2018-07-13 / News

Shandon Neighborhood Council approves requests

By Josh Cruse

Columbia police officer Mason Frier gives the neighborhood crime report. Columbia police officer Mason Frier gives the neighborhood crime report. The Shandon Neighborhood Council voted on several requests at its bimonthly neighborhood meeting Monday, July 9.

A motion was approved for the council to direct the zoning and ordinance committee to draft a position statement regarding the Board of Zoning Appeals’ (BOZA) decision to approve a variance for Backstreets Grill. The decision came following a discussion amongst councilmembers on how to proceed after receiving an email from Anne Sinclair that she felt Shandon Neighborhood Council dropped the ball by not taking a stance prior to BOZA’s decision.

Backstreets Grill ownership was seeking a parking variance after the established parking around the facility at 3006 Devine Street did not meet the zoning requirement. Surrounding neighborhoods have begun an appeal stating BOZA did not follow its own rules in the decision.

The Shandon Neighborhood Council met in March, prior to BOZA’s decision, and no request was made regarding the neighborhood taking a stance. Therefore, when a deadline was given for the neighborhood council to join the appeal by July 7, neighborhood leaders decided to not join.

Council approved another motion to direct the zoning and ordinance committee to draft a position letter regarding future BOZA decisions where a variance is being requested. The motion was made with the hopes of avoiding a similar situation in the future.

Shandon Neighborhood Council approved a third motion, this one to explore the possibilities of holding its meetings at one location. Currently, the council moves back and forth between Emily Douglass Park and Sims Park for five of its six meetings throughout the year. The annual meeting, held each March, is hosted at Heyward Street Methodist Church, the location neighborhood president Russell Jones was considering. The motion was to simplify where each meeting is held for residents and solve capacity issues. At city parks, the maximum capacity according to the fire code is 25 people. A full Shandon Neighborhood Council is 16 people. Another option was Hand Middle School. However, it would cost the council money to have the meetings at that location.

The final request council approved was to contract and have live music at its National Night Out event, Tuesday, August 7 at Sims Park. The live music cost is not to exceed $400.

Columbia police officer Mason Frier announced a suspect had been arrested in connection with many burglaries and auto break-ins in Shandon and surrounding areas. Since the suspect’s arrest, crime has decreased. The suspect is currently being held.

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