Residents share input on master plan for Augusta

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Nearly 100 people on Monday attended the first of two public forums on the 20-year master plan for downtown Augusta and North Augusta.

The plan, coordinated by planning organization Augusta Tomorrow and overseen by Boston-based consulting firm ICON Architecture Inc., will provide the blueprint for improvements during the next two decades.

Top issues highlighted during the forum included:

- Enforcing the state Urban Redevelopment Act, which gives local governments the authority to redevelop or condemn blighted property

- Helping expand higher education, such as Augusta State University and the Medical College of Georgia, into the urban core, similar to what Savannah has done with the Savannah College of Arts and Design

- Developing more parking spaces

- Improving public safety services

- Attracting a supermarket or health food store

- Creating a shuttle bus between the medical district and downtown

- Improving downtown streetscapes

- Capitalizing on the downtown historic district

- Increasing the number of, and improve the promotion of, outdoor performing arts events

- Providing ways to increase public access to natural resources such as the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal

-- Damon Cline, business editor

MASTER PLAN AT A GLANCE

CONTRACTOR: ICON Architecture Inc., a Boston-based planning and design firm specializing in sustainable development and urban reuse projects


COST: $250,000; 50 percent private sector contributions; 38 percent Augusta-Richmond County; 12 percent North Augusta


DEFINED AREA: Downtown Augusta and North Augusta; specific boundaries to be determined later


EXPECTED COMPLETION DATE: December or January


NEXT PUBLIC HEARING: Today, 4 to 6:30 p.m., North Augusta Public Safety Hut, 501 E. Buena Vista Ave.; follow-up hearings to be scheduled during summer or early fall.

Comments (6) Add comment
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fd1962
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fd1962 05/13/08 - 06:45 am
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Seems like $500,000 could
Unpublished

Seems like $500,000 could have described the obvious even better.

treerock
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treerock 05/13/08 - 06:58 am
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let's get the farmer's market

let's get the farmer's market more centrally located downtown. fresh local produce directly from the farmer will beat a "supermarket" any day. maybe if the farmer's market was as nice and flashy as earth fare, then people would utilize its potential.

christian134
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christian134 05/13/08 - 07:57 am
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As long as crime is rampant

As long as crime is rampant Augusta will continue to deteriorate......What is needed are better paid police persons along with tougher sentences and a larger prison....Then maybe just maybe life will improve and business' will come....

mojo
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mojo 05/13/08 - 08:27 am
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Why is it that after 40 years

Why is it that after 40 years of decline (and countless planning efforts) - there still isn't even remotely enough parking downtown? How can they even consider trying to get more folks downtown when there's no where to park for the few who go there now?

jude1072
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jude1072 05/13/08 - 10:29 am
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Why is that they want to do

Why is that they want to do all this and put new baseball park what about parking? Have any of the commissioners try to find a safe parking spot on First Friday? What will happen when you have a ball game on first Friday?

vemerick
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vemerick 05/13/08 - 10:56 am
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Did any of the people

Did any of the people complaining about parking & safety even bother to read and comprehend the article? The *whole* article? It plainly states in black and white that: "Top issues highlighted during the forum included... - Developing more parking spaces - Improving public safety services" These are issues that are being addressed. Also, I'm downtown every First Friday and I never have issues finding safe parking.

ITDoc
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ITDoc 05/13/08 - 04:55 pm
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vem: they are talking about

vem: they are talking about parking spaces that you don't have to walk more than 15 feet to find. Obesity epidemic, you know. I also go to First Friday and have never had a problem parking at the Marble Palace. It's free, too.

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