Friday, May 30, 2014
To the Editor:
The current political scene recalls the oft told story of a conductor on the Princeton train discovering Dr. Albert Einstein crawling under his seat.
Asked why, Dr. Einstein replied I seemed to have lost my ticket. To which the conductor said don’t worry, I know who you are.
Dr. Einstein replied I know who I am too, but I don’t know where I am going.
County Council candidate Steve Goggans knows where he is going.
Eight years ago, Steve became concerned about the quality of the changes to the U. S. 17 commercial zone. This led him to lobby vigorously for a commercial architectural overlay district on the Waccamaw Neck. This resulted in his appoint-ment along with two others as a committee to draft architectural standards. This was not a popular new layer of regulation but Steve could see the benefits.
He researched other codes and authored the majority of the standards. These were subsequently approved and translated into our present Waccamaw Neck Architectural Review Corridor code.
This is the same document that Mayor Bill Otis recently pointed out as “the only thing that protects our area from looking like the intersection of Highways 17 and 601 in Myrtle Beach.”
Steve knew where he was going.
County Council then appointed a six-person committee, including Steve, to serve as an Architectural Review Board (the ARB). This group was convened as needed as the peer review appeals board for those whose building application was rejected by the County staff for appearance issues.
Applicants appeared before the ARB, presented their appeal and stated why they believed the staff erred in applying the ordinance standards.
The ARB listened, gathered the facts and interpreted the ordinance. County Council had the final say but usually upheld the ARB appeals review. As planning and designs improved, appeals diminished and the ARB met less frequently. Steve knew where he was going.
In recent times, the ARB was called into service to hear a variance request regarding the proposed Publix project design. Taking into consideration the ordinance, the ARB reviewed the alternatives available under the Overlay Corridor design standards.
At this time the ARB included Steve, an architect as chairman, an additional architect, a landscape architect, a civil engineer, an accountant and a former member of the planning commission. After presentation by the applicant and discussion on the interpretation of the design standards, the appeals board voted 5-1 in favor of the variance request. Steve knew where he was going.
W. Russell Campbell
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