were prepared to attend the commission meeting to express their concern.

“It’s good news that something has caused them to think twice about it,” Wilgus said.

The developer, Henrich Properties, on Monday released a statement that said it had decided to defer its application. “This decision is the responsible development approach and necessary to the peace of mind of all Mount Pleasant residents,” it said.

The developer must wait a year to submit a new application unless town officials grant a waiver of that requirement, Farrell said.

The firm spent a year ensuring that the Gregg Tract development complied with the town Comprehensive Plan, the document by which the Planning Commission would have evaluated the project before making a recommendation to Town Council.

Henrich Properties said it communicated with adjacent property owners and neighborhood associations about its project. An application was filed with the planning department in mid-January.

“As a result of the public concern voiced throughout the local media over the last few weeks, these additional efforts to further study the overall impacts of the project are expressly warranted,” the company said.

In 2004, Snee Farm residents opposed a Walmart Supercenter at the same location because of the traffic it would bring. The developer withdrew the application in the face of public opposition and lack of support from the Town Council.

The application submitted at Town Hall does not identify specific businesses that would occupy the shopping center. A traffic analysis in the document assumes they include a home improvement superstore and a discount club.

The developer said the $35 million project would create an estimated 260 full-time jobs and generate $235 million in annual sales.

Home Depot has yet to come to Mount Pleasant, which also does not have a Costco or Sam’s Club.