Sylvia Cooper

City Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

Time for annual Turkey of the Year Awards

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Life in the fast lane is not as glamorous as you might think.

Ernie had a quadruple bypass last week. And that’s easier said than done. It took the skills of Dr. Vinayak Kamath, director, Heart and Cardiovascular Health Services at GHSU, and a team of anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians and about eight hours from an antiseptic bath at 6 a.m. to a room in the intensive care unit.

He was in ICU two days under the constant care of beautiful nurses Amber Forrester, Gaynor Knapp and Rhonda Meno and others whose names I missed. Those girls never stop.

When Ernie came to, he was exuberantly happy to be alive, but about the third day he didn’t seem so jubilant. When I said something about it, he said once the anesthesia and drugs started wearing off things didn’t seem so rosy.

As you know if you’ve ever been there, there’s no day or night in ICU. Dozens of the best medical personnel in the country are busy, busy, busy working to keep incredibly sick and injured people alive.

What a treasure this teaching hospital and medical college are for this area! And if city leaders and elected officials ever let it get away, they’ll have to put Augusta on life support.

Anyway, Ernie is doing great. Much better than expected and will be home Sunday.

My sister June said to expect him to be depressed. I said, “I’m already depressed,” to which she replied, “You don’t count.”

You do remember my big sister, June, don’t you? The one who knew everything and still does? She even knew George Washington’s head was preserved in a box in a building on Fourth Street in Tifton. She showed me the box behind a glass store front one time.

FEAST OR FAMINE: Wouldn’t you just know it? After weeks of stagnation, with no big news coming from the Augusta Commission, I’m on hospital duty and all hell breaks loose.

City Administrator Fred Russell goes off to interview for a county manager’s job in Sarasota, Fla., which he didn’t get; Commissioners Bill Lockett, Alvin Mason and J.R. Hatney storm out of last week’s meeting; Augusta Superior Court Judge David Roper rules in the Augusta Baptist Minister’s Conference, et al’s, lawsuit against the city and six of the 10 commissioners. So it’s no wonder I let Thanksgiving and the Turkey of the Year awards slip up on me.

NOT THE ANSWER TO A PRAYER: Tuesday’s commission was pretty hum-drum for the most part, with some controversy over the proposed Laney Walker neighborhood overlay zoning and other zoning matters.

I don’t know whether attorney Jimmy Findlay was trying to ingratiate himself with the black commissioners with a little speech about civil rights, former governors George Wallace and Carl Sanders and the rule of law, prefatory to getting on with the facts of his client’s zoning issue, but I don’t think it worked. Both Lockett and Mason made a point of saying they appreciated the history lesson, but….

Pastor Larry Fryer had gotten the meeting started with a three-minute prayer calling for unity and harmony, which seemed to have been answered until it came to approving the revised employee personnel manual. Commissioner Joe Jackson put the item on the regular meeting agenda without first letting it go through the administrative services committee, which Lockett chairs. So Lockett and Mason took exception. Lockett was particularly peeved because some of the changes discussed in a work session were not on the final draft.

Jackson and company – Commissioners Joe Bowles, Jerry Brigham, Grady Smith, Wayne Guilfoyle and Matt Aitken – say they’re sick of Lockett’s constant nit-picking and Mason’s insults (He said on TV he didn’t like them and thought what they were doing as far as the manual was unethical, if not illegal.) Jackson said he knew that after a year’s haggling over the manual, another week wouldn’t make any difference. So they approved it and the 2012 budget in the last three minutes.

NOW CAN WE STOP THE TEMPER TANTRUMS?: Two days later, Judge Roper ruled in favor of the city, the mayor and the six white commissioners and against the Baptist Ministers Conference of Augusta, Metro Courier Publisher Barbara Gordon, Mallory Millender and the Revs. K.B. Martin, James Williams and Melvin Ivey, finding that the commission did not overstep its bounds in delegating more power to the city administrator and changing several other provisions in the personnel manual.

Hopefully, that will be the end of an issue about which more deliberate lies have been told than anything I can remember in city government. By approving the personnel manual, commissioners were not trying to give the administrator the power to hire and fire department heads, only the power to recommend candidates to the commission who would have the final say. Some of the people who ran around telling folks it would give Russell hiring and firing power and change the structure of the government knew it wasn’t true but kept on saying it anyway. I guess they had their reasons.

