North Augusta’s Planning Commission passed a recommendation to City Council to amend the city’s controversial Neighborhood Preservation Overlay District over one year after they tied on a very similar vote.

A motion for the recommendation that Council amend the Overlay to exclude the west side of Georgia Avenue from Briggs Avenue to Maddox Street passed.

The application was made by Michael Pace with Mountaineer Pest Services. Pace said he wants to expand his business and wants to be able to build according to the city’s General Commercial standards. General Commercial is the zoning for Pace’s property.

Over a year ago in March 2018, Planning Commission tied on a vote for an almost identical application from Pace, and in Aug. 2018, a vote by City Council to approve the text amendment failed.

Thursday's recommendation passed 4-1. Commissioners Tim Key, Len Carter, JoAnn McKie and Bob Clark voted in favor of the recommendation. Dr. Christine Crawford voted against the recommendation. Commissioner Larry Watts was not present for any votes and Chairman Briton Williams recused himself from the vote.

Planning Commission also unanimously passed a vote to recommend that City Council approve amendments to the chapter outlining signage use in the Development Code.

The new sign language has provisions for construction signage and adds new sign types for downtown, among other things.

Council also unanimously passed a recommendation that Council abandon a portion of an alley at the rear of a piece of property on Carolina Avenue.

All three recommendations will now head to City Council for final approval.

Lindsey Hodges is a general assignment reporter at the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star. Follow her on Twitter at @LindseyNHodges.