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Notes From the ACC Commission Meeting - January 2, 2002
NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION REDUCTION GRANT
HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS
2. Commissioners voted unanimously to designate the Bottleworks on Prince Avenue as a local historic landmark. The same citizen who objected to the Dearing Street designation also spoke against the Bottleworks - intimating that it would have negative tax consequences, that it had received less scrutiny than other historic designations, and that "members of the legal community are keeping track" of historic designations. Four citizens spoke in favor of the designation, citing the significance of the Coca Cola bottling plant to Athens, the positive impact the project has and will continue to have on the ACC tax base, the positive precedent of this public-private economic development partnership, and the fact that the project has undergone the scrutiny of the state and federal historic landmark designation process, more rigorous than that of the local designation process. There was little discussion, except for a statement by Commissioner Hugh Logan, who expressed that, while he doubted the historical significance of the buildings, he appreciated the revitalization of the property, especially that the developers used private funding. He said that this was a precedent-setting vote, and that he tries to be the voice of reason and analysis. The Commission could have voted to rezone the property as industrial. He also said that there are some unanswered questions about the tax status of the old and new sections of the project, and asked the ACC Attorney whether this was all in order. Attorney Ernie DePascale stated that the question of whether the owners would receive tax benefits was very complex, and in any case should not influence the Commission's decision.
BICYCLE MASTER PLAN IMPLEMENTATION PROJECT
Representatives from BikeAthens spoke in favor of the project, emphasizing that the Research - Riverbend section must be considered as Phase I, with the extension of the lanes to Barnett Shoals Rd. as Phase II. BikeAthens is participating in negotiations with UGA, whose representatives have expressed interest in collaborating with ACC on this project. BikeAthens also urged that the Commission consider some of the smaller restriping projects that have been identified as possible BMP implementation projects along with the College Station Road project.
Commission discussion focused on concerns about safety and funding. Commissioner States McCarter did not want to add bike lanes that would lead cyclists to a bridge that was too narrow to safely accommodate them. Commissioner Kilpatrick suggested the approach that was eventually adopted, to move forward with the bike lanes while at the same time pursuing state, federal and private funding to widen the bridge. Commissioner Carl Jordan suggested tabling the vote until it could be determined if UGA would participate in the project, but Commissioner Tom Chasteen said he felt it would be more productive to proceed without waiting for UGA. He is serving on a subcommittee of the UGA Staff Council which is considering bike facilities improvement (along with Commissioner Logan) and his sense was that if UGA sees a commitment from ACC, they will realize that ACC is serious about the project.
Commissioner Carl Jordan suggested looking at ACC's fleet vehicle policy for possible revision to require better fuel economy.
During the citizen comment period for issues not on the agenda, Richard DeRose announced that he would be running for Mayor as a Democrat.