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Blanchard Road talks to resume

A public hearing concerning the proposed rezoning of more than 30 acres of Blanchard family-owned property in a residential neighborhood will resume today at a Columbia County Planning Commission meeting.

Superior Court Judge James G. Blanchard, Joe E. Blanchard and Billie June Morgan recently petitioned county planning officials to change the residential zoning of the land on Blanchard Road in Evans for commercial and professional purposes.

The proposal incited the ire of many Blanchard Road residents, several of whom spoke against the rezoning at a November planning commission meeting. The Blanchard family was unable to attend that meeting and convinced planning commissioners to extend the public hearing, which will continue at 6:30 p.m. today at the Evans government complex.

Information available on parkway extension

The Georgia Department of Transportation will hold an open house today about a proposed extension of William Few Parkway.

The open house, which will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at Greenbrier High School on Riverwood Parkway, will provide information about the proposed reconstruction and extension of William Few Parkway to Hardy McManus Road.

No formal presentation will be made, but DOT representatives will answer questions and project layouts will be on display, said DOT spokeswoman Cissy McNure.

Construction is expected to begin in late summer and take 18 to 24 months to complete, Ms. McNure said.

Bobby Jones lanes to be closed tonight

Nightly lane closures on both sides of Bobby Jones Expressway near the Interstate 20 overpass are planned through today, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The closures will occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. while crews attach overhead beams for the new I-20 bridge.

North Augustans open homes for holiday tour

The North Augusta Christmas tour of homes will be from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The tour stops are: the home of Vince and Linda Dwan, 460 Shoreline Drive in River Club; the Stewart House, the home of Chris and Melody Garrison, 419 W. Martintown Road; the home of Deborah Holmes, 463 Arrington Ave., Hammond's Ferry; the home of Skip and Jean Jones, 910 Carolina Ave., Olde Towne; the home of Kevin and Lee Little, 468 Front St., Hammonds Ferry; the home of Steve McElmurray, 141 Savannah Point, Campbelltown Towne Landing; and the home of Donnie Thompson, 930 River Oaks.

Advance tickets cost $15 and are available until 2 p.m. Friday. Tickets can be purchased at the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Communigraphics, Jim Bush Flower Shop and Parks Pharmacy. Call (803) 279-5074 for more information.

After Friday, tickets cost $18.

A tour brunch and fashion show, with fashions by Coldwater Creek, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the North Augusta Community Center. Admission costs $10, with tickets available where tour tickets are sold.

Alzheimer's is topic for lunch program

Kathy Tuckey, the programs director of the Augusta Alzheimer's Association, will discuss "Communication: The Language of Alzheimer's" at the free Lunch and Learn program Tuesday.

The program is held at the Medical College of Georgia Alumni Center, 919 15th Street (across from the hospital). RSVP by calling Dr. Shirley Poduslo at (706) 721-0609 or the Alzheimer's Association at (706) 731-9060 by noon Monday .

Richmond County schools seek opinions

The Richmond County school system is seeking comments about the quality of its education.

The public is invited to give input and identify key issues at open houses from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at two locations: the Academy of Richmond County and Cross Creek High School.

Comments can be made online at surveys.mgtamer.com/3233/public_forum.cfm. The meetings are part of the school system's performance management review, a countywide audit.

Welcome home event planned for soldiers

Fort Gordon will hold a welcome ceremony for the more than 100 Task Force Lightning soldiers returning from Afghanistan on Monday, according to a news release.

The ceremony will be at 1 p.m. at the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade motor pool.

Task Force Lightning has been deployed to Afghanistan to provide intelligence collection since December 2006.

The 513th Military Intelligence Brigade is on Chamberlain Avenue between 15th and 12th Streets.

-- From staff reports

Comments (20) Add comment
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debby
12
Points
debby 12/06/07 - 05:18 am
0
0
Have you seen the new traffic

Have you seen the new traffic circle on Riverwood Parkway? Whoever designed it needs to have his head examined. I've traveled in Europe where traffic circles are commonplace. Riverwood Parkway's circle diameter is way too small! The new shopping centers around the circle haven't even been built yet...I can't wait to see how many accidents occur in that area then. What a mess!

Dawg in Qatar
0
Points
Dawg in Qatar 12/06/07 - 05:30 am
0
0
Please go and show your

Please go and show your support for our Men and Women returning home from thier recent tour. We may not support Bush any longer but we must still support our troops for all they do. All they need is a simple Thank You to make them smile.

AugustaVoter
2
Points
AugustaVoter 12/06/07 - 06:28 am
0
0
"Bobby Jones lanes to be

"Bobby Jones lanes to be closed"... Until they finish the work on I-20!!! Do we really need a page filler line to tell us this every day? Just like East Boundary. We don't need to know that everyday DOT will close a lane of Bobby Jones or I20, thats a given geniuses. It is called construction. Just avoid the area for the next 3 years until its done. GEEZ

puzzle
0
Points
puzzle 12/06/07 - 07:12 am
0
0
I agree debby. The traffic

I agree debby. The traffic circle at Riverwood are a mess! I have to drive through it a few times a day and all I can think about is how much I hope they will learn from this experience and make the others much better. The traffic circles at Highgrove are awesome. Why didn't we get to use their layout?

i know
0
Points
i know 12/06/07 - 07:46 am
0
0
Ask Wayne MIllar. It was his

Ask Wayne MIllar. It was his decision to build it that small.

HUH2
0
Points
HUH2 12/06/07 - 08:56 am
0
0
What? No comments about the

What? No comments about the almighty Blanchards and the puppets in Columbia County tending to their every whim. Residents of Blanchard road: You may as well start house hunting. The Blanchards wishes WILL BE carried out!

