Housing Authority drops Immaculate Conception plan, adopts another

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011 2:12 PM
Last updated 7:57 PM
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Bowing to pressure from preservationists, Augusta Housing Authority abandoned plans to redevelop the former Immaculate Conception church and school on Laney Walker Boulevard into apartments and a community center.

The authority, taking action on its last agenda item at the start of a regular meeting today, voted instead to move forward with what they called “Plan B,” to develop a nearby area bounded by Twiggs Street, Picquet Avenue and Wrightsboro Road into 93 units of duplexes, single-family homes and townhomes.

Before making the move, board members debated filing an official complaint against Historic Augusta Executive Director Erick Montgomery, whom member David Steele said had gone “behind our backs” to prevent the authority from redeveloping the deteriorating church and school, which are presently owned by the Catholic Church.

Montgomery had raised concerns about the redevelopment plan’s impact on the 1913 church and school, which the authority proposed converting into apartments. Both were established by the African Missionary Fathers of the Catholic Church, and the school educated neighborhood children of all faiths until the school moved to Telfair Street in 2009.

Montgomery said he was disappointed that the authority had abandoned the project and denied going behind anyone’s back regarding what are “historic, very important cultural and architectural resources” in the Laney-Walker neighborhood.

“We were invited by the state historic preservation office to comment on that, as we are on any and every project that affects historic properties in Augusta,” Montgomery said.

Richard Arfman, AHA director of planning and development, said additional requirements placed on the authority’s use on what was a historic site simply made the project no longer feasible.

“Rather than restoration,” board chairman Rodger Murchison said as the authority voted, “our job is housing. We were fighting it from the restoration side.”

The group agreed to drop the proposal at Immaculate Conception and adopt instead a proposal called “Twiggs Circle” developed by APD Urban Planning and Development, a consulting firm employed by Augusta to redevelop areas in the Laney Walker and Bethlehem historic districts.

Authority Executive Director Jacob Oglesby said most of the Twiggs property to become phases 1 and 2 of Twiggs Circle was owned by Augusta Land Bank and that the city would soon convey clear title to most of the land.

The land bank’s offering price is the best the authority can get, so long as the authority doesn’t have to shoulder the cost of demolition, authority vice chairman Rev. K.B. Martin said.

According to a site plan, Phase 1 of Twiggs Circle includes 16 duplexes and eight single-family homes, all new construction reserved for senior citizens, along sections of Wrightsboro Road, South Boundary and James Brown Boulevard.

The authority’s budget for Phase 1 is between $3 and $3.5 million, while estimated costs for the second and third phases have not been determined, according to Arfman. The authority expects to pay $1,000 to $2,000 an acre for property from the land bank, he said.

Phase 2 includes 24 new single-family homes and four restorations along Twiggs Street between Wrightsboro and Picquet, with plans for a possible park or senior citizen center at the intersection of Nicholas Street and Twiggs.

Phase 3 according to the site plan is “more of a long-term vision,” as much of the property is privately owned. Itcalls for construction of 22 single-family homes and 23 townhouses along Picquet Street.

Comments (23) Add comment
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BevBoudreaux
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BevBoudreaux 12/14/11 - 03:17 pm
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Historic "Preservationists"

Historic "Preservationists" strike again.

floridasun
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floridasun 12/14/11 - 03:44 pm
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I am glad the Immaculate

I am glad the Immaculate Conception Church will not be destroyed.
Once a historic resource is gone it can not be replaced

BevBoudreaux
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BevBoudreaux 12/14/11 - 03:58 pm
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who said it was going to be

who said it was going to be "destroyed"? It was going to be re-used, but the "preservationists" would rather have these buildings sitting empty, rotting and eventually falling in from neglect then have them put back to re-use. Ask the folks in Molde Town how the Historic "preservation" rules are working out for them.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/14/11 - 04:13 pm
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Floridasun wrote, “Once a

Floridasun wrote, “Once a historic resource is gone it can not be replaced.”

What do you mean? Of course it can be replaced. It can be replaced by a shopping center, an apartment complex, a cell phone tower, or any number of things. It can be replaced by a park for all the neighborhood children to play in. That would be better than rotting in the rain.

bjphysics
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bjphysics 12/14/11 - 04:22 pm
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Where does the term

Where does the term "Immaculate Conception" come from?

