Saluda meets with property owners to beautify Ozone Dr.
Published 11:25 pm Thursday, April 11, 2013
The City of Saluda is currently looking to beautify Ozone Drive with a struggle between some who want to rework regulations and others who say more regulations could push out mom and pop stores and destroy the city’s uniqueness.
The Saluda Planning Board and city council members held a meeting Tuesday, April 9 and invited the approximate 40 property owners along Ozone Drive to discuss what the community wants for its entrance into town.
Sherry Adams, western North Carolina coordinator with the Small Town Main Street Program under the N.C. Department of Commerce, facilitated the meeting.
Planning board chair Henry Bright said when he was first appointed to the planning board commissioners had been talking about doing an overlay district on Ozone Drive. He said at the time he didn’t even know what an overlay district was.
“The current planning board that serves you has decided it is not a good idea for us to create a plan for Ozone without hearing from the property owners and listening to you,” Bright told the audience.
Bright said the planning board wants to hear exactly what the property owners think, including their visions, ideas and solutions or whether they think no changes are needed at all. Adams presented the audience with before and after pictures of other communities she’s worked with that improved entrances into towns.
Adams said this was not a meeting to tell anybody what they can or cannot do with their property.
“Hopefully it can open up some positive dialogue about the community,” Adams said.
Some of the consensus was that Ozone Drive needs sidewalks. The group discussed whether or not they wanted chain restaurants and discussed sign regulations. Some ideas were discussed about working with the department of transportation for projects like sidewalks on Ozone, obtaining grants for businesses to improve their properties and generally working together to clean up the district.