Commission OKs sidewalks

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Despite the wishes of Marshall Square developers, the Columbia County Planning Commission decided Thursday that both sides of roads built inside the 52-acre mixed-use development will have sidewalks.

But planning commissioners said during their meeting that the developers might not have to incur the expense for sidewalk construction, which currently runs at about $20 per foot of sidewalk, according to developers.

Sidewalk construction in front of lots in the development between Evans Town Center Boulevard and North Belair Road won't become necessary until building takes place on those lots.

The lot owners then will be responsible for building a sidewalk along the thoroughfares, the zoning board determined in a 3-1 vote.

The sidewalk issue came before the planning commission because the Marshall family, owners of the property, sought a preliminary plat approval to build two roads to access a five-acre tract that will be the site of a hotel and restaurant, according to officials.

One road will extend Ronald Reagan Drive through Marshall Square and connect to North Belair Road. Another road will enter the development from Evans Town Center Boulevard, across from the Columbia County Library entrance, and curve south to intersect with the Ronald Reagan Drive extension.

Developers proposed building sidewalks on both sides of the Ronald Reagan Drive extension for most of its length and along the south side of the other road.

They argued that development on the north side of the northernmost road will be mostly office development, which has less foot traffic and won't need a sidewalk.

Also, a sidewalk on the north side of that road, because of a higher elevation, might require as many as five handicap-accessible ramps, which are costly to construct. The ramps must be built to comply with federal law.

Developers said they are not opposed to sidewalks. In fact, they said they intend to build about 15,000 feet of pedestrian walkways in the development, which they said is considerably more than other planned-unit developments in Columbia County.

The developers said they simply don't want to be compelled to build sidewalks where none are needed.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

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Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 05/02/08 - 03:51 am
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These developers have been

These developers have been given just about everything they want on this boondoggle project, and now they don't want to be "compelled to build"something that our commissioners are wanting in an effort they think will finally make the voters happier about this thing. If I were the developers, I would push the commissioners on this because they already have a history of kissing ya'lls butts on it! As of right now, even though I'd much rather have the trees back, it's rather nice seeing the huge grassy field...make that the huge grassy EMPTY field.

paulwheeler
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paulwheeler 05/02/08 - 06:35 am
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This is a lousy job of

This is a lousy job of reporting. "The developer, the developer". Who is this alleged developer? The name of the developer needs to be in the article so that everyone can see who it is that's whining!

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/02/08 - 06:38 am
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Right on, Paul. And I

Right on, Paul. And I disagree with "the developer" that pedestrians do not need sidewalks in front of offices. Sidewalks encourage walking, and I will be glad to walk to the offices on the sidewalks.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 05/02/08 - 06:39 am
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And right on again, Paul.

And right on again, Paul. The reporter left out the first thing a reporter is supposed to do: Tell us WHO!

S
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S 05/02/08 - 02:21 pm
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Just wait the County

Just wait the County Commissioners haven't had their say yet. I bet the "developers" will be talking to them. Who knows if the sidewalks will stay or go... The planning commission just makes recs the Commissioners can do what they want...

UncleBill
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UncleBill 05/02/08 - 10:27 pm
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The name of the developer

The name of the developer should be mentioned early on to make the article accurate and complete, thus the article is somewhat incomeplete. The sidewalk cost is likely miniscule compared to the cost of the entire project. In fact it will enhance the value of the property. Just build sidewalks, pass the cost along to the buyer, and be glad you made all that money. The property will sell like hotcakes.

VoteRepublican
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VoteRepublican 05/03/08 - 08:16 pm
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Can anyone tell me why

Can anyone tell me why American soldiers and Masters guests have to risk their lives walking along Washington Rd if the cost of a sidewalk is only $20 a foot? Add a dollar to the cost of a room in a hotel and this would pay for itself. We are the most backward city in the USA!

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