Building permits issued during the past several years show there has been increased growth in the City of Thomson and McDuffie County. In 2018 the City of Thomson issued 8 permits for construction of new single-family residential units, and in 2019 that number rose to 11 permits, according to Thomson-McDuffie Planning and Zoning Director Chase Beggs. In 2019, 35 permits were issued for homes to be built in McDuffie County, and that number increased to 55 in 2020, Beggs told the Progress. There were also permits issued for new businesses to be built, and for some existing businesses to undergo renovations or expansions, according to the planning and zoning director. “In the unincorporated area of McDuffie County, we issued permits for four new commercial buildings in 2020, compared to no new commercial structures in 2019,” Beggs said. “One of the commercial permits issued was for the Sprint Food Store on Washington Road beside the Interstate 20 Exit 172. In addition to new commercial buildings, we
issued nine commercial permits for additions, renovations or commercial accessory buildings in the county. Also, in the unincorporated area five new commercial sign permits were issued.” Beggs said no permits were issued for new commercial construction in 2020 inside Thomson city limits. However, two commercial permits were issued for renovations of existing businesses in Thomson as were nine commercial sign permits in the city, he said. “The Town of Dearing saw commercial growth with the addition of the Dollar General store located on Augusta Highway,” Beggs said. Plans are underway for a Family Dollar store to also be built in Dearing near the old school building. The Dearing Town Council re-approved a rezoning request in October 2020 to pave the way for the retail store to begin construction. The council held a second hearing on the rezoning request because one of the stipulations the town had previously placed on the developer – the addition of a deceleration lane – could not be upheld due to Georgia Department of Transportation regulations stating the estimated number of store visits would not warrant a decel lane. The Family Dollar store will be built on property rezoned from residential to commercial at 124 Neal’s Mill Road facing Augusta Highway. Winchester Homebuilders based in nearby Augusta pulled 15 Of the 55 new residential permits in the unincorporated county, bringing them near completion of Phase 2 of the Elias Station subdivision, according to Beggs. The subdivision is located off Interstate-20 at exit 175. Home sizes range from more than 1,700 square feet to over 2,000 square feet and are priced from low- to mid- $200,000s, according to the developer’s website at winchesterhomebuilders.com.