Located 22 miles northwest of downtown Augusta, Evans is located in Columbia County, one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. Since 1997, a collaborative effort between the public, elected officials, county staff, and outside consultants has been ongoing to establish design criteria via an Overlay District for the Evans Town Center. However, shortcomings in the codified document and a renewed interest in developing a downtown core in Evans prompted a revision and master plan for the Overlay District.
TSW was retained by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners in 2018 to review and recommend modifications to the current standards, in addition to developing a master plan centered around The Plaza, a commercial and cultural center located in the Town Center. Central to the process was extensive outreach that involved multiple methods, including, 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. The planning process resulted in a plan that:
- Adds mixed-use development to attract residents, businesses, and visitors;
- Developed 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;
- 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;
- Creates development and redevelopment growth opportunities in the TownCenter through modifications of the Evans Town Center Overlay District Zoning
- Encourages a balance of land uses and improved zoning standards to support and encourage long-term economic viability and redevelopment.