TURKEY OF THE YEAR: Welcome to the Sixth Annual Turkey of the Year Awards.

The pickings were a little thin this year because there are no local elections this month, no forums or debates that always produce lots of bird-brained statements and big fat turkeys. But I scratched around and came up with a few worth honoring.

Russell gets the Defeated Turkey award because he strutted off to Sarasota to interview for another job and came back with his tail feathers dragging the ground.

Boy King Mayor Deke Copenhaver gets the Tough Turkey award because after months and months of Iron Man training, he’s all muscle and bone.

Commissioner Aitken gets dual awards this year. He gets the Trapped Turkey award for letting a TV reporter pin him down to admitting he’d voted for the 2012 city budget without knowing it included layoffs for 34 employees. And he gets the Cooked Goose award for not knowing what was in the budget before voting for it.

Augusta lawyer Chris Nicholson gets the Penned-up Turkey award because he got sassy with State Court Judge David Watkins, walked out on his client, ignored the judge’s order, was found in contempt, fined and sentenced to 20 days in jail, which ended up being one day. He reported to the jail to serve that stiff sentence Friday.

Former Augusta Utilities Department employee Shaheem Unique Monroe and his supervisor, Patrick Maurice Cooper, will likewise share the Brass Turkey award for being arrested for stealing 11 industrial brass water meters and a large spool of copper tubing from the city.

Commissioner Smith gets the Best Actor Turkey award for playing dumb every time commissioners discuss Forest Hills Golf Course’s $149-a-month water bill.

Lockett and Mason will share the Top Turkey award for publically insulting anybody and everybody in city government and questioning their honesty and integrity.

Comments (33) Add comment
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CorporalGripweed
0
Points
CorporalGripweed 11/19/11 - 08:45 pm
0
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We are sick of Matt Aitken

We are sick of Matt Aitken not knowing what he is voting on, or why.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 11/19/11 - 09:00 pm
0
0
i'm glad ernie's ok. Lockett
Unpublished

i'm glad ernie's ok.
Lockett and mason have pretty legitimate complaints about the core four turkeys and the gang of six turkeys.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 11/19/11 - 09:14 pm
0
0
A turkey award isn't

A turkey award isn't appropriate for Deke "The Ribbon-Cutter" Copenhaver.

He deserves a bird more fitting of taking flight and fleeing the coop because he is gone with the wind at the slightest hint of controversy.

Brad Owens
4727
Points
Brad Owens 11/20/11 - 06:52 am
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Great to hear about Ernie,

Great to hear about Ernie, glad he is doing so well and I am also glad you had a firsthand experience with how great MCG really is.

Now, politics...

"Lockett was particularly peeved because some of the changes discussed in a work session were not on the final draft..."

Being that he chairs the committee that is in charge of these matters, he has every right to be "peeved" when they pull a fast one, as usual. The commissioners will regret this once the commission has a six vote black majority and a black mayor, but by that time they will have the city so far in debt and revenues locked in for 50 years going to the CABAL that who is Captain of the overload sinking ship will no longer matter.

Please note that their money is tied to the Hotel-Motel tax, not general fund taxes, so it will not be affected by the budget crunches coming in the next few years.

Funny how Sylvia missed all the ParkinGate stuff, the land grab behind the barely mentioned P&Z drama here and seems to really feel that the only folks down there thinking are somehow just not "getting it."

I love how Lockett and Mason are called names "for publically insulting anybody and everybody in city government and questioning their honesty and integrity..."

Ironic?

I have an old saying I used when in the Army a lot. It is one of Gen. Patton's Principles for Life and Leadership. He said, "If everyone is thinking alike, then nobody's thinking."

God Bless Bill Lockett and Al Mason for having the guts to stand up and say enough is enough! At least they look a little deeper and actually want to READ items like the budget before they vote on it. They want to KNOW the changes to the structure of the giverment and understand them before they vote on it.

Al and Bill deserve some support and respect for what it is they are doing, they are the only ones on the commission that "get it" in my opinion.

Brad

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 11/20/11 - 12:42 pm
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Brad, FYI, We have had the

Brad, FYI, We have had the budget in our hands for 4 weeks...We held 2 public forums and 3 workshops. Also we were required by "State Law" to have an adopted budget at the last meeting.....
The budget is also still ripe for more cuts as we don't set the millage rate on this budget until August 2012. What's the big deal about passing the budget which many of us do understand?

