Master Plan, Envision Williamston showing results

By David Meade
During their regular monthly meeting Monday, Williamston Town Council held first reading on five zoning related ordinances, heard an update on Envision Williamston projects and an announcement of a new business coming to town.
Envision Williamston Executive Director Sonya Crandall updated council on several major projects the organization is overseeing including the Mustang Alley Feasibility Study. Crandall said SGA Architects recently presented three conceptual designs for a pocket park area behind the historic business district on East Main Street.
The options were narrowed to one by the Envision Williamston Board last week. The proposal includes an event oriented alleyway or pocket park area with a splash pad and small amphitheater.
The study includes the feasibility of the project.
A 3D rendering of the proposed concept will be drawn up and presented soon, Crandall said.
Crandall also said a request for proposals has been made public for a design and landscape project called the Williamston Downtown Acceleraton Program (WDAP).
The WDAP Program is funded under a Federal ARC grant at $96,000.
The WDAP is comprised of seven components including: three minor gateways; three greenways or landscaped areas; a facade grant program (Phase 2); a mural project; a decal project; and the Adopt a Rest Stop fall/spring program.
Crandall also said Envision Williamston will be accepting applications until Nov. 10 for Phase 2 of the business Facade grant program.
Winners of the Main Street Challenge will be announced in December, Crandall said. The economic development grant program offers entrepreneurs the opportunity for a new business startup in Williamston, assisted with a $10,000 grant.
Crandall said she expects two or three out of the five businesses that have applied, to be awarded the grant.
The Envision Williamston fall scarecrow decorating contest is also beginning she said.
Crandall asked council to consider approval of a “social layout” Adopt a Rest Stop on the “Lander property” on Gossett Street. The layout includes two benches.
Council amended the agenda to consider a list of roads to be submitted to the Anderson County Transportation Committee for paving. The list includes approximately three miles of roadway and will require a ten percent match by the town. The resolution was approved unanimously.
Council unanimously approved first reading authorizing minor modifications to zoning regulations. Mayor Durham said the changes were recommended by the Planning Commission and would allow minor zoning modifications.
Council unanimously approved first reading on an ordinance amending the town’s zoning map to re-zone property on East Main St. from Institutional to Core Commercial.
The property is the former site of the old Williamston Town Hall and was purchased by T Square Properties when town properties were sold several years back.
Council unanimously approved changes to the zoning map to re-name R-4 Multi Family to MFR-Multifamily Residential.
Council unanimously approved an ordinance establishing a “INS-Institutional” zoning district. The ordinance provides a definition for Institutional property, according to Planning Commission Chairman Marion Middleton, Jr. All of the town’s property is zoned Institutional, he said.
Council approved renaming the “HC-Highway Commercial” zoning District to “RC-Residential Commercial”.
The change clarifies zoning and will help persons purchasing real estate in the town’s commercial district, that could also be used for residential, with obtaining financing, Middleton said.
Middleton also announced that  a developer plans to bring a Dollar Tree store to the former BB&T bank property on Greenville Drive.
He said the decision by the developer was “A result of our Master Plan.”
Middleton said the old building will be torn down and replaced with a new building to house the Dollar Tree retail business.