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 email@example.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.