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Pawleys Zoning Board of Appeals approves ‘widow’s walk’ variance

  • Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • Updated Friday, December 20, 2013 11:08 am

One Pawleys Island property owner will be able to add a “widow’s walk” to his house that is slightly longer than allowed by town ordinances.

The Pawleys Island Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously last Thursday to allow the variance for Michael Santorelli, owner of 610 Doyle Drive on the island, which Santorelli is remodelling.

A widow’s walk is a structure that sits on the pitch of a roof. The name comes from times of war when women watched the ocean for their husband’s ship to arrive, bringing him home.

Board members agreed that although the widow’s walk exceeds the maximum length by nine inches, it does not exceed the maximum area of 100 square feet.

Bob Anderson, the contractor for the project, is also a county councilman.

He told the board that he made every effort to conform to the ordinance, but the safest way to attach the widow’s walk to the structure of the house was to make it 10 feet, nine inches long.

Anderson said he made sure to reduce the width of the widow’s walk to meet the height and square foot requirements.

The county permitted all plans for the house, Anderson said.

They will now request county approval of the widow’s walk plans.

Storm water drainange issue

The board voted unanimously to defer its decision about an alternative plan for a driveway storm water drainage system for 111 Atlantic Avenue, where property owner Gail Resetar is building a new house and swimming pool.

The town’s ordinances require driveways to have pervious concrete, pervious pavers, shell, gravel or slag.

Thomas Bevins, a civil engineer with Engineering and Technical Services, presented his plan to the board at the meeting last Thursday.

He showed on a diagram how the impervious concrete would drain through a French drain system of pipes with holes.

“The intent of the town’s pervious requirement is to allow storm water to percolate into the ground,” Bevins said.

“This system is a good substitute for a pervious surface and conventional concrete requires less maintenance, it is easier to walk on and it is better for support of a car.”

David Durant, attorney for the Town of Pawleys Island, said he doesn’t agree or disagree with Bevins’ assertion that this system would be a good substitute for pervious material.

“The problem here is that out town ordinance does not permit this as a usable driveway,” Durant said. “The only way to change an ordinance is to go before the town’s planning and zoning board. This board cannot take the role of town council.”

Bevins agreed to present his plan to the Planning and Zoning Board.

If a change to the ordinance is deemed necessary, that change will then go before town council for a vote.


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