BevBoudreaux
0
Points
BevBoudreaux 11/20/11 - 03:07 pm
0
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OK Joe, since your understand

OK Joe, since your understand the budget so well, perhaps you could tell us if the budget you all passed last tuesday still has that $100,000 allocated for Deke's little economic devt (propaganda) office. Previous newsd articles hinted that it did. It would seem to be inconsistent to be cutting every other department (including The sheriff's dept) while at the same time creating a new slush fund for the mayor so he can hire some crony... to do what exactly? We already have The Richmond County Devt Authority headed by the very capable Walter Sprouse. And while we're at it how much was cut from the budgets of the numerous authorities and boards in ARC? Is the DDA going to have to sacrafice in this new budget. I didn't see any cuts for them.. Shouldn't every dept, board and authority have to sacrafice in this budget? The DDA always seems to dodge budget cuts. And does it make any sense to be creating any "new" depts like Deke's little cutesy micro econ devt dept at this time when we are having to cut back on basic needs like public safety? Deke already has a staff.. his is a full-time position, and commission meetings are only every other week.. what is keeping Deke from engaging in these activities with the staff and time he has now? Maybe he has a friend lined up for a cushy new job?

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 11/20/11 - 03:13 pm
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And Joe, maybe you read and

And Joe, maybe you read and understood the budget, but it was clear that Matt Aitken did not understand the budget since he seemed completely oblivious afterward that the budget contained more than 33 lay-offs. The Chris Thomas video speaks for itself. Perhaps you all needed one more work session to bring all commissioners up to speed on exactly what they would be voting on... isn't that what the committees are supposed to be for? Oh but you all wanted to circumvent that process.

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 11/20/11 - 03:20 pm
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Oh and one more thing, Joe, I

Oh and one more thing, Joe, I heard you on Austin Rhodes on Thursday.. and it was very obvious that you did not understand the Laney-Walker Overlay Zone. Did you read it? Did you go over any of the documents? Did you attend any of the meetings before voting on it? You said that the overlay would prevent someone from coming in and putting industrial in Laney Walker, and we've heard the liquor stores and pawnshop answer too.. that it would keep them out. But guess what, most of Laney-Walker is already zoned single family residential.. so in those zoned areas you can't put in industrial or pawnshops or liquor stores. TRhe overlay would change that and would open up areas in Laney that are already zoned single family residential to allowing commerical, business and multi-family residential. It would also give the authority to the private developer to write the rules and then impose those rules on existing homeowners.. including architectural and design guidelines. How do you think your constituents in West -Augusta would receive that if a developer was trying to impose such a thing on them?

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 11/20/11 - 03:28 pm
0
0
Bev it's obvious you don't

Bev it's obvious you don't understand the budget either. It calls for 34 layoffs not 33!!!!!!
Maybe if commissioners attended the 2nd or 3rd workshop they would have had an understanding of it..
The sheriffs office did not have a cut.....
The budget reflects the expected costs of the jail ( based on lower number of prisoners) that is not a cut!!!!!
Yes it includes funding for a economic development official..
I live in a historic district which includes many more restrictions than the overlay. It does not have any provisions on existing homeowners, you may want to read the adopted plan.

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 11/20/11 - 03:52 pm
0
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re read my comments, I said

re read my comments, I said more than 33 lay-offs.. and you complain about Lockett nit-picking over details.

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 11/20/11 - 04:09 pm
0
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And I see you avoided the

And I see you avoided the issue of Matt Aitken not being aware of the lay-offs being in the budget. Was that just him? And by the way, an historic district does not change the zoning from single family residential like this overlay will. And many people in Laney-Walker do not want to be under the restictive covenants like Summerville and Olde Towne are.. as they are often impediments to the improvement of property. It has been a major obstacle for the folks in Olde Town. So now you are saying the budget for the sheriff's office will not be cut? Because we were told they faced more than $1 million in cuts.. in fact every dept would face cuts. And what abt the DDA?.. any cuts for them? Or are they a sacred cow too like Deke's economic devt person?

