Local officials and a state senator gathered at Merriwether Elementary School on Aug. 28 to talk about the future of the Merriwether community.
The panel discussion, hosted by Merriwether Community Coalition, included eight panelists: Edgefield County council members Genia Blackwell and Dean Campbell; Sen. Shane Massey, District 25; Adell Dobey, Edgefield County sheriff; Roger LeDuc with Edgefield County Department of Roads and Bridges; Lynn Strom, administrator for Edgefield County; and Todd Glover, administrator for the city of North Augusta
The word “growth” was brought up several times during the discussion.
Campbell noted that Merriwether is the fastest growing area of the county and that there has to be a vision and a plan for its expected continued growth. He also spoke briefly about the Edgefield County strategic plan, which includes plans for the Merriwether area.
Massey said in order to properly plan, the community has to have a vision of where it wants to be. He also urged the community to be active in the decision-making process in their community and county and to participate in the planning of the area’s future.
The county’s planning commission has approached the county council with a proposal for a Highway Overlay District, which also became a topic of focus during the discussion. A majority of the Merriwether area is zoned as residential, LeDuc said.
The proposal is to allow commercial and retail businesses to locate in the area from the North Augusta-Edgefield County line on Martintown Road down several miles to Woodlawn Road with strict setback and buffer restrictions.
Council member Blackwell asked that people share their thoughts with her.
“If Merriwether does not want this, then I will not support it,” she said.
The coalition is open to the public, and those interested in learning more about the coalition and its efforts can visit merriwethercommunitycoalition.weebly.com.