Non-discrimination regs, lobbyists, but not apartment complex approved by commission

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The plan would have meant a lot more homes off Pleasant Home Road. Developers looking for a change of zoning to allow 190 apartments off the busy street.

Residents from nearby subdivisions turned out to tell city leaders no, and on a six to four vote the project was denied.

“So many residential neighborhoods in that area and it’s two lane and that many apartments being built that’s another 300 cars a day going in and out I just cannot support it,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.

But commissioners did support creating a non-discrimination ordinance.

This has the Compliance Department taking the lead on complaints of discrimination at city businesses. Commissioner heard from other cities with N-D-O’s and were told complaints are not common. 

“That’s where my apprehension came from was there a real need but at this point let’s go ahead let’s make it happen and hope we never have to use it,” said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

But what commissioners want to use is a lobbying firm, to bang the drum on the city’s behalf to work lawmakers in Atlanta, but also Washington D.C. 

“Not just Atlanta we need both of them we need them in both places the more our voices are being heard because a lot of time when the money comes down the federal level it stops at the state level,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.

Augusta commissioners want the lobbyists but right now the exact cost of hiring them is not known.

City leaders also approving the 2021 city budget that includes a big increase in spending thanks to the American Rescue act.

The commission is voting to re-appoint all members of the Coliseum Authority. 


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