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 11/20/11 - 04:07 pm
0
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Also there is a BIG

Also there is a BIG difference between an historic district and this overlay zone. In the case of the overlay zone, you have ONE developer requesting it to be imposed on the entire neighborhood.. in fact all its takes is 10% of property owners or just one who owns 10% of the property in the proposed zone to impose the overly regime. Having a neighborhood declared an historic district is decided by the neighborhood itself.. not something imposed upon them by a 10% minority stakeholder... and historic district designation has absolutely NOTHING to to with land use.. it only governs architectural and design guidelines. This overlay will allow the developer to not only dictate architectural and design guidelines for the entire neighborhood but will also allow them to change land use zoning to fit THEIR needs (that's why they want this so badly). Big difference. And you also said on the Austin Rhodes show that most residents in Laney-Walker were for this Overlay-Zone.. Really? Where did you get that information. Did you speak with any of them or conduct a scientific poll? You are aware that there is more than one Laney_Walker neighborhood association, right? Pastor Aline Scott, who spoke in favor of the overlay zone represents only one. And was she speaking for the entire association or just herself? Did the association ever take a vote on this? Did any other actual property owners in Laney Walker who are members of her association sign that letter?

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 11/20/11 - 04:19 pm
0
0
All departments will be cut

All departments will be cut EXCEPT for law enforcement. The savings of 1 million are because population in our jail is down, thus savings NOT A CUT.

BevBoudreaux
0
Points
BevBoudreaux 11/20/11 - 04:25 pm
0
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And how short is the

And how short is the Sheriff's dept on deputies? Any money in this budget to hire a few more deputies? Oh I forgot.. that's going to fund Deke's new propaganda dept.

joebowles
104
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joebowles 11/20/11 - 05:22 pm
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The Sheriff did not request

The Sheriff did not request additional funding, so I can't help you there...

Brad Owens
4727
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Brad Owens 11/20/11 - 08:24 pm
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Joe Bowles, Let me get this

Joe Bowles,

Let me get this right, you SUPPORT giving the mayor an additional $100,000.00 when we are cutting "34" jobs in other departments? So 34 mid range salary employees will go, but Deke gest one for $100,000.00?

Also, it is obvious you really have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to the Laney Overlay District. The differences between what you think it is and what it really is makes me scratch my head.

I suggest you all have a few more "workshops" on it and try to get Matt up to speed considering he dosen't have a clue either about what it is and what it will do to the area.

Oh and next vote, allow the people who actually KNOW what it is talk more than five minutes and allow them several times at bat too. I mean it seems someone is really hot to get this passed, ever wonder why? Given that it will only affect mostly poor blacks outside your district, I guess not.

I still can't believe you support that $100,000.00 for Deke non-sense. REALLY? WOW.

Brad

P.S. What happens it the prisoner numbers goes up? I guess the Sheriff will just have to eat it? Emergency funds from reserves?

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 11/20/11 - 08:25 pm
0
0
joebowles...I thought for

joebowles...I thought for sure I read that Sheriff Strength said they need more deputies on the streets. Seems like they said there are fewer deputies and more crime on the streets too. I could be wrong though....
Jail population is down? How so?

BevBoudreaux
0
Points
BevBoudreaux 11/20/11 - 08:27 pm
0
0
Crime seems to have spiked in

Crime seems to have spiked in recent years in Augusta so the jail numbers seem odd.. is there an effort to keep ppl out of jail who really need to be behind bars inorder to manufacture this $1 million savings from decreased incarcerations? And as Brad said, what if we go thru another big crime wave next year.. where will the money be to put the perps behind bars?

BevBoudreaux
0
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BevBoudreaux 11/20/11 - 08:33 pm
0
0
PattyP.. the sheriff's dept

PattyP.. the sheriff's dept is down 40+ deputies from 10 years ago.. you are not mistaken. Sheriff Strength said himself just recently that he does have a deputy shortage but will make do with the resources he has. But I think it is a slap in the face to sheriff's office to be giving Deke $100,000 for his little special pr office when that money could hire about 3 deputies

BevBoudreaux
0
Points
BevBoudreaux 11/20/11 - 08:38 pm
0
0
I think having a fully funded

I think having a fully funded public safety dept would be far more attractive to new business and residents than Deke having a pr department.

Riverman1
87157
Points
Riverman1 11/20/11 - 08:42 pm
0
0
The jails are overfilled. The

The jails are overfilled. The new jail will have more capacity than the old one. Something is not right with the crime statistics.

I wonder if Mayor Copenhaver-Boardman has anyone in mind for the $100 thousand job? Male or female?

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 11/20/11 - 08:45 pm
0
0
You are right about having a

You are right about having a fully funded public safety dept Bev. Crime is probably a major reason why a lot of folks move out of the area.
I also wonder if criminals aren't spending much time in jail to save money...it would be a shame if that were the case here.

