WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - The City of West Columbia has seen a five percent increase in population since 2010 and city leaders are reviewing ways to grow with it.
"I love being in West Columbia and doing business in West Columbia. It's some great people to work for," Walter Turbyfill said.
Turbyfill owns Cafe Strudel and said he's seen the city's growth first-hand.
"In the next two to five years, growth in West Columbia and Cayce is unbelievable," William Mooneyhan Sr. said.
Mooneyhan serves on the city's planning commission. The group reviewed the city's vision for the area Monday night.
"There's a lot of good things going on in the city, but the comprehensive plan will put a lot of it together," Mooneyhan said.
The plan identifies five key focus areas: continuing a sense of place, appearance, growth and economic development, land use and transportation.
The city hopes to distinguish itself from Columbia and Cayce and make Triangle City its Central Business District.
"We're trying to redevelop that (area) and get more businesses and bring it from the river," he said.
They also hope to establish guidelines for areas like the New Brookland Historic District.
"That area is pretty well protected, but we need to protect on out because, realistically, somebody on 378 a little further out could put up a chain linked fence with barbed wires, which there is one or two, which I understand. Some of them are wholesale businesses, but we need to stop that before they put it up because they would probably put a nice fence up if they were made to," Mooneyhan said.
Turbyfill said he thinks the city is moving in the right direction, but his biggest concern is the lack of parking from State Street down to the RiverWalk and he doesn't believe the city's solution of tearing down five historic homes to create space was the right call.
"I'm kind of totally against that because you're going to put a parking lot right up in the middle of a neighborhood," he said.
Turbyfill said growth is good, but it needs to thought out.
"Some planned growth and I think they're looking at that," he said.
There will be another public hearing where City Council will take up the comprehensive plan. A date for that hearing has not been scheduled.
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