Columbia Free Times
News
Growth & Development

Help Plan Columbia’s Future

By Eva Moore
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 |
Richland County and the City of Columbia are both writing new land use plans — comprehensive visions for how the region should grow and how its neighborhoods should look and feel. And they want your help.

“That land use plan is then going to be used to influence how we rewrite our zoning codes,” says John Fellows, the city’s planning administrator.

The city’s zoning laws, which date to the 1970s, are truly outdated.

“The current regulations from the ’70s were developed at a time when we were increasingly suburbanizing,” says Krista Hampton, director of planning and development services. “That’s still a pattern we have,” she says, which they plan to retain. But they have to recognize that the city’s now urbanizing.

Outdated zoning is a competitive disadvantage for Columbia, say Hampton and Fellows.

“Our development regulations and zoning code are almost unintelligible to the layperson at this point,” Hampton says. “I don’t want someone to have to call staff to do a project. I want them to open up the regulations and say ‘Here’s what I need to do.’”

“From an economic development perspective, if it looks like it’s going to be easier for someone to develop a business park [elsewhere] because it’s easier for them to look at the code and they look at ours and get confused,” Fellows adds, the developer might go elsewhere.

The city hired a consultant with up to a $400,000 budget to help guide both processes. And it all begins with a series of public input sessions to which everyone — new and longtime residents, homeowners, renters, developers, business owners — is invited.

Want to get involved? Here’s how.

Plan Columbia Workshop

Tuesday, June 24, 6-8 p.m.: A hands-on, workshop-style session.

Wednesday, June 25, 9 a.m.-noon and 2-4:30 p.m.: Drop in, chat with the consultants, offer feedback.

Thursday, June 26 6-8 p.m.: A wrap-up session covering what’s been learned the previous two days.

All sessions will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, Ballroom A. For more information and to RSVP, visit weplantogether.org.

Printer-friendly version

Let us know what you think: Email editor@free-times.com.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to Free Times Newsletters
Featured Messages
SEARCH FREE TIMES

Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18:

Cafe Strudel

300 State St., 803-794-6634

West Columbia

cafestrudel.com

Terra
100 State St., 803-791-3443
West Columbia
terrasc.com

Il Giorgione
 Pizzeria & Wine Bar

2406 Devine St., 803-521-5063
Columbia


ilgiorgione.com

Blue Marlin

1200 Lincoln St.
, 803-799-3838

The Vista, Columbia

bluemarlincolumbia.com

The Southern Belly BBQ

1332 Rosewood Dr., 803-667-9533

Columbia

southernbellybbq.com

Featured Jobs
Real Estate Spotlight
Featured Apartments
Marketplace
Home Real Estate Classifieds Rant + Rave | Photos Movies | Archives Contact