Re the proposed location of Rhinehart's Oyster Bar:
"Of the people and by the people" is what our government is meant to do. Why, then, is the government of Columbia County not representing the neighborhoods of Glenwood, Evanston and Idylewyld who do not want Rhinehart's as a part of our environment?
The land at Belair Road and Owens Road is zoned C1. My understanding of that zoning code is that the business is supposed to cater to the surrounding area, and not intended to bring in traffic from outside areas. If the people living in the surrounding area do not want Rhinehart's to be present, then Rhinehart's will have to bring in outside traffic in order to stay open. If that is the case, then Rhinehart's should relocate to a C2-zoned location.
Traffic at the Belair and Owens/Cox Road intersection is already very heavy. According to the Columbia County traffic division there were more accidents at this intersection (46) than at the Belair and Columbia Road intersection. The traffic is compounded by the daily surge of traffic by cars and buses going to Bel Air Elementary School and Evans High School.
A bar would make that traffic even worse. Unfortunately, statistics prove that not every one leaving a bar is sober or should be driving. The argument that the school traffic and bar traffic would not occur at the same time is faulty; Evans High and Bel Air Elementary have many functions during evening hours.
The argument that there are no walking children in the area is totally false. There are children riding bikes to and from both schools. There are many students, mostly from Evans High, who walk down Owens Road. Increased traffic would increase the danger to our children.
Another reason the neighborhoods do not want Rhinehart's near our homes is the increase in light and noise pollution. These are our homes; this is a peaceful area. Rhinehart's has made a reputation of being rowdy. We don't want the sky lit up brightly. We don't want loud music and noises.
Wednesday night is Harley night. One motorcycle is not a bad thing, but the rumble of tens of motorcycles is very loud. We don't want that kind of noise. ...
Columbia County became a great place to live because it provided a good atmosphere for families. Schools are an important part of that sense of quality surroundings. Why is the school board so disinterested in this issue involving two of their schools? Why are the elected officials turning away from the petitions of the people who elected them into office? Where is the city planning that includes families and neighborhoods?
Rhinehart's does not blend into this area. The people in the surrounding area do not want a bar in their neighborhood.
Government by the people and for the people starts with government listening to the people. We do not want Rhinehart's!
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