Aiken City Council moves forward on two housing-related projects

Landon Stamper, Aiken Standard, S.C.
·2 min read

Apr. 30—During its Monday meeting, Aiken City Council reviewed two agenda items that concern new housing developments in Aiken.

The first of these projects was a first reading of an ordinance to rezone property and approve a concept plan on 46.59 acres on Columbia Highway at Bushwillow Circle. The applicant, Great Southern Homes, is proposing to build a 316-lot subdivision with two-bedroom 2-story duplexes on vacant parcels at that location.

The developer proposes to build 158 2-story duplexes on those lots. Each dwelling unit will have 1,036 heated square feet with a great room, kitchen and half-bath downstairs, with two bedrooms and two full bathrooms upstairs. Each unit will also have its own backyard patio area.

A traffic impact study will be required as the proposed development is projected to generate 100 or more trips during the peak traffic hours.

The units would be for-sale units.

The council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance through first reading.

The second housing-related project involved a 72-unit affordable multifamily housing development on Gregg Highway. The council had a first reading of an ordinance to authorize certain economic development incentives for the development's construction.

The development would be located between Gregg Highway and Lokey Drive off of Richland Avenue W. The project would be approximately $15 million on the 10.3-acre site, with an anticipation of construction starting in spring 2022.

The project would provide 72 affordable multifamily units at 100% affordable under the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority, with a reservation of tax credits in the 2021 application cycle. The project will consist of five 2-story buildings and a clubhouse that will include a common area with kitchen, business center, common laundry area and fitness room.

In addition, the community will offer 10% of its units to disabled residents.

The city's incentives ordinance allows for projects to be reimbursed for a period of up to five years. However, City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh said the city is recommending only one year's worth of incentives to be reimbursed, as the project is not a "long-term job creator."

The fees and expenses will be reimbursed at a rate of 50% one year after a Certificate of Occupancy is issued for all units. The fees to be reimbursed include the building permit fees, water and sewer tap fees and other related development fees.

The council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance through first reading.