Columbia County commissioners re-examined a master plan for the Evans Town Center Park during a Tuesday meeting.
After a presentation by park consultants Mack Cain and Andrea Greco, commissioners voted 4-0 to accept a plan that includes street parking on Evans Town Center Boulevard next to the proposed 17-acre park.
Calling it too dangerous, many residents objected to street parking during a January public hearing.
However, Commissioner Ron Thigpen said traffic barriers such as parking islands can slow motorists down on that stretch of Evans Town Center Boulevard to increase safety near the park.
Cain expects the park will become "the center of town."
"The philosophy of a park is that it is an extension of a home," he said. "It's an extension of the community."
Design details of the passive-recreation park include a nearly 4-acre open field, three smaller fields, pavilions, a playground, a zero-depth water fountain, walking trails and picnic areas.
Cain pointed out at the meeting that the masterplan might change as plans for the park progress.
About $8 million needed to fund construction of the park likely will come from sales tax funds.
A new 1-cent sales tax referendum could go before voters in November.
Also at the meeting, commissioners granted the rezoning of about 12 acres at the corner of Columbia and Hereford Farm roads to make way for an 180,000-square-foot shopping center.
Called the Village at Hereford Farm, possible businesses for the Blanchard and Calhoun development include a grocery store, a dry cleaner and a pharmacy.
County planners expect the center to open in 2010, according to county documents.
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