Columbia City Council makes way for Whole Foods
Columbia City Council convened Tuesday night, September 20 at 6 p. m. in City Hall. Four members of council were in attendance: Daniel Rickenmann, Tameika Isaac Devine, Dr. Belinda Gergel, and Brian De- Quincey Newman. Absent were Mayor Steve Benjamin and council members Leona Plaugh and Sam Davis.
Dr. John Stucker reminded council of the upcoming celebration on Sunday afternoon, October 9, to recognize Maxcy Gregg Park’s first 100 years. The celebration will include a variety of live music, Tai Chi and Chi Gong demonstrations, dag and family walks, and interpretive tours. The rededication ceremony will be held at 3:00 p.m. Whole Foods comes closer
Bobby Fuller, Columbia real estate attorney representing developer Edens & Avant, asked council to approve planning measures to accommodate the Whole Foods grocery and adjoining retail businesses at the intersection of Fort Jackson Boulevard and Devine Street, what was previously called the Kroger corner. Fuller’s client wanted to see a map amendment for addresses 710 and 724 Cross Hill Road, changing the property’s use from residential (RS-1) to commercial (C-3). Elliott Powell, nearby resident and head of the Gills Creek Watershed, supported the request. He particularly liked the reduction in pavement and the control of traffic. David Jones, another neighbor, asked that access and egress through his neighborhood be held in check. Council concurred.
Dr. Belinda Gergel, council member, was the applicant who asked for rezoning to cover a broad area of Rosewood, maybe 2,400 homes, under the designation -CC (interim measures) to assure the neighborhood another two years of protection while the Rosewood Community Council and the city come to terms on redevelopment standards. Council approved the request.
Council approved funding of $25,136 payable to Columbia-based transit consultant Wilbur Smith Associates. WSA was prepared to begin work immediately upon funding approval. Task planning included an evaluation of current transit management and operations, a study of current operations structure and performance, an investigation of untapped funding sources to support existing services in the short-term, and whatever ongoing technical hourly assistance might be required. Final work product should be delivered before the end of October. Mayor Coble handled the transfer of the bus system from SCANA to the city in 2002, and Central Midlands took charge then. Almost a decade later there appears to be a burgeoning genuine interest in bus transit quality.
Council’s next regularly scheduled meeting is at 6:00 p.m. on October 4 in Martin Luther King Park, 2300 Greene Street. Council meetings are typically scheduled for the first Tuesday and for the third Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. As is the case on October 4, council holds quarterly district meetings at a location chosen by the district’s council member, otherwise all meetings are on the third floor of City Hall, corner of Main Street and Laurel Street. For more information, go to the city’s website: columbiasc.net