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North Augusta council backs stadium plan

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 10:20 PM
Last updated 11:43 PM
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The North Augusta City Council voted 5-1 on Tuesday night for a resolution supporting “Project Jackson,” a large riverfront development that includes a new stadium for the Augusta Green­Jackets.

Councilman James Adams, the only vote against, said he opposed expending city money on the project.

Public comments lasted for more than two hours, and several homeowners from River Club subdivision, which adjoins the development site, spoke against the project.

Homeowners association President Steve Donahue said 85 percent of River Club homeowners surveyed, including him, opposed the development.

Asked by Councilwoman Carolyn Baggott to stand, about a third in the audience indicated they preferred a development with a hotel but no stadium.

Parking, traffic and congestion issues are among the concerns the city will continue to examine before it proceeds, Baggott said.

Homeowner Tim Pletcher said he had moved to the area with an understanding that it was “mixed use,” but not that one of its uses might include a stadium.

Donahue questioned how the riverfront site fits the requirements of South Caro­­lina law regarding tax-increment financing districts for “blight.”

He said that at least two houses in the district have been assessed at $1 million.

The $50 million proposal would be financed using revenue bonds serviced with
tax increments from new development in the tax district.

“Just ask yourself, is this blighted?” Donahue said, suggesting the city is “building the stadium first and looking for the justification later.”

Mayor Lark Jones said the city “didn’t have any offers on the table” such as the stadium, hotel, convention center and housing proposed when the tax district was completed in 2001.

At the meeting, homeowner Rod Berg questioned the density of the proposed development, to be accessed by a two-lane road, and suggested another location by two exit ramps of Interstate 520.

“After a ball game, after a wedding reception, those people are going to be walking right downtown,” Berg said. “I just don’t see this particular project being suitable for this 44 acres.”

Jones said that the entire project was “high density” but that the suitability of the density of the proposal would be reviewed.

The parts of the plan – including several restaurants and homes and apartment
developments – point to the riverfront location, Jones said.

“This really is a unique little community,” Berg said. “I really hate to lose our uniqueness and the closeness we have.”

The announcement last month that North Augusta officials had been in discussion with developers and GreenJackets promoters for months took some in the area by surprise, including in Augusta, where the GreenJackets have been asking for a new stadium for years.

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Techfan
6462
Points
Techfan 01/23/13 - 04:42 am
3
2
NIMBY

“After a ball game, after a wedding reception, those people are going to be walking right downtown,” Isn't that a good thing for the city's businesses?

agustinian
723
Points
agustinian 01/23/13 - 06:17 am
3
1
NIMBY This

"Not in my back yard" is the old trite saying that concerns necessary governmental functions that need to be put somewhere, like landfills, sewage treatment plants, utilities -- we all agree they are required, but no one wants them next to their neighborhood. I'm not aware of any necessary government function that comes with a baseball stadium, so go ahead PLAYBY. (Place it in Your Backyard)

Little Lamb
48969
Points
Little Lamb 01/23/13 - 08:08 am
4
2
PLAYBY

Susan McCord reported:

Homeowner Tim Pletcher said he had moved to the area with an understanding that it was “mixed use,” but not that one of its uses might include a stadium.

Condominiums, conference centers, grocery stores, apartments, ballparks, luxury riverfront homes, parking decks, golf courses, speed traps, shopping centers, hotels - - - - it's about as mixed use as you can get. It's North Augusta.

Little Lamb
48969
Points
Little Lamb 01/23/13 - 08:12 am
3
1
Walking Downtown

From the story:

“After a ball game, after a wedding reception, those people are going to be walking right downtown,” Rob Berg said. “I just don’t see this particular project being suitable for this 44 acres.”

I just don't see what is wrong with people walking downtown. What is Berg's beef here?

Oh, and Mr. Berg, I wouldn't worry about wedding receptions. You won't have that many in the ball park. Would you want your wedding reception in a ball park?

grinder48
2054
Points
grinder48 01/23/13 - 08:21 am
0
0
Roads & Infrastructure
Unpublished

I don't live there so have no dog in this hunt. Seems to me that the small city streets that run parallel to the river in that area are simply not adequate to handle the traffic, so if this development is going to take place, major investment in roads and infrastructure will be needed. Is that part of the plan and, if so, who's paying for it?

seenitB4
97254
Points
seenitB4 01/23/13 - 08:26 am
2
2
Whoa here nellie

Promises promises....all I can say is get it written in blood.....sometimes what is said is not always delivered....plans change with the economy/money..

We are still waiting for the high scale retail/apartments in Gwinnett location...nabors ain't happy campers..

Riverman1
93494
Points
Riverman1 01/23/13 - 08:43 am
1
2
SF Giants

Somebody involved better have a good connection with the SF Giants to ensure the team stays. I think they do with our local super scout living in Columbia Cty.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 01/23/13 - 06:17 pm
0
0
The little
Unpublished

city that could.

KSL
143582
Points
KSL 01/23/13 - 07:43 pm
1
2
Seenit is right

The only sure way to control what happens on property is to own it yourself and even then there are no guarantees.

member
67
Points
member 01/23/13 - 08:08 pm
1
1
the team leaves?

they will sign a long term, guaranteed lease - so no worries if the team were to leave for some reason.

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