Planning Commission Considers Laundry List of Projects

BLYTHEWOOD – Monday night, the Blythewood Planning Commissioners mostly listened as Town Administrator John Perry explained his suggestions for the items on the agenda.

In regard to creating new roads in the downtown Town Center District, Perry suggested the Planning Commissioners call for the preservation of eight areas of right of way that are designated on the Master Plan map but that have not been preserved. Perry said in order to initiate a grid of roads in the Town Center, these right of ways must be preserved and that the Town must then be prepared to purchase the preserved right of way properties immediately so that the owners will not decide to build there and adversely impact the grid of roads planned in the downtown area as specified in the Master Plan. Perry suggested that a subcommittee of Commissioners be formed to initiate surveying these areas of right of way so that they can be purchased and preserved for the Town’s future use.

Commissioners Randy Humphries and Buddy Price volunteered for the committee and Planning Commission Chairman Mike Switzer volunteered to chair the committee. Perry asked the three to come back to their next meeting with a recommendation for surveying and preservation.

Mobile sign ban proposed

Perry asked the Commissioners to revisit the Town’s sign ordinance and find ways to ban mobile signs. Perry said he wanted the Town to prohibit trucks from parking trailers around town for long periods of time while displaying advertisements or signs on the sides of their trailers. If they are parked in an area not for parking or on private property then, Perry said, “We need to be able to remove them.”

Switzer said he had seen a sod truck parked around town. Price asked if the signs caused any harm. Perry said, “We need to make it clear these are signs.”

Municipal Improvement District

Perry told Commissioners that he had received some data from the consultant the Town Council hired to study the feasibility of a Municipal Improvement District (MID) in the downtown area of Blythewood. Perry asked that the MID subcommittee reconvene to consider that data. While the costs of the MID would be paid for primarily by the businesses in the district, Perry said some money has been allocated to the project from Richland County’s Penny Tax fund.

In his administrator’s report, Perry said work will begin on the landscaping/beautification of Exit 27 within the next 60 days. He said water wells have been drilled for irrigation of the plants in the project and the Town has been given permission to paint the sides of the bridge over I-77. Perry said attractive street signs for Blythewood Road would be attached to the traffic lights at the exits and entrances to the interstate. He also reported that the Planning Commission Retreat is planned for March 9 at the Doko Manor in the Town’s park, beginning at about 9 a.m. The public is invited.