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Billboards on hold along I-95
Conceptual map of the Cherry Hill Townhome project.

Billboards, improvements to Rushing Street and Casey Drive and the imminent arrival of Food Lion were among the topics at Tuesday’s Richmond Hill City Council meeting.

Council approved a six month moratorium for billboards along I-95.

The council went into executive session to discuss potential litigation regarding billboards prior to announcing the moratorium. After the meeting, planning and zoning director Steve Scholar said "litigation or the possibility of litigation is not something we typically comment on."

Scholar said the moratorium was proposed in order to hire a consultant to "ensure the potential billboard growth along I-95 met all state Department of Transportation and city requirements."

The moratorium will not affect proposals within the approved billboard corridors inside the city – just along I-95.

In another matter, it was announced that, after years of needing repairs and resurfacing, road work on both Rushing Street and Casey Drive may be coming soon. Both streets suffer from pot holes. City Manager Mike Melton said developer Lamar Smith is responsible for Rushing Street while the city is responsible for the upkeep of Casey Drive.

Councilman and Mayor Pro-tem Floyd Hilliard said he met with Smith earlier that day to discuss the repair work.

"I asked Lamar to give me a timetable on when the work would be done," Hilliard said. "He was very receptive and gave his word that he’ll back with the city within 30 days with a plan. He said he’ll make some things happen to finish this project correctly."

Melton said the city has been trying to get help from the state for ten years for the $250,000 Casey Drive project. Last month, the state Department of Transportation sent out a letter saying state aid has been cancelled for the fiscal year 2010.

However, Melton said DOT has agreed to meet with him next week to discuss other avenues of funding for Casey Drive. Melton said the city can contribute funds to the project, but cannot afford to take it on alone.

Melton said he should have more information on the Casey Drive repairs by either the next council meeting or the following.

In another matter, council approved the site plans and building elevations for the new 35,000 square-foot Food Lion shopping center, to be located adjacent to the new Bryan Bank on Hwy. 17.

Scholar said the project is 32 parking spaces shy of meeting the parking ordinance, but council discussed how parking should only reach capacity just prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Food Lion representatives said they would like to open the store by the end of the year. In addition to the grocery store, six retail shops are planned for the site.

In other business:

- A permit was granted to Kellie Robertson to operate an open air produce and plant market inside Station Xchange.

- Council approved the conceptual master plan for Cherry Hill Townhomes, a 12-acre, 84-unit project located off Harris Trail inside Richmond Hill Plantation.

- Council granted a permit to Rajnikant Patel to open an Indian restaurant at the old Smokehouse Grill location on Hwy. 17.


Attached photos include sketch maps of Food Lion and Cherry Hill Townhomes.

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