NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – A new home is on the horizon for some North Augusta first responders.
The plan to build a new public safety headquarters in North Augusta has been in the works for more than 10 years. City council members approved the first reading of an ordinance at their meeting Monday to rezone the old Seven Gables and Flythe properties to public use.
“I’m excited that we’re going to be able to save those two Flythe properties. Those are historic properties that are going to be torn down if we don’t do this so yeah I think it’s going to be great,” said Mayor Briton Williams.
Several people at the meeting said they are not against a new public safety headquarters just the location where it would be built because of the history behind the land.
Williams said, “People are passionate about that and it is something that’s been there a long time but we are trying to preserve some of that history by the Flythe property. Those two buildings, we want to preserve those two buildings.”
According to Councilman Eric Presnell, people have told him they wish Seven Gables or the Palmetto Lodge could be rebuilt but it’s not possible due to the city’s code.
Presnell explained, “That burned down in 2008 could never be rebuilt there because it exceeds the 3,000 square foot of the overlay as long as when it was a restaurant it was able to stay open. Well due to the overlays, it couldn’t stay open past 7:00 o’clock. There’s some other things in there but those are the two glaring ones.”
Mayor Briton Williams reports a new police headquarters would be built on the property as well as a new municipal court facility. Leaders are still taking suggestions from people.
Williams added, “The feedback of the redesign came from the citizens. The idea of saving the greenspace from the corner of Butler Avenue came from a citizen who lives on Butler Avenue that we like. We got to make it work.”
The rezoning ordinance will have to be read and approved again by the North Augusta City Council before everything is set in stone for the new public safety headquarters.