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Residents of Hunting, Fripp, Harbor and St. Helena islands will enjoy a shorter trek to the grocery store if plans for a Publix on St. Helena Island are approved by Beaufort County.
The county's Development Review Team on Wednesday will examine conceptual plans for a 39,600-square-foot Publix on a 9.2-acre wooded site at the northwest corner of Sea Island Parkway and Polowana Road. The Publix on Lady's Island, which is about 4 miles away from the proposed store, is 37,000 square feet.
Publix is requesting approval for 200 parking spaces on St. Helena Island though only 120 are allowed under the lot's current zoning.
The proposed development also would include nine other buildings with a total of 18,000 square feet of retail space.
Publix would be the first major grocery store east of Lady's Island in northern Beaufort County.
There are two Publix stores on Hilton Head Island and one in Bluffton, according to the company's Web site. A second Publix is expected to go up on Buckwalter Parkway in Bluffton.
More than three years ago a group of landowners approached the county with preliminary plans to build a 26,000-square-foot Piggly Wiggly on the same site.
Installation of a traffic signal also is proposed for the intersection of Sea Island Parkway and Polowana Road.
After Wednesday's meeting, the developers will need to go back to the Development Review Team at least one more time for final approval.
The Development Review Team is made up of department heads from several county offices, including zoning, engineering and planning.
Publix spokesman Dwaine Stevens said it takes about nine months to build a store after final approval is received.