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 11/20/11 - 09:15 pm
0
0
Brad have you even read the

Brad have you even read the Overlay plan or is it 2nd hand info.?

Many Arrows
-1
Points
Many Arrows 11/20/11 - 11:35 pm
0
0
River, You know the score.

River,

You know the score. Stay tuned. Reliance on the current ARC administration and mayor has PROVEN beyond risky yet, sadly, people still take what they do as gospel. Overlay was a silly test. The main subjects failed. Jury out on others. On to the main events. Posting anything here is a waste. You know where to look. Hunting season is far from over.

Brad Owens
4727
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Brad Owens 11/21/11 - 07:12 am
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It seems that they also think

It seems that they also think WE are stupid (some call us "idiots" in fact) and that WE the People asking questions is bad as well.

I love public servants (elected officials) who want to rule us instead of represent us.

Brad

Brad Owens
4727
Points
Brad Owens 11/21/11 - 08:26 am
0
0
Joe, As a matter of fact I

Joe,

As a matter of fact I have read it, and I have been following EVERY single detail since this began thanks to a dedicated group of folks who have watched this since it began many months ago.

You are being misled by the developers, but then again, some folks are willfully ignorant in these matters.

The application is NOT complete (and NEVER has been) and so it does violate your own P&Z laws and ordnances.

The public notification had also been ignored until WE protested it. And the PEOPLE still have not been given complete information yet, so AGAIN, it does violate your own P&Z laws and ordnances.

You asked a very leading, seemingly pre-planned question, to George Patty about the rules, and he said that "nowhere" in the ordnances did they violate anything. Yeah, well I guess if you consider not having a COMPLETE application or not providing COMPLETE information to the property owners OK, then he is not telling a lie.

You would NEVER allow this to be done to your own neighborhood and so why will you not only vote for this but defend it calling us “idiots” for doing in-depth research on it and standing up for private property rights by opposing this flawed application?

So, have YOU read the entire application? Obviously not.

Have you thought about what this will do to the neighborhood when it is put in place, or will you just trust giverment employees and so-called "developers" to tell you what you should know?

I suggest you pay a visit to our webpage and get yourself educated or have one of the activist who know the process and the problems meet with you and get you up to speed on the FACTS.

Oh by the way, do you REALLY support giving Deke $100,000.00 employee for his personal use?

Brad

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 11/21/11 - 04:21 pm
0
0
ARC schools on break for the

ARC schools on break for the entire week due to budget issues? So why a 100K for another overhead job in city administration?

Why, say it ain't so Joe?

tomcasey
-2
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tomcasey 11/21/11 - 04:22 pm
0
0
Turkey of the year - Fred

Turkey of the year - Fred Russell with runners up the mayor and the Core Four.

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 11/21/11 - 04:26 pm
0
0
Still I wonder why there was

Still I wonder why there was no coverage of the LWB Overlay Zone vote and its outcome where the mayor seemingly was playing favorites with who could and could not speak.

Still trying to figure out exactly who Pastor Scott was speaking for at the commission meeting?

mike71345
75
Points
mike71345 11/21/11 - 04:29 pm
0
0
What exactly is the deal with

What exactly is the deal with the Laney-Walker overlay? In trying to answer that, I'll start with the city's new zoning amendment which authorizes these overlays. It was approved by the Augusta Commission this summer. The new overlay amendment forms Section 25-E of the Richmond County Comprehensive Zoning Code.
Section 25-E grants power to anyone owning 10% of the property in any given area to bring forward a proposal for an overlay zone on that area. ("The Augusta Commission or any department thereof" is also authorized to bring forward such proposals.) You can find the entire Section online if you search diligently enough, so I will only cite a few points from it here.

