Effingham County’s municipalities are looking at ways to preserve their historic areas as they finish their portions of the comprehensive plan.
As part of Thursday night’s meeting at Effingham County High School on the comp plan, residents of the three municipalities and the unincorporated area split into workgroups to discuss the character area maps.
The Springfield group discussed the preservation of its historic areas, according to Mayor Barton Alderman, who also noted the city’s recent adoption of a historic preservation ordinance.
“We’re trying to highlight not just the historic district,” he said, “but historic sites and historic structures.”
But residents also don’t want to be prevented from removing structures that are falling down.
“I don’t want us to get so to where we can’t tear down a dilapidated building,” said Murray Kight.
Springfield also talked about ways to reduce auto traffic and increase pedestrian traffic downtown by concentrating its commercial enterprises downtown.
“You can simply walk next door,” Alderman said.
He also said the city wants to establish guidelines for quality commercial development along the bypass, such as putting parking behind the businesses.
Guyton’s goals were similar to Springfield’s. That group’s talks included protecting the historic nature of the town and enforcing the current zoning codes. Also discussed was allowing the use of scenic parkways as gateways into Guyton.
The Guyton group also discussed minimizing the number of entryways off state highways. It also went over establishing a golf cart ordinance in order to emphasize other modes of transportation other than people getting in their cars. The group also talked about identifying areas in town that need beautifying and about ways to enhance downtown.
Rincon group members talked about connectivity and also the need for more greenspace by increasing the number of parks. The Rincon group broached a “carrot and stick” method for developers to include more area for greenspace in developments rather than forcing private property owners to cede their land.