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Simpsonville advances town-center process

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By Steve Doyle

Simpsonville commissioners took one firm step and one initial step Wednesday in a methodical process to implement their long-range plan to build a unique downtown corridor along U.S. 60.

The commission first gave final approval to a new ordinance that creates the new Village Center Form District, following the process specified late last year by the Triple S Planning & Zoning Commission.

Then commissioners passed a first reading of a new ordinance to rezone properties on both sides of U.S. 60 from Maplewood Drive in the west to Old Veechdale Road in the east from either commercial or residential to the new VCFD.

What that means is that if there are any changes planned for those properties – either structural or in how they are used – plans would have to conform to the new regulations specified by the VCFD.

The final approval of that ordinance could occur at the commission’s next meeting, which is March 2.

Commissioners had reviewed a property-by-property map that showed who owned each section in this corridor and for what purpose the land was being used.

 

Sidewalk project

Commissioners are eager, too, to get moving with the sidewalk project they have planned as the first step in that downtown district. A federal surplus grant will help pay for this project, and the officials are awaiting state approval for the money to be released.

Mayor Steve Eden, City Administrator David Eaton and Commissioner Cary Vowels all met with ADI, the engineering company it has chosen to build the sidewalks, new street lights, benches and other accoutrement along the south side of U.S. 60 from Fairview Drive to Old Veechdale Road.

“The mayor did a really great job and got us a very fair deal [with ADI],” Eaton said. “We’ve done all that we can. It’s up to the state.”

Said Eden: “They’re [ADI] eager to get going. I got an E-mail today. I told them it’s in the state’s hands, and we just have to wait. Nothing we can do.”

 

Maintenance building expansion

Commissioners approved a bid of $8,547 from Benchmark Home Improvement to build an addition to the city’s existing maintenance building.

Eden cited the need to have a non-heated storage area because vehicles had taken up more space in the existing area. No bid was required because the cost fell below $20,000.

 

The commission also:

§       Discussed a plan to revise the ordinance that specifies the size of the Parks Board so that it could have seven members – including Commissioner Cary Vowels – instead of five. A quorum of four would be required at a meeting for action to be taken.

§       Reviewed a new policy and form for open-records request that would be filed with City Clerk Debbie Batliner.