News - October 5, 2016

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Downtown plan update called starting point


A sweeping update to Augusta’s redevelopment plan for downtown appeared on the scene last week. The public has only two opportunities – review meetings scheduled Wednesday and Thursday – to weigh in, and can provide written comment through Sept. 26. The plan’s primary author said the draft is merely a starting point. The plan is an update of the 2013 Downtown Urban Redevelopment Plan, a 28-page document created primarily for the city to use urban redevelopment powers to issue bonds to renovate the Municipal Building. But the 76-page update does more, said Melanie Wilson, the city’s planning and development director. “It’s an update of what was in the URA, but it also covers some additional design and development standards that are needed to continue grow the downtown area,” Wilson said. “We’re taking a lens and looking at what those areas should look like and what they should have as a mix of usages.”