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North Augusta City Council will hear plans for Riverside Village park at next meeting

August 8, 2018

Another piece of Riverside Village is moving toward becoming a reality – North Augusta City Council members will hear a presentation regarding Riverside Village Park during their study session Monday evening.

The park at Riverside Village is one of many aspects still under construction at the “live, work, play” development.

During their meeting, council will also be holding the second of three votes on an ordinance that has been a contentious issue between the city and residents for a few months.

During council’s July 2 meeting, the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the text of the city’s Neighborhood Preservation Overlay District passed 4-3.

Michael Pace, the owner of Mountaineer Pest Services off of Georgia Avenue, has applied for a text amendment that would remove the section of Georgia Avenue where his business is located from the overlay, saying he would like to build to General Commercial standards. The section is between Briggs Avenue and Maddox Avenue.

The Neighborhood Preservation Overlay District is in place to provide a smooth transition from residential neighborhoods to commercial areas, and has restrictions on business hours, building size and character.

The ordinance was tabled twice by council. Concerned residents have spoken against the amendment, saying it is being “ramrodded” by the city, and expressing safety concerns.

During the July 16 council meeting, mayor pro tempore Ken McDowell told council and those present at the meeting that Councilwoman Pat Carpenter, who was not present, had recused herself from future votes on the ordinance. Carpenter voted in favor of the first reading, but City Attorney Kelly Zier said the recusal would not impact the July 2 vote.

Council will also be voting on a resolution that would request a section of Bunting Drive be removed from the State Highway System and ownership and maintenance be transferred to the city.

The resolution says South Carolina Department of Transportation denied a permit application from the city for construction of storm drainage piping.

The resolution says the city’s engineering department reviewed the plans and recommends the city pursue them. The plans would install underground storm drainage piping within the travel lanes of a portion of Bunting Drive.

The resolution, if passed, would state “City Council has determined that it is in the public interest for the city to request that SCDOT remove a portion of Bunting Drive from the state secondary highway system and for the city to acquire the Road and the continuing maintenance obligations from SCDOT.”

Council will also consider a resolution that would establish a capital improvement program and authorize First Tryon Securities to provided capital planning advisory services to the city in an amount no greater than $60,000.

Council will also receive a recommendation from Planning Commission regarding amending the FEMA flood insurance section of the development code.

Planning Commission voted unanimously Thursday evening to recommend that City Council amend the section with FEMA’s new floodplain maps.

“So basically, every few years, FEMA comes along and they restudy floodplains” said Libby Hodges, the city’s Planning and Development director.

Hodges said they look at data and re-evaluate floodplain levels, and in order to stay within their system, municipalities must adopt their revised maps.

Council will vote on the first two of three readings of the ordinance amending the section.

During their study session, council will also hear a presentation from North Augusta Forward.

City Council meets Monday on the third floor of the municipal building at 100 Georgia Ave. The study session is at 6 p.m. and the regular meeting is at 7 p.m.

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