County considers neighborhood zoning change

  • Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Georgetown County leaders are considering a zoning change in a Murrells Inlet neighborhood which nearby property owners say will cause flooding of their land.

County Council was expected to pass first reading of an ordinance Tuesday at its regular meeting to rezone a total of 2.37 acres located on the south side of Tupelo Road, east of Berkeley Court in Murrells Inlet from Forest and Agriculture (FA) to One Half Acre Residential.

Planning staff recommended approval of a request from Steve Strickland with Earthworks as agent for Inlet Boys, LLC to rezone the property.

Property owners who spoke during last month’s Planning Commission meeting stated concerns about flooding in the area.

Strickland said the developers have not done anything to cause any flooding in that area and that some flooding is natural since it is a low lying area.

“They are seasonal wetlands that are dry in the summer and have standing water in the winter,” Strickland said.

“You can’t do anything about it because it doesn’t have an outlet.”

He added that construction of a new road in that area would probably help the situation since it would have to conform to county regulations for storm water runoff.

Boyd Johnson, planning director for Georgetown County, agreed.

“That is a MS4 [Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems] designated area so there is higher scrutiny for storm drainage,” Johnson said.

“I am confident that our storm water department will look at it very carefully.”

He said he is also confident that Strickland will help the developer make sure there aren’t any negative impacts from developing the area.

According to County staff, the parcel is currently vacant and the site was recently cleared.

The tract contains two parcels.

The eastern most parcel is rectangular in shape and contains 1.05 acres.

The parcel to the west is a flag-shaped lot containing a total of 5.54 acres. Only the first 1.32 acres of this parcel are proposed for rezoning to One-Half Acre Residential Zoning.

The tract is surrounded by single family uses and vacant parcels and contains approximately 240 feet of frontage on Tupelo Road.

FA zoning is located to the north, east and south of the tract. One-Half Acre Residential Zoning is located west of the tract along Berkeley Court.

The western most parcel contains some wetlands according to the County’s GIS map and both lots have been recently cleared of pine trees.

The One-Half Acre Residential Zoning District allows for single family dwellings, noncommercial agriculture, public buildings and accessory uses.

Under One-Half Acre Residential Zoning, the tract could potentially be subdivided into three one-half acre parcels with the possible installation of a right of way.

The Georgetown County FLU [Future Land Use] map, which designates this property and all adjacent property fronting both Tupelo Road and Berkeley Court as low density residential, will not need to be amended to facilitate this request, staff reported.

Other business

Council was expected to pass third reading of an ordinance to amend the Pawleys Plaza Planned Development to allow for approval of signage guidelines.

The Pawleys Plaza Planned Development is located on the northwest corner of Petigru Drive and Highway 17 in Pawleys Island.

Developers supplied details regarding the main identification sign and other signage on the property.

The proposed main identification sign will have a simulated standing seam roof.

The “Pawleys Island Plaza” section of the sign will be routed aluminum face with push through letters and halo lighting.

The main cabinet portion of the sign regarding the tenants will be a double faced aluminum cabinet with vinyl overlay and lettering.

The over all structure will be aluminum with stimulated board and batten siding applied.

Proposed colors include light green, light orange, olive green, white, and green pantone 363 to match the future main tenant.

Council was expected to pass third reading of an ordinance to amend to the Zoning Ordinance to create a new zoning district entitled Flexible Design District.

As a result of the SC Supreme Court ruling which effectively prohibited single use Planned Developments, many localities have created a new zoning district that allow flexibility and innovation without utilizing Planned Developments.

In order to have the ability to approve an innovative development that may be single use, localities have created new districts by various names that allow beneficial flexibility yet meet basic land use law.

County staff has created a Flexible Design District to allow creative, single use developments that truly address the problems like affordable housing and/or enhance the environment.

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