Villageman
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Villageman 12/14/11 - 04:23 pm
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bj.. it comes from the virgin

bj.. it comes from the virgin birth

bjphysics
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bjphysics 12/14/11 - 04:29 pm
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Villageman: “bj.. it comes

Villageman: “bj.. it comes from the virgin birth”

Is that your opinion, consensus opinion, or definitional fact?

pointstoponder
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pointstoponder 12/14/11 - 04:37 pm
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@bjphysics..."Is that your

@bjphysics..."Is that your opinion, consensus opinion, or definitional fact?"

A passing familiarity with the tenets of Catholicism would give you the obvious answer, unless you are just trying to be confrontational.

bjphysics
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bjphysics 12/14/11 - 04:43 pm
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pointstoponder: “A passing

pointstoponder: “A passing familiarity with the tenets of Catholicism would give you the obvious answer, unless you are just trying to be confrontational.”

And that answer is?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/14/11 - 04:54 pm
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Here's the article from the

Here's the article from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Immaculate Conception

bjphysics
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bjphysics 12/15/11 - 01:55 am
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Why won’t the knowers come

Why won’t the knowers come out and admit the unknower’s that think they know, are wrong? Is this Christian Political Correctness?

Villageman posted “bj.. it comes from the virgin birth” and this is representative of the common misconception among both Catholic and Protestant Christians. Why provide cover? Why post the hide?

I disagree Dustin Jarrel, it is a common misconception among all Christians, be they Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, or Jehovah Witness.

An atheist asked me this question in 1979 and I, a Catholic at the time, gave the usual incorrect answer. When I got home I asked my father, a former altar boy and he gave the common but incorrect answer. I asked my sister and brother attending Catholic schools and they gave the wrong but common answer.

Giving the incorrect answer is not a Protestant thing, it’s a Christian thing. Most Christians are unaware of this fundamental tenet of Catholic dogma; [nothing in Protestantism disavows this tenet, it is a Christian universal and yet]*, few of the laymen know about it.

*removed, corrected on edit

LuvMyTown
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LuvMyTown 12/14/11 - 05:41 pm
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Too bad. The other property

Too bad.
The other property must have been cheaper.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/14/11 - 06:00 pm
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BJPhysics wrote: Most

BJPhysics wrote:

Most Christians are unaware of this fundamental tenet of all Christianity; nothing in Protestantism disavows this tenet, it is a Christian universal and yet, few of the laymen know about it.

Let me preface my comment with this: there is no monolithic agreement in Protestantism. There are denominations and sects and a great diversity in Protestant beliefs, tenets, and doctrines.

That being said, while your statement that most Protestants do not know what immaculate conception is is true, you can nearly universally say that Protestants do not accept it as a valid belief, tenet, or doctrine of their faith whenever they do discover what the Catholic dogma of the immaculate conception is.

You will not find immaculate conception in the doctrines of the major denominations (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican, Baptist, Church of God, Church of Christ, Assembly of God, and more).

vbost
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vbost 12/14/11 - 06:01 pm
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Erick Montgomery needs to

Erick Montgomery needs to move on!!!

InChristLove
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InChristLove 12/14/11 - 06:38 pm
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"You will not find immaculate

"You will not find immaculate conception in the doctrines of the major denominations (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Anglican, Baptist, Church of God, Church of Christ, Assembly of God, and more)."

Thank you Little Lamb. Any denomination that follows the Word of God knows that we all sin, no one (not even Mary) is/was without sin except for Jesus Christ the messiah.

Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

faithson
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faithson 12/14/11 - 10:05 pm
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bj... without sin, a tenant

bj... without sin, a tenant many protestant denominations are agreeable to. ps. old altar boy myself, your dad and I had many a similar experience. I always loved shoving the patten into the throats of my good friends and a quick sip of vino was not unheard of.

GaStang22
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GaStang22 12/14/11 - 11:46 pm
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Section 8 apartments or
Unpublished

Section 8 apartments or anything AHA = "destroyed" all day long no matter where it goes!!!! Show me one thats not!

