April 17, 2014 meeting minutes

Jenna Stephens began the meeting with introductions.  Officer Alex Broder of the City of Columbia Police Department discussed the reorganization of the department’s Pro-Active Community Enforcement (PACE) team.  The PACE team has been decentralized but will continue to be active in the city’s communities.  The south region PACE team will report to a regional captain and have three officers dedicated to the region, in addition to Officer Broder.  Officer Broder encouraged residents to continue to be watchful and vigilant and to report any suspicious behavior they see.

Residents can view local crime statistics using the RAIDS Online website and may contact Officer Broder at (803) 315-9143 or asbroder@columbiasc.net.

Andy Whitfield of the Columbia Tree and Appearance Commission, which serves as an advisory board to the city, discussed the Commission’s request to have the city begin to bury power lines.  The Commission is asking local organizations to adopt its utility resolution, which encourages the city to route power and utility cables underground for safety reasons and aesthetic appearance.  Because it did not have a quorum at the meeting, RCC was unable to take a vote on the resolution but will put forth a vote via e-mail.

Karen Kuse of the Montessori School of Columbia provided an update to the school’s plans.  The school is currently renovating the home at 413 S. Maple St.  It also has a contract on 411 S. Maple, which it plans to renovate for offices, and it intends to eventually tear down the home at 415 S. Maple and build a new classroom building.  The school has also received the title to the street for the block of Oceola between S. Maple and Howard and will close that block to vehicular traffic.  The school had a strategic planning meeting in Feb. 2014 where it solidified its plans for growth.  The school plans to grow to no more than 108 students (87 currently) so that it can maintain small classrooms with personal interaction with students and their families.

Jenna stated that some members of the community have expressed concerns about the overuse and appearance of Owens Field Park.  In addition to the YMCA’s soccer league and the use of the Dreher High School track, a Miracle Field is planned for the park. Mike Miller, vice president of RCC, plans to send a letter to the city’s parks department formally asking the department to assess the use of the park.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30.

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Jan. 16, 2014 Meeting Minutes

Mike Miller, RCC Vice President, called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. Anne Burke, Michael Juras, and Dan Bilderbach of Columbia Resilience provided a summary of the organization’s purpose and described their planned activities to revitalize the fruit orchard at Owens Field Park. With the permission of the City of Columbia, they intend to build up the soil, plant new fruit trees to replace the trees that have died, and eventually turn the area into a food forest. They asked that residents who have yard clippings, lime, and other organic materials consider leaving them at the orchard site. A cleanup/work day at the orchard will be planned for the last Saturday of each month from 10am to 1pm (or the next day, 1pm-4pm in case of rain). Those interested in volunteering can contact Michael at michael.juras@gmail.com

Karen Kuse of the Montessori School of Columbia presented improvements the school hopes to make to its property, which include an application to close to car traffic the 2800 block of Oceola. Emily Paavola of the school’s board said the school has filed a petition with the Richland County Circuit Court with an allowance for the City of Columbia to respond by Feb.17 to its petition. Ms. Paavola also stated that the recommendation to close the block came from the SCDOT. If the closing of the block is allowed, it will only affect car traffic; bikes and pedestrians would retain access. Residents expressed concerns that closing the block would route school traffic onto another block and asked the school to consider other options such as speed humps or reducing the speed limit. Ms. Kuse stated that she is open to residents’ suggestions and invited them to visit the school. The school also intends to build a new classroom building at 415 S. Maple and to renovate the home at 413 S. Maple. The school hopes to have concrete plans to present to the community at the April quarterly RCC meeting.

Scott Mechling presented his plans to add on to the building he owns at 2910 Rosewood Dr. (5th Ave. Deli location) and to open a liquor store in the additional space. The liquor store will open to the BP parking lot and will be operated by the owner of the BP, Terry Blanton. Mr. Mechling stated that the liquor store meets the city’s requirements regarding parking and distance from the church. Mr. Mechling also intends to tear down the building located at 3000 Rosewood (old appliance store) and build a new mixed use 7000 square foot building. He plans to move 5th Ave. Deli to the site, which will also include a fitness business and three to four additional spaces. He has asked the city for a variance to the building’s set back so that it will be in line with 2910 Rosewood.

David Miller of Rosewood Baptist Church stated that he and his congregation were opposed to a liquor store at the location. Many residents expressed concerns about the traffic in the BP parking lot and the corner of Holly and Rosewood St. as well as the impact of having a liquor store in the area.

