West Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Construction of the $40 million Brookland development in the City of West Columbia is causing parking pains for residents and visitors. City council and property owners have a fix, but not everyone is happy about it.
"Parking all along has been identified as a serious issue associated with this development," Councilman Tem Miles said. "We have taken a large part of money which we've received from the sale of that four-acre track and we've invested it."
The city is purchasing six different lots along Hudson, Carpenter and Oliver Streets.
"They were interested in selling. They recognize the benefit to the overall area for what the city is trying to do and they were willing to part with their properties in exchange for monetary consideration," Miles said.
Kristen McGilton frequents the West Columbia Riverwalk and Amphitheater and said she's excited.
"I think that's a great idea, but I hope that the people aren't getting ‘bum-rushed’ out of their homes," McGilton said.
Ashley Napier is a tenant at 101 Oliver Street.
"It's been a real nightmare," said Napier. "We were given a date of April 15 to be out."
We reached out to her landlord, but she declined to comment. Others like Alison Moons said the original homes have history and leveling them will be a shame.
"If better planning and not giving in to developers every single need we could have resolved some of those problems and we wouldn't have to tear down any houses to do that," Moons said.
But Miles said this is the best option.
"The choices are to keep the status quo, which you know doesn't work already or to make change and it may not be the change that you want, but it is an opportunity to come in and improve some of those issues that have plagued the mill hill so long," he said.
Miles also said the city is not using imminent domain to force property owners out.
Ashley Napier said she planned on signing a lease for a different location Thursday night.
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