25-E-1: "The purpose of overlay zoning is to provide additional protection and/or guidance for specific areas through regulation and/or incentives that are applied in addition to the base zoning requirements"
"They could also be used to protect the character of neighborhoods, commercial districts, and corridors. They could guide development more carefully than base zoning by identifying future urban zones and mixed use areas…"

The important thing here is that these new overlay zones have the power not only to make the underlying zoning more restrictive, but also to make the overlay zoning less restrictive. Making a formerly commercial district "mixed-use" lessens the restrictions on that district. The same goes for formerly residential areas, of course. The Laney-Walker revitalization plan calls for mixed-use development. No one is hiding that fact; really, it's being shouted from the roof-tops. What is being hidden is the admission that this type of development necessitates some re-zoning. What some would call "spot zoning", in fact. Planning and Zoning told me to my face that the overlay will make the base zoning more restrictive, Richmond County's senior staff attorney told me the same, and the representative for APD, the "private developer" of the project, told me the same and was even quoted here in the Chronicle saying as much. So, what is the problem?
The problem is that the overlay restricts certain types of businesses in the area. But the area is almost entirely zoned single-family residential right now. By continually pressing that point with Planning and Zoning, I was able to get this admission (it's a start)–
"There is an area on Railroad Ave which I believe is the old foundry and zoned B-2 which they are concerned about. Also, if their efforts are successful and the area takes off, there is the possibility that properties on Wrightsboro Rd could be rezoned."
Yes, it wouldn't be much of a mixed-use development if the various zonings are as carefully separated as they are now. Businesses moving into the area are not the only issue, however. The overlay also authorizes what it calls "low-density multi-family" zoning in the area. Remember, the area is almost entirely zoned single-family. The "low-density" part is there to soften the blow, I think. Again and again city leaders have said that this overlay is to protect the neighborhood form unwelcome development, yet the restrictions against unwelcome development are already there, and in fact are stronger now (the current zoning) than they would be under the new overlay. You simply are not allowed to put businesses and multi-family housing in a single-family residential area. Attempts to re-zone in that way (or even disagreements about permitted uses in a residential area) are usually met with vociferous denunciations:

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/government/2011-02-15/day-care-summerv...

"A daycare in a residential zoning violates county and state zoning requirements. You all need to get the facts before judging. We will lose this one the first day in court……"

"Austin, I guess your okay with your double standard of when the law is good and when its not?
As for a parochial school getting special treatment, that because it's a school, not a 14 hour a day business. Also last I checked parochial schools free up $$$$$ for our public schools.
If we want to talk about why Summerville has high property values it's because of planning not BS friendship zoning exemptions!"

"Chris, you completely are missing the basis of Summervilles case. The reason we have taken a decent area and made it better is through our master plan and adhering to it since 1977. That's why we have the property values we have, and now we have another area that is considered commercial. THIS IS KNOWN AS SPOT ZONING AND DETRIMENTAL FOR ALL NEIGHBORHOODS, NOT JUST SUMMERVILLE [emphasis added]. It sets a dangerous precedent that could spread and erode what Summerville residents have built!"

I pass over as well known that the bulk of the housing APD is now building in Laney-Walker is low-income, government-subsidized housing. The agreements between the developer and the Augusta Commission on that point can be found in the online records of the Augusta Commission. Gilbert Manor had to be replaced somehow, I guess. Not everyone would want it in his neighborhood, however, no matter what aesthetic restrictions were passed to go along with it.
And that brings me to the aesthetic restrictions. No, they were not in the overlay that was voted on last week. Last week's overlay would have formed Section 25-E-7 of the zoning code. The aesthetic restrictions were scheduled to be heard at next February's Planning Commission hearing, and were to form Section 25-E-9 of the zoning code. I know this because the application for the overlay (which was provided to me by Planning and Zoning, and which I have in front of me) includes by chance part of the developer's schedule of implementation for the full Laney-Walker plan.
But wait. What about Section 25-E-8, where's that? Section 25-E-8 deals with the implementation of 25-E-7 (which was being voted on last week). 25-E-8 contains this gem–
"Any one or more land uses identified by Sections A through F [listed in last week's overlay proposal] as being allowed within a specific development node may be established on ANY lot within the node…"

There is good reason to be suspicious of this overlay plan. Maybe the fact that the zoning code's overlay amendment was drafted specifically to fit the Laney-Walker overlay proposal (a fact admitted by Planning and Zoning), maybe that fact made them a little lazy regarding fitting the proposal to the law (which oversight is what has sent the proposal back to the drawing board). Whatever, the case, the city/developer has been intentionally misleading regarding the clear implications of mixed-use development, when that is where the conversation with homeowners should have started. Until the city/developer can honestly approach it that way, I'm against this plan. As for their often stated concerns about "protecting the community", the best way to do that now is to respect the current zoning.

P.S., Historic districts govern only appearances, not land uses (business, professional, residential), a fact which you can find stated very clearly in the Summerville Historic Guidelines.

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