Saluda meets with property owners to beautify Ozone Dr.

Published 11:25 pm Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wally Pace said part of the problem was that the city expects Ozone Drive property owners to beautify their land to benefit downtown with no benefits extended to them, specifically sidewalks.

Lee Atkins said the real beauty of Saluda is the sense of freedom, lack of regulations and heart of the town.
Atkins warned against trying to accomplish what they want through regulations. He talked about the economic downturn and mentioned towns like Tryon, Columbus, Spindale and Fletcher with empty storefronts.

“Look at how Saluda has thrived,” Atkins said.

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Pace said the businessmen and women are always the heart of the town. He said businesses need signs to direct people into town and there are people living in Saluda who don’t want excessive regulation. Pace spoke of a green container he once had in front of his business and heard through the grapevine that people didn’t like it so he moved it. He said a woman blessed out the late AG Hipp, the owner of Hipp’s garage who is now deceased, then asked him to move. He said people need to make AG’s heirs feel a part of the town and part of the community.

“You’ll get a lot more done by volunteerism than all these regulations that people think of,” Pace said. “Cooperation will do a lot more than loss of freedom.”

Sharon Hipp, AG Hipp’s widow, said she was unhappy that Saluda residents and officials were not the only ones at the meeting.

“I feel misled,” Hipp said. “I thought it was Ozone Drive owners talking to council and the planning board.”

She said Ozone Drive has been zoned, annexed and been through meeting after meeting after moratorium after zoning. She also spoke of a bus tour taken recently by the planning board. The tour seemed to have caused many in Saluda to express concern over the possibility of more regulations coming to Ozone.