Saluda meets with property owners to beautify Ozone Dr.

Published 11:25 pm Thursday, April 11, 2013

“How much have we talked about zoning?” Hipp asked. “How much have we spent on zoning?”

It’s like Leon Morgan’s store, she said. She said she loves the front of his store. It’s unique, he has planters and it’s different, Hipp said.

“We’re not all the same,” Hipp said. “We don’t have the same mats in front of our doors. Saluda is unique.”

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Shelley DeKay spoke about the planning board’s advisory committee’s work done a few years ago where property owners and other residents came to an agreement.

“We met and talked a lot,” DeKay said. “I think one of the wonderful things that came out of that was we all generally understood one another.”

Saluda commissioner Johnnie Kinard said he was there representing the masonic lodge. He said the lodge is interested in making the town attractive but is not interested in destroying the soul of Saluda in the process.

Adams said sometimes the best enhancement is cleaning up. She said there’s grants available to plant trees and the city may come to a consensus to hire someone to draw a rendering of what the district could look like if signs were lowered a bit.

City administrator Erny Williams spoke of one sign that may be lovely, but it’s not in compliance.

Bill Wilkerson said the city doesn’t need to regulate each individual. That’s where sidewalks and biking trails will make other things happen, he said. He encouraged the city to not just agree on it but to get it done. Wilkerson said he was in Columbus last week and asked the town manager how they put in sidewalks and curbing.

“They hadn’t paid a penny,” Wilkerson said. “The state has done this.”

Jane Powell said that regulations were not so much the issue but the consideration of property owners tidying up their properties to beautify the corridor, which would have a positive effect.

Elena Robson suggested the city create a plan for sidewalks and trees to work towards, which would naturally regulate signage and other buffer issues.

Colt Love agreed that volunteer meetings with property owners and communication with the planning board and council would help eliminate rumor and hard feelings.

Pace asked for others not to talk behind a businesses’ back, but to “man up and come tell us,” he said. “We can talk about it. Just come talk to us.”

Adams said the consensus was that Saluda really wants to do some landscape enhancements and suggested that Saluda start a conversation with the department of transportation.