There are too many compromises the commissioners are making with the county
codes (re Barry Paschal's Feb. 29 column, "Bending the rules now a trend?").
I have noticed this for several years, having lived in Augusta 19 years off
and on. It seems that stewardship of our land has gone downhill, and it goes
right along with our lack of responsible roadway planning for safety. It is
a fact that landscaped (and median-laden) highways slow people by calming
them. Trees were eliminated along I-20 for safety, but there is no adequate
reason that we have almost eliminated them everywhere else.
I voted for Andy Kingery for County Commission chairman because I knew that
a contractor (Ron Cross) would tend to be less passionate about the
aesthetics and long-term growth of our community. As Paschal noted, there is
"no slowdown in business development." I believe that is because the schools
are good. Also, our law enforcement efficiently patrols traffic and prevents
But there is one more factor the Commission sometimes forgets: Baby boomers,
thousands of us, will soon decide where we want to retire. Many of us like
recreation parks, roads with sidewalks, lots of trees (filtering dust and
noise), golf courses, nature walks, wild-life areas, big libraries, buses to
town and the mall, restaurants without alcohol and community family events.
Columbia County is strong on some of these, but not all of them, and, thanks
to Paschal's observations, three serious ones were identified: compromising
the county tree ordinance, allowing bigger buildings close to subdivisions
and permitting noisy racing (above 60 decibels). I will remember this the
next time I vote.
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