Client: Columbia County Board of Commissioners
Location: Columbia County, Georgia
Status: In Progress
Located 22 miles northwest of downtown Augusta, Evans is a town located in Columbia County, which is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. In order to establish design criteria for the Evans Town Center – Urban Design Plan, a collaborative effort between the public, elected officials, county staff, and outside consultants has been ongoing since 1997 through an Overlay District. However, due to shortcomings in the codified document and a renewed interest in developing a downtown core in Evans, a revision and master plan for the Overlay District was needed.
In 2018, TSW was retained by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners to review and recommend modifications to the current standards, as well as to develop a master plan centered around The Plaza, a commercial and cultural center located in the Town Center. The planning process included extensive outreach to the public through multiple methods such as stakeholder meetings, media releases, posters, an online survey, a public kick-off meeting, a 2-day drop-in work session and workshop meeting, and a draft public open house to display the draft recommendations for final comment titled Evans Town Center – Urban Design Plan.
The resulting plan includes several key elements to attract residents, businesses, and visitors to the town. Firstly, it adds mixed-use development to the area. Secondly, it proposes a comprehensive multi-use trail, sidewalk, and street network throughout the study area that will connect visitors and residents to key destinations in the Town Center. Thirdly, it proposes residential, office, and commercial development that is more urban, made of quality materials and design, is diverse, and that will attract a wide range of people and lifestyles. Fourthly, it creates development and redevelopment growth opportunities in the Town Center through modifications of the Evans Town Center Overlay District Zoning regulations. Lastly, it encourages a balance of land uses and improved zoning standards to support and encourage long-term economic viability and redevelopment.
In summary, the Evans Town Center – Urban Design Plan is a comprehensive approach to revitalizing the downtown area by attracting residents, businesses, and visitors. It focuses on mixed-use development, a comprehensive multi-use trail, sidewalk, and street network, urban and diverse housing, and zoning regulations to support long-term economic viability. The plan was developed through extensive outreach and community engagement.