A site plan that will allow for development of a new retail shopping and dining center in Fenton has passed the first stage of approval.

The Fenton Planning Commission reviewed the preliminary site plan for a parcel of nearly 20,000 square feet on the south side of Owen Road, west of US-23. The proposed development will have room for a half dozen retail businesses, a Pizza Hut, Qdoba, and a Starbucks with a drive through window. Commission Chairwoman Charity Thompson said this plan has come a long way since being denied once before in April. Thompson said there were a lot of administrative and design flaws in April, but the developer has spent the time since then meeting with the proper city groups and management, greatly improving their plan. Traffic concerns were an original source of conflict with the plan.

The Commission was satisfied with new plans for a stacking lane and an island at one entrance that will be right-in, right-out only. Some Commissioners were worried that drivers will ignore signage and try to make left turns, but were ultimately satisfied that the steep angle the island wedge will create will deter all but the most dishonest drivers. They were also given a choice by the developer regarding the materials they would like to see on the façade. The Planning Commission voted informally on a design that builds upon a traditional brick display, but uses metal siding to create dimension in a modern-style. The site plan will now go before Fenton City Council with a recommendation that it be approved. (MK)