The city of Grovetown was the topic of conversation at Thursday’s Columbia County Planning Commission meeting.
Grovetown City Councilman Sonny McDowell gave a 25-minute presentation on the city’s Urban Redevelopment Plan, which he said would modernize the city center.
McDowell called the five-year plan “ambitious,” “visionary” and “dramatic.”
“We’ve got to change our vision before we do anything,” he said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”
The plan is aimed at redesigning the older areas of the city, which includes many residential and commercial parts along Robinson Avenue, the railroad tracks and Washington Road.
The end result would replace the city’s abandoned and dangerous structures identified in the plan’s Findings of Necessity with mixed-use residential and commercial development.
Though no funding has been allocated to the plan, it’s estimated to cost about $200,000 the first two years and increase in the following years.
The first two years will focus on changing land use and nuisance ordinances. A traffic study of Robinson Avenue is also planned.
“We are committed to this plan,” McDowell said.
Planning Commissioner Thom Tuckey said improving Robinson Avenue is critical to growth at Fort Gordon.
Tuckey also mentioned there could be possible resistance about using transportation funding from the 1-percent transportation sales tax, which is up for voter approval July 31.
“The biggest challenge to overcome in the whole thing is that it’s another tax,” he said.
After the presentation, Chairwoman Jean Garniewicz echoed McDowell’s earlier sentiment about the plan being ambitious.
“I think it needs to be done,” she said. “Grovetown is obviously growing.”