The Aiken Municipal Development Commission at its July 7, 2020 meeting unanimously agreed to forward the attached document, AMDC Redevelopment Plan One, to City Council with a recommendation that Council approve the plan following a required public hearing. This Redevelopment Plan is prepared pursuant to Section 31-10-100 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. The plan area includes the area from Laurens Street to Chesterfield Street from Richland to Park Avenue. The existing land uses within the boundaries are as follows: hotel use (currently vacant), commercial retail and restaurant (some currently vacant), bank building (currently vacant), and surface parking. It is important to note that this plan is a first step that allows the AMDC the ability to act within the described area. The plan is designed to be general and includes a wide variety of possible land uses, funding sources, and methods, etc. Approval of the plan does not create any specific project nor does it obligate the Commission or the City to any course of action other than continued study and the possibility of future project proposals based on the broad set of goals established in the plan. Any future concrete proposals for actual projects would be approved separately if and when they are fully developed.
The AMDC has identified this area as a Conservation Area as defined in Section 31-10-20 of the South Carolina Code of Laws. The following four factors are present in the area: dilapidation, obsolescence, deterioration, presence of structures below minimum code standards, depreciation of physical maintenance. Therefore, the area is detrimental to the public safety, health, morals, or welfare of the City of Aiken and is threatened to become a blighted area. The City of Aiken through prior planning efforts, has identified this area as an area of focus including a plan completed in 2010 an updated Strategic Plan Completed in 2016. Under the requirements of the SC Redevelopment Law, an approved redevelopment plan is required for the AMDC to take any substantive action or exercise its duties and responsibilities as outlined in Section 31-10-100. Upon approval of City Council of the redevelopment plan, the commission is authorized to acquire property, to execute contracts for clearance and preparation of the land for resale, and to take other actions necessary to carry out the redevelopment plan, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.