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Busy site at Thompson Bridge Road preps for more growth
A backhoe operator clears stumps and brush from a lot Friday afternoon at 1510 Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville. A zoning request for the lot will go before the Gainesville planning board next month for an office development to be built at the site.

Applications for new development are coming fast and furious to the Gainesville planning division, and the latest proposal up for review calls for professional office space along Thompson Bridge Road, directly across the road from the Wal-Mart grocery store.

Plans to develop a 7,700-square-foot building with parking on a 0.67-acre property will go before the city’s planning and appeals board April 14. Gainesville would provide water and sewer service if the development proceeds.

The property is currently vacant, with a small driveway and some vegetation.

The application, submitted by Chris Patton of Patton Land Surveying in Gainesville, asks city officials to reduce the rear vegetative buffer from 30 feet to 15 feet.

Owner and developer Richard Toth told The Times there is no timeline for construction and he does not yet have a specific tenant or client lined up to occupy the office space.

But Toth said he believes the economy is turning around and that now is the right time to move forward with the development.

“It’s starting to grow,” he added.

Residents in the area successfully fought a proposed drive-thru at the corner of Thompson Bridge and Virginia Circle, directly adjacent to the Wal-Mart, earlier this year.

City planning staff said that proposal was “inconsistent” with the city’s comprehensive plan and future development map.

It is unclear if residents will oppose the office space, but concerns about traffic, public safety and quality of life issues are growing as the Thompson Bridge corridor sees new commercial development.

Residents have also expressed concerns about the impact nearby development and runoff has on Slaughterhouse Creek, as well as the changing character of the residential neighborhood.

“We have not made a final recommendation on this,” said Gainesville Planning Manager Matt Tate. “This should be available on April 7.”