The next quarterly RCC meeting will be held April 17, 2014.

Holiday Yard Contest

Dust off those decorations, because Rosewood Community Council is holding a holiday yard contest!  RCC is calling for committee members for judging, so if you are interested in serving, please e-mail jenna@rosewoodcommunity.com by December 17.  Committee members will not be eligible to enter the contest (but you can still decorate!).

Nominations for best holiday yard decorations must also be submitted to jenna@rosewoodcommunity.com by December 17 (please include the address and homeowner name, if possible).  The committee will select finalists who will be presented to the community for judging via Facebook and online survey.

Happy holiday decorating!

October 17, 2013 Meeting Minutes

Jenna Stephens called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. The meeting began with elections for the RCC board. All current board members ran for re-election, with one contested race for Vice President (Pete Mayers). A vote was taken for the VP race, which resulted in Mike Miller being re-elected with a vote of 14-1.

Jenna commented that there has been an uptick in home and car burglaries which CPD PACE Officer Alex Broder said may be attributed to the state fair. She encouraged all residents to contact CPD for a free home security assessment.

The RCC board elected to let the temporary community character overlay expire after learning that it was not protecting properties as intended. The City intends to rewrite its zoning laws within the next two years and the community will be able to provide input. Jenna also reminded residents to keep their dogs leashed within Bates Park. Some residents near the park have expressed frustration with unleashed dogs entering their yards.

Karl McCollester presented the new Voterheads website, a free service that allows citizens to receive information about local politics, upcoming meetings, and elections. Voterheads hopes to partner with RCC to provide meeting information and allow for online voting on RCC issues.

Melissa Spring provided meeting attendees with an explanation of the Richland Library’s bond referendum campaign. The $58 million dollar bond will allow the library to improve its main location, build new libraries in rapidly growing areas (Ballentine and Sandhills), and renovate and improve all existing branches.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts spoke to the attendees as part of an effort to visit all city neighborhood associations. Mr. Watts explained the purpose and responsibilities of the county coroner’s office. The office recently earned a national accreditation.

With no additional business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:30 pm.

July 18, 2013 Meeting Minutes

Rosewood Community Council
7/18/2013 Quarterly Meeting
Hamilton-Owens Airport conference room

Jenna Stephens called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm. Tommy Burkett was introduced and made a few remarks about his run for the at-large seat on the Columbia City Council. The election will be held this November.

Karen Kuse, director of the Montessori School of Columbia, presented the school’s expansion plans. The school has been planning an expansion of its physical space for a number of years and has purchased an adjoining property (415 S. Maple). In addition, the school hopes to purchase the property at 413 S. Maple. The school is not planning to greatly increase the number of students enrolled but intends to build a new facility and parking/drop-off area.

Zoning updates:

1. A craft beer store has been granted a special exception to locate in the site formerly occupied by Game Stop in the Publix shopping center.

2. RCC has applied for a two-year extension of its community character overlay. The city plans to rewrite all zoning laws; once that has been done, a decision will be made whether or not to make the community character overlay permanent.

The City of Columbia Police Department has relocated its K-9 unit to an office on Adeline Dr. Sgt. Blendowski and Officer White attended the meeting to show appreciation of the community’s support. The Department’s drug suppression team will eventually be located at this site, as well.

Officer Broder of the Department’s Proactive Community Enforcement (PACE) unit provided a crime update. Jenna reminded residents that the Department provides free home security assessments. Call (803) 545-3555 to set an appointment.

Jenna shared a speed study of Rosewood that was recently completed by the City. RCC’s executive committee and meeting attendees had identified which streets might benefit from traffic calming measures such as speed humps. Several residents expressed support for a four-way stop at the intersection of Holly and Montgomery. Another option is reducing the speed limit in the neighborhood to 25.

RCC officer elections will be held at the October quarterly meeting. All current officers have been re-nominated. Jenna opened the floor for additional nominations, which will be accepted until the October meeting.

Rosewood’s National Night Out event is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 6 from 6-8 pm (rescheduled for Aug. 13). Last year nearly 200 Rosewood residents attended the event. This year’s event will feature refreshments, a bounce house, a waterslide, CPD officers, and a fire truck. RCC also plans to hold a grand re-opening of Rosewood Park to showcase its improvements. The Central Rosewood Neighborhood Association also intends to hold another event this fall.

The next quarterly RCC meeting will be held Oct. 17, 2013.