Letters to the Editor

Dickerson: Costco worked with Richland County to ease concerns

Like many residents, I’m looking forward to the expanding retail choices coming to Richland County, and now it looks like one of them will be Costco.

As the representative of the Midlands’ shopping destination, I questioned the location Costco chose because it would increase traffic on Fernandina Drive, Piney Grove Road and Piney Woods Road. The good news is Costco is working with the state Transportation Department to address traffic flow.

Before the state agency began its review of Costco, the company’s plans needed county approval to ensure they complied with the land development code. The property already was zoned for retail use, so Costco did not need to go before the Planning Commission or County Council to request a rezoning; all that was needed was for county staff to review the plans.

The first plans Costco submitted earlier this year were rejected, which is not unusual for developments of this size. Costco went back to the drawing board, corrected the problems and resubmitted its plans, and county staff gave its approval. I’m confident that Costco will open its doors soon — something I didn’t think would happen a few years ago, when company representatives decided to re-evaluate locating here after concerns over the site and the improvements required.

With that background and all the concerns swirling about Costco this time, I wanted the company to engage county leaders to discuss its plans. It was under no obligation to do so, but I thought it was the right thing to do. I’m thankful that a top Costco representative took the time to talk to me. In listening to my concerns and those of many of my constituents, the company extended a courtesy that speaks highly of Costco and its desire to open in the capital county.

I’ve heard from many residents excited about Costco. I am, too. The retail giant will bring jobs and a one-stop shopping experience many people look forward to having. More importantly, Costco has the opportunity to position itself as a true community partner — and that’s what I’m looking forward to the most.

Joyce Dickerson

Richland County Councilwoman

Columbia

Reach Ms. Dickerson at dickersonj@rcgov.us.

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