Little Lamb
47842
Points
Little Lamb 12/06/07 - 09:31 am
0
0
The meeting about re-zoning

The meeting about re-zoning Blanchard's property along Blanchard Road near Blanchard Park will be an interesting one. At the last meeting all but one of the commissioners said they had been contacted privately by Blanchard, but of course, those conversations will not affect how they vote. The residents need to work hard to make the case to leave the property zoned residential (if for no other reason than building residences will draw families who can use the park). I estimate there were 50 to 70 people from the neighborhoods at the November meeting. Hope they can get some more at tonight's meeting. It seems DELAY, DELAY, DELAY is the strategy that landowners use to wear out ordinary citizens fighting a re-zoning proposal.

leegoolsby
0
Points
leegoolsby 12/06/07 - 10:57 am
0
0
This is why we ALL need to

This is why we ALL need to stand up and fight this requested rezoning. We need to protect residential areas across the county, protect our $7million Blanchard Woods Park, and prevent speculative commercial zoning. Regardless of where you live in the county, you need to fight for your property by attending tonights meeting. We had 120 people show up in opposition on Novembe 15th only to have an attorney show up on behalf of the Blanchards saying they were on vacation. The Planning commissioners then tabled the meeting to tonight. This allowed all REZONING signs to be removed and the hearing placed into the holiday season. Were politics at play? Has a deal already been made? Did you know that the Planning Department, our paid experts, have a strong recommendation against rezoning? Did you know that we have a Growth Managment Plan in place to prevent commercial rezoning in residential areas? Did you know that James Blanchard is a Superior Court Judge whom Columbia County pays $20,000 annually to, is a past county commissioner, and I believe a past county attorney? Will power and influence be given preferential treatment at the expense of us ordinary citizens?

mochajavamama
0
Points
mochajavamama 12/06/07 - 12:19 pm
0
0
The traffic circle on

The traffic circle on Riverwood Parkway was designed to slow down traffic approaching the town center. The speed limit is 35 mph, yet people (mainly students getting out of school) go well beyond that, endangering the lives of other drivers and students walking home from school. The curbing on the interior of the circle is angled to accommodate larger vehicles. Once the town center is built the circle will allow traffic to flow more smoothly between the existing neighborhoods and the town center.
Give it time!

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 12/06/07 - 12:25 pm
0
0
Leegoolsby, short answer to

Leegoolsby, short answer to your last sentence: yes.

mochajavamama
0
Points
mochajavamama 12/06/07 - 12:33 pm
0
0
To Debby, Puzzle, and Get a

To Debby, Puzzle, and Get a Clue:
The traffic circle was designed by an engineer and approved by Columbia County. The county required the developer to install the circle prior to commencement of the town center.
If you don't want to wait in school traffic use the new road beside the high school. If its blocked off complain to the GHS principal; they have been blocking it off since school started, and its a county road!

leegoolsby
0
Points
leegoolsby 12/06/07 - 01:02 pm
0
0
Dawn, thanks for the

Dawn, thanks for the encouragement. :-)

Little Lamb
47842
Points
Little Lamb 12/06/07 - 02:43 pm
0
0
I'll be there to support the

I'll be there to support the residents tonight. Lee, be careful in any public remarks tonight. Be respectful when speaking of favoritism, power and influence. Some P&Z Commissioners (and county commissioners too) have thin skins and take such talk as personal attacks - and they will retaliate by voting against the speaker.

2350LEGAL
5
Points
2350LEGAL 12/06/07 - 03:00 pm
0
0
you do not own the blanchard

you do not own the blanchard property, the blanchard's own it. i'm sick and tired of others who have built or bought around someone elses property
trying to dictate what they wish for the property.
if any of you left your children land, how would you like it if others tried to dictate it's use decades after you're gone.

Little Lamb
47842
Points
Little Lamb 12/06/07 - 03:04 pm
0
0
Then why do we even HAVE

Then why do we even HAVE zoning in Columbia County?

leegoolsby
0
Points
leegoolsby 12/06/07 - 03:37 pm
0
0
2350LEGAL, A county has

2350LEGAL, A county has zoning laws for a reason. They can do whatever they want with their property within the limits of the zoning limits of such property. The county is responsible for controlling growth and protecting residential areas from commercial encroachment. The county codes of ordinence make it very clear that they have this responsibility by stating factors they must consider in rezoning. When rezoning negatively affect property of hundreds of others as well as a multimillion dollar taxpayer investment then the county has a responsibility. When a large commercial tract, 26 acres is larger than Walmart, Home Depot, or Lowes property, will place a huge burden on the infrastructure then they have a responsibility to protect it.

Kamaka
0
Points
Kamaka 12/06/07 - 04:02 pm
0
0
Columbia County's growth plan

Columbia County's growth plan was designed as a plan to grow in designated areas...not to grow at all costs.
Commissioners; it's a good plan; stick to it.

a crazy old man
30
Points
a crazy old man 12/06/07 - 08:24 pm
0
0
It's the Blanchard's property

It's the Blanchard's property let them do what they want to with it. They paid for it, didn't they? If you can't do what you want to with it then how can you say it yours. Zoning is for the birds.

wildman
1181
Points
wildman 12/06/07 - 08:32 pm
0
0
Double Cross and the imports

Double Cross and the imports have ruined the county with growth. Experience tells me the growth management plan is not worth the paper it's written on. Sad to see this beautiful county get paved over. Blanchard Road residents prepare to sell.

leegoolsby
0
Points
leegoolsby 12/06/07 - 11:34 pm
0
0
Actually, tonight the Growth

Actually, tonight the Growth Management Plan won. I am proud of my neighbors and proud of the planning commissioners that stood up for what was right. Thank You!!!

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