The aftermath from North Augusta’s Planning Commission meeting left many residents happy.
The commission voted against the city’s request to have flexibility with the development code.
NewsChannel 6 down what the standards are.
North Augusta Resident, Chip Burnett, says, “I suggest to you respectfully that you do not approve the request for the text amendment in your recommendation for the City Council.”
The planning commission agreed with North Augusta residents.
North Augusta Resident, Ken Powell “I think that we’re being selfish as a city.”
The city wants to build a new fire station on Georgia Avenue, near the historic district. Something many North Augusta residents don’t want. They say it violates what are called overlay standards, and they want to make sure historic areas are preserved, but City Administrator, Todd Glover, says overlay standards are too restrictive.
City Administrator, Todd Glover, says, “a lot of folks are saying that it is to retain the historical nature. That’s not accurate at all. The neighborhood preservation overlay is actually starting in areas that are transitioning from neighborhood to commercial development.”
Powell agrees. He says the standards are geared toward commercial development, just slowly regulated.
“I don’t see that particular area, that historic district getting commercialized. I don’t see it in the next 20-25 years,” says Powell.
The city has future plans for more than just a fire station, but Powell believes those should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
“You can have a nice home that someone built the city bought a piece of property right next door, and they zoned it as ‘P’ and then they could put a waste water treatment plant,” says Powell.
Despite the Planning Commissions recommendations, the Council has the final say.
“I’m going to be very disappointed if this passes in council,” says Powell.
Glover says, “there is a much bigger picture here for that.”
The final vote will come after an election. Three of the six City Council seats could change hands this month, which leaves this decision up in the air.
That City Council election is April 30th.