James Holland is the chairman of the Northside Comprehensive Plan Task Force.
1. What is the purpose of the Northside Comprehensive Plan Task Force?
"What we hope to do is to develop a comprehensive plan for the northside (of Aiken). There is not one in existence at this time. The city owns the sanitary sewer and water supply on the northside. In order for us to plan, we need to have certain types of data. It helps the city council plan. But most of all, I like to think it helps the residents."
2. What kind of input did you get from the almost 200 people who attended the recent public meeting about the northside plan?
"We broke them down into groups. We asked them (what) problems they saw in their community. We asked them about their concerns. They talked about traffic. They talked about roads. (South Carolina) Highway 19 came up with almost every group. Some people are advocating a restaurant at the airport."
3. Was there an overriding issue or concern that came out at the meeting?
"No. Many of them came to the meeting thinking this was a plan to annex the northside - this was a plan to rezone the northside. Some of them came to the meeting with that concern, but hopefully we set that aside. Everyone's concerned about the water supply."
4. Which areas did people want to preserve or emulate?
U.S. Highway 1 - they thought that was a nice highway. If possible, they thought that should be done with (South Carolina) Highway 19. They thought the industrial park was a nice concept."
5. What is the next step in the process?
"Over the next few months, we'll look at defining and redefining their concerns. We would write a comprehensive plan - at least a draft. We would make recommendations to the (Aiken) planning commission. But before we make any recommendations, we would have another public meeting. That probably will be sometime in the spring."
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