Maintaining a vibrant downtown in Landrum

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, September 5, 2018

It seems there has been some discussion concerning the proposed changes to the Landrum code for the “Downtown Overlay District.” I just wanted to provide some rationale and perspective on how we got here.

Every city or town in South Carolina that has a planning-zoning board and/or an appeals board is required to have a comprehensive plan. Landrum completed its current comprehensive plan last year, after working for approximately three years collecting ideas, input and advice from citizens and professionals whose job is to know  what makes communities grow in a sustainable way.

We had several public input meetings that were advertised and the public was invited to. We collected public input at these  meetings.

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If you remember seeing the chalk boards downtown a few years ago, they were situated on the sidewalks, and the public was asked to give us your comments about what you wanted to see Landrum become. We did this because we realized that some folks couldn’t make the meetings, but, if you were walking around downtown, you could stop and give us your thoughts.

All of the gathered information went into Landrum’s Comprehensive Plan.

The planning committee did a great job of putting all of this together, but the objective was not to just collect data. The objective was to put the wishes of the citizens into a plan, with advice from professionals, and then put the plan into action.

That’s where we are today.

Continuing to grow and maintain a vibrant downtown is one issue that is important to its citizens and businesses.

A vibrant downtown provides a steady tax base so that Landrum can continue to offer the level of services that we do while keeping the taxes overall at a minimum. A vibrant downtown increases the property values of the buildings, which is important to the landowners.

Land and buildings are an investment, and any investor wants to see their investment grow in value. It also makes the city more desirable so that your residential property grows in value.  Like businesses, you want to see the value of your property increase.

We feel we’re on the right track because of the bustling downtown and the fact that we’ve been featured twice in magazines as a desirable destination.

The proposed changes will be considered at Landrum’s September regular council meeting. There will be an opportunity for the public to offer other comments.

The recommendations have been compiled with the hard work and assistance of our planning board, public input and with the guidance of professionals in various fields.

At every step in the process, we have asked for public input, so we feel that the recommendations have been well thought out. Existing businesses would be grandfathered in, so there would be no change for any existing business.

Our job as a city council is to listen to business owners, residents, professionals and advisors, and create policies that will continue to foster a vibrant downtown that benefits all of Landrum.

Robert Briggs, Mayor, city of Landrum