January 17, 2001
9:00 AM - City Council Chambers - Second Floor - 1737 Main Street


The City of Columbia City Council met for a Work Session on Wednesday, January 17, 2001, in the City Hall Council Chambers, 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 9:10 a.m.  Council members present were:  The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, The Honorable Francenia B. Heizer, The Honorable Jim Papadea, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., and The Honorable Sam Davis.  Also attending were Mr. Michael A. Bierman, City Manager and Ms. Peggy S. Breeland, City Clerk.
1. Presentation - Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan

Mr. Mark Baker and Mr. Cal Theodore of Wood and Partners, briefed Council regarding the preliminary draft of the Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Master Plan.

Council agreed to except this as information.

2. Presentation - Gills Creek Property - Todd Avant

Mr. Todd Avant, Edens & Avant, appeared before Council with a request to purchase approximately 12 acres of city owned property located on Pelham Road in the Gills Creek area.  Mr. Avant stated that construction of a high-end residential development similar to Wheeler Hill or Mill Pond is planned.  Additionally, a request that the property be rezoned from its current D-1 zoning classification.  He stated that they are prepared to pay fair market value for the property and that cash from the sale of the land and future tax revenues could be used to put nature trails along Gills Creek to create more green space in the area.  Mr. Avant also noted that current city utilities are present on the property.

Ms. Heizer asked that Mr. Avant work closely with city staff regarding landscape plans including input from the Appearance Commission.

Mayor Coble asked that a contract be submitted for Council review and consideration.

3. Vietnam Monument Parking Lot

Mr. Jim Chapin, Lawyer and Vietnam Veteran, appeared before Council with concerns regarding the construction of a office building on the parking lot at the Vietnam Monument.  Mr. Chapin stated that the veterans are opposed to this because of the limited access to the park by handicapped citizens.  Mr. Chapin asked that the City aid in opposing this potential construction.

Council stated that would take this information.

4. Palmetto Soft Incubator Project

This item was held over.


5. Billboard Ordinance Review and Discussion

Mr. Chip Land gave an Council an overview of the current billboard ordinance and an outline of the City=s contract with Lamar Advertising.  Mr. Land stated that there were several different options and that the current ordinances are under unofficial review by the S. C. Highway Department and that it is his understanding that there is uncertainty of where they will be allowed or not allowed.  He stated that a rezoning action is required if there is no specific area where they should or should not be allowed.  Mr. Land noted that Richland County currently mirrors a lot of the city=s ordinance and is going beyond that designated areas using a function classification map of the street network of what areas should contain the arterial signs, what areas should be collectors, and what should be considered freeways.

Mr. Land asked for Council guidance on how to precede with Lamar Advertising.  Mr. Land informed Council that the City went through a rezoning process and approved two sites, one is on I-26 near the zoo and the other on I-77 in the industrial park.  He stated that the City issued permits, once the zoning action was completed, but the highway department regulation would not approve either locations.  Mr. Land suggested that the City could find other locations in conjunction with Lamar  and abide by the contract or try to submit an official ordinance to SCDOT and get an official response on changes to be made and open the ordinance again for discussion.

Council asked that both suggestions be implemented and asked staff to work with Lamar to find two sites that work as quickly as possible.

Mayor Coble wants to meet with SCDOT officials and asked that any Council members interested to attend the meeting.

Mr. Scott Shockley, Lamar Advertising, appeared before Council and stated that Lamar did remove two billboards and asked that Council resolve the issues with SCDOT as quickly as possible.

Mayor Coble asked that Lamar be present at the meeting and that the meeting be held before next Wednesday.  He asked that a meeting be scheduled for Monday, January 22, 2001.

6. Landscape Ordinance Review and Discussion

Ms. Debbie Price briefed Council on the recommendations of city staff and noted that the draft had not been reviewed by city legal staff and asked Council review and provide their input.   Ms. Price stated that the addition of one staff member in the Land Development office would help to make the ordinance truly effective.  She also recommended that Benchmark and the city legal staff review and comment on the draft proposal.

Ms. Heizer asked that a three page summary be ready for public consumption before Wednesday and that it be made available at the Wednesday, January 24th Council meeting and be placed on the Internet.

8. Presentation of Retirees

Mr. Hugh Jordan was recognized for his 24 years of service and Mr. Steve Newton for his 28 years of service to the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Columbia.



A. Request to approve the City=s Commercial Revolving Loan Fund
Annual Plan Certification 2000.

Upon motion by Mayor Coble, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council unanimously voted to approve the City=s Commercial Revolving Loan Fund Annual Plan Certification 2000.

B. Agreement with Richland County to operate the Township Auditorium.

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council unanimously voted to approve in concept an agreement with Richland County to operate the Township Auditorium.

10. Zoning - Planned Unit Development Discussion

This item was held over.

11. Appointments

This item was held over.

12. Stormwater Utility Status

This item was held over.

13. Contract and Legal Matters

Upon motion by Mr. Cromartie, seconded by Mr. Papadea, Council voted to go into executive session at 11:25 a.m. to discuss items (a through g) as listed below.  Mr. Osborne will not participate in discussions regarding SCANA.

a. Homeless
c. RTA
d. TIF
f. EZ
g. Convention Center Agreements

The meeting adjourned at 12:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by

Peggy S. Breeland,
City Clerk