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/15/11 - 08:58 am
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BJ is still maintaining that

BJ is still maintaining that Protestants do not reject the Marian Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Here is a link that gives opinions of random posters addressing that very issue:

Marian Doctrines

madgerman
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madgerman 12/15/11 - 09:04 am
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Noted items. 1. for phase 1
Unpublished

Noted items. 1. for phase 1 we are spending $146K per living unit. 2. We are using a Jacksonville development firm but no mention in the budget or the article as to what it cost. 3. Some of the property will come from the land bank - who owns the rest? 4. We know the cost (hahahaha) for phase 1 but no mention for follow on phases. 5. Who wants to bet that after they are built, that they change the definition of SENIOR for who will be living there? 6. are therse section 8 or are we going to give them to people for a practically free cost? And finally, how can a minister possibly have the time to sit on a commission deciding who gets free property? I would have thought he would be too busy saving souls or stopping the violence downtown.

madgerman
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madgerman 12/15/11 - 09:04 am
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Noted items. 1. for phase 1
Unpublished

Noted items. 1. for phase 1 we are spending $146K per living unit. 2. We are using a Jacksonville development firm but no mention in the budget or the article as to what it cost. 3. Some of the property will come from the land bank - who owns the rest? 4. We know the cost (hahahaha) for phase 1 but no mention for follow on phases. 5. Who wants to bet that after they are built, that they change the definition of SENIOR for who will be living there? 6. are therse section 8 or are we going to give them to people for a practically free cost? And finally, how can a minister possibly have the time to sit on a commission deciding who gets free property? I would have thought he would be too busy saving souls or stopping the violence downtown.

bjphysics
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bjphysics 12/15/11 - 09:25 am
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Little Lamb, Thursday, Dec.

Little Lamb, Thursday, Dec. 15 7:58 AM: “BJ is still maintaining that Protestants do not reject the Marian Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.”

Reread it, I corrected it on Thursday, Dec. 15 12:55 AM. As it now reads, I have corrected my mistake.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/15/11 - 09:32 am
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Sorry, BJ, I did not catch

Sorry, BJ, I did not catch that by putting the brackets around the incorrect clause you were announcing that you were deleting it. I understand your editing style now.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/15/11 - 09:34 am
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MadGerman, the thing is that

MadGerman, the thing is that Rev. Martin has a staff to do the mundane business of the church, freeing him up to meddle in local politics.

bjphysics
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bjphysics 12/15/11 - 09:45 am
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Little Lamb, when I clean

Little Lamb, when I clean things up, I just delete but in this case there was a major factual point of contention I was wrong about so deleting would be dishonest and sneaky; hence, the brackets to preserve a record of my original mistake.

I’d do a strikethrough if I knew how. How do I get access to the fancy editing commands on here?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/15/11 - 10:28 am
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I just misunderstood the

I just misunderstood the intention of the brackets. Once I thought about it a little, I realized that your method was a good one to point out the correction.

kiwiinamerica
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kiwiinamerica 12/15/11 - 12:01 pm
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OK, so if I might interrupt
Unpublished

OK, so if I might interrupt the theology discussion for a moment, where does this leave IC? Holy Trinity Catholic Church had been hoping to get this property off their books, for financial reasons, principally. Does this mean they're now back to square one and now have to find another buyer? Has the sale of IC to the AHA actually fallen through or did the sale go ahead and the AHA is now stuck with a historic property which it isn't sure how to utilize?

Anyone?

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 12/15/11 - 12:50 pm
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KiwiinAmerica wrote: Holy

KiwiinAmerica wrote:

Holy Trinity Catholic Church had been hoping to get this property off their books, for financial reasons, principally. Does this mean they're now back to square one and now have to find another buyer? Has the sale of IC to the AHA actually fallen through or did the sale go ahead and the AHA is now stuck with a historic property which it isn't sure how to utilize? Anyone?

The article up above says the property is still owned by the Catholic Church. From your quote I assume that would be Holy Trinity.

kiwiinamerica
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kiwiinamerica 12/15/11 - 12:54 pm
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Yep, it does say
Unpublished

Yep, it does say that........it's just that I heard that the property had actually been sold. Maybe the deal never actually went all the way through.

Thanks, anyway.

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