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Simpsonville residents to review new concepts

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Monday's meeting allows refinement of downtown ideas

By Steve Doyle

 Residents of Simpsonville will convene again Monday to see what a consulting company has done with their input on a plan to build a downtown district for the city.

A few dozen residents and city officials brainstormed in February with HTNB, a consulting firm from Louisville, to come up with an outline for a plan for the Simpsonville of the future.

HTNB will report back Monday from 6:30 to 8:30 in the Simpsonville Gym, and residents are invited to help narrow that original list of ideas and set next steps for the project.

Simpsonville’s Town Council voted last fall to hire HTNB in the development of a plan for what Simpsonville will look like in the future, with the idea of establishing a downtown district along U.S. 60.

In February, HTNB showed concepts to citizens, collected their feedback on long lists and now representatives have translated those for review.

“They will have illustrations and sketches that people can see,” City Administrator David Eaton said. “They’ll ask the citizens if they got it right [in translating their ideas].”

Many of the ideas in the original meeting focused on maintaining Simpsonville’s image as a small town and not letting it get overrun with development. There seemed a consensus of interest in a town-square concept that allows for open space for people to convene with sidewalks and improved street lighting.

“The main thing I heard is, ‘We want to be Simpsonville; we want an identity,’’’ Simpsonville Mayor Steve Eden said after the first meeting. “We looked at a lot of things that had worked in other cities, but everyone wanted to remain Simpsonville. We want to improve our look but not lose our image.”

The city is committed to having a plan in place by the fall.

 “After this meeting, they’ll come back to the city commission with updated plans to accept or change,” Eaton said. “Once the commission is happy, we will go to the [Triple S] zoning board to lock in the plans for the future. “