After more than an hour of discussion with the public, Aiken City Council approved new multi-family apartments to be built in the Village of Woodside at their Monday meeting.
There would be 14 apartments, all housed in one building on Society Hill Drive, with one-car garages for each of the apartments behind the structure.
Of the 14 apartments, 12 would be two-bedroom units and two would be one-bedroom units.
Since 2007, according to the agenda notes, this area has been indicated as a future multi-family apartment development site on the approved concept plan.
A few village residents spoke out against the plans at the January 25 town council meeting, citing concerns about parking, location and apartments available to rent, not just buy.
In the agenda notes, three items of information were listed based on comments and questions from the January 25 meeting, one of which was that townhouses would be governed by the same clauses and restrictions applicable to residential property owners.
Second, a parking analysis was carried out after concerns were raised which showed that parking for the new development meets minimum parking requirements.
Finally, the developers changed the plan so that the townhouses were set back 13 feet from the road, instead of the current setback of 10 feet and 5 inches on existing townhouses. This is to help navigate the aisle.
Some of those same residents from the previous meeting, as well as new faces, came out Monday night to make their voices heard.
Village resident Marianne Tansky brought and read a letter to council from another resident, Sarah Cleator, who was unable to attend the meeting.
In the letter, Cleator reiterated many of his concerns expressed at the previous meeting, mainly that the garages can be difficult to access and that it is difficult to maneuver in the one-way driveway on which the garages are located. .
John Rush, a resident of the village, said he was concerned that these apartments would alter the residential feel of the area.
“It’s not the concept we bought into or not the lifestyle we were looking to spend the rest of our days in,” Rush said, before going on to say, “I don’t believe it’s Aiken’s view. , one apartment complex after another.”
One resident, Bill Reynolds, expressed his approval for the project, saying it would be good for the neighborhood.
“Hopefully we’ll bring more people into the village to help support the retailers and hopefully bring in the grocery store we’re all talking about,” Reynolds said. “(If) we build townhouses, we’ll never get there.”
The second reading passed 5-1, Councilor Lessie Price dissenting. Councilor Gail Diggs was absent from the meeting.
The first reading of the ordinance passed 5-2 at the January 25 meeting, with councilors Diggs and Price voting in opposition.
Residents who wish to view a recording of the meeting may visit the Youtube.