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Residents Upset With Proposed Housing

11:25 PM, Jan 22, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Proposed housing on the 3700 block of North Main Street has residents and business owners sounding off.

A Greenville company is interested in purchasing the property and turning it into housing for assisted income residents.

Business owners are upset because that type of housing does not adhere to the North Columbia master plan that is recognized by the city council.

"We have done everything we can do as a neighborhood to try and improve the conditions for the people that live here, to make it a place for people to come and shop and we feel like the city continues to use us as a bit of a dumping ground for their problems," said business owner, Bill Roberts.

The master plan calls for mixed use housing, for example a store with residential space on the second floor. If approved, H-U-D properties don't allow retail establishments to be attached to housing.

"While other parts of the city gets funding, I have owned this property for 13 years, when I bought it they were talking about improving main street, which still hasn't happened. While the Vista has sprung up and other parts of the city," said Roberts.

Representatives from the Empowerment Zone, a government body that works in urban and rural development, tells us that the city manager instructed them not to talk about it if a contract has been reached between them and the contractor.

Instead the issue will be discussed at a City Council Meeting next Tuesday. Three council members were in attendance and say this information has not formally been presented to them and it will be discussed in the meeting.

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