Several members of the community spoke during the public comments section of last Thursday night’s City Council meeting in reference to a property located at 1215 Friend Street in Newberry.
Greg Talbot, Robert Shirey and Chris Kemper each echoed the thought that there be a review of the city’s Architectural Review Board or possibly a check of procedures and that board members were participating in continual education.
Shirey told council he was disappointed that the façade grant program was used to help pay for the painting of the building and felt the cost of painting was too expensive. He questioned the application and approval process for the façade grant and asked that council review the ARB process and grant funds.
Mayor Foster Senn told Talbot that City Council appreciated his comments and they would be kept in mind.
“I do want to mention to you that City staff has been working to update the zoning ordinance to include the ARB so your points come at a good time,” Senn said. “We have been working with a consultant, not only looking at the ARB, but some other things.”
Senn said that periodically, government must update verbiage in order to get things done. He went on to say that an update was something the City was currently looking at and that the comments were noted and would be considered.
Under old business, City Council approved second and final reading of an ordinance to assign a zoning classification and amend the zoning and future land use map for parcels 340-1-57 and 340-1-72 fronting Smith Road.
Senn said there was a developer interested in putting a subdivision on the property, the first phase to include 29 homes and the second to include 53 homes. The Newberry Planning Commission has recommended a zoning classification of PD-Planned Development, Senn said.
The developer, Senn said has submitted 12 home plans that have been looked at and considered by the planning commission. If any changes are made in the developer’s plans, they would have to come back before City Council for approval. The plans also call for some open green space so that the community will have an area for recreation.
Councilman Thomas Louis Boyd made a motion, seconded by Councilman Edwin Wicker to adopt the second reading of the ordinance.
City Manager Matt DeWitt says he is exciting to be continuing to work with a developer who has had success with home developments in Augusta and Greenwood and that ground will be broken on the new development within the summer, according to the developer’s schedule.
Under new business, council approved a request to allow the Newberry Downtown Development Association to sell beer, wine and sodas as a fundraising effort during the Party in the Park event held in Memorial Park on July 20 beginning at 6 p.m. until the end of the concert.
Amy Talbot spoke on behalf of the NDDA stating that they had initially requested to sell beer and wine at all of the Party in the Park events, but would use the July 20 date as a trial run to see how it was received.
Beer and wine only will be sold and served by designated vendors and venues with the proper permitting, using plastic cups no larger than 16 ounces to be taken from designated vendors and venues into the outdoor event area. Patrons will be allowed to travel the event area with an alcoholic beverage of beer or wine only, by foot, if they are carrying the allowed beverage in a designated event cup and are wearing the approved over 21 wristbands. Any outside beverages are prohibited.
The event area includes the closed areas of McKibben and Boyce Streets and Memorial Park which is the area typically associated with the concert series in the park, Senn said.
Councilmember Lemont Glasgow made a motion, seconded by Councilmember Zebbie Goudelock to allow the NDDA to sell beer, wine and sodas during the July 20 Party in the Park event.