ABBEVILLE — Residents who were concerned their quiet street might become a traffic hub spoke against a rezoning attempt Monday evening at Abbeville County Council.
With multiple people signed up to speak during the public hearing for the rezoning ordinance, council Chairwoman Kristi Smith moved to hear from them early.
The rezoning ordinance would take the about 2.7-acre parcel of land at 60 Winona Church Road from a forest agricultural zoning to restricted residential. Property owner David Hershberger did not address council, but he said he requested the rezoning to prepare for any future plans he might have for the property.
Hershberger said he didn’t have any immediate plans for the land, which currently has a cottage on it. He said he’d like the chance to someday remodel the cottage or build a new one, possibly for his daughter to live in.
The forest agricultural zone allows for a single-family residence on at least two acres. Restricted residential allows for single-family residences as well, with a detached housing unit. It also allows for civic buildings such as schools, churches and playgrounds, and conditional uses such as child care homes, communications towers and home occupations.
Conway Shirley was first to the lectern and explained that she and her husband lived next door to the property up for rezoning.
“Please ask yourself if you would want a commercial unit next to your property bringing in unwanted traffic,” she said.
Jean Mulvey, another resident of the area, said she moved there for safety, a sense of community and the peace and quiet of living in the country.
“With your proposal for Winona Church Road, each and every one of those reasons would be destroyed forever,” she said.
She said she didn’t know the property owner’s intentions for the lot, but speculated that if it were turned into a bed and breakfast or another type of commercial temporary housing, the people who stayed there wouldn’t have respect for the property or the area around it. She suggested college students could stay there as a rental property and wondered whether that possibility could lead to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Gary Buffalo said he’s lived there for about 15 years. He said only one person would benefit from rezoning the property — the property’s owner. He requested council deny the rezoning on that basis.
Council went into a closed-door legal discussion after hearing from the residents, and, upon reconvening a few minutes later, the motion to approve the ordinance rezoning the property failed when no council member would second the motion to approve it. Councilman Charles Goodwin then made a motion for council to oppose the ordinance, which passed unanimously.
As council moved on to other business, members unanimously also approved an ordinance annexing KC Ranch Road into the county road system, and another allowing the county to charge a fee for users of the Corbin Road ground tank.
Council had first reading on a pair of ordinances to sell property at the Calhoun Falls industrial sites A and B, plots along S.C. Highway 72. County Director David Garner said the sale of these lots is connected to two development projects, titled Project Zeus and Project Sunshine. He couldn’t share additional information about the projects but said council would have more details to share at the second reading of the ordinances.
In other news:
Council approved spending about $25,000 on two diesel mowers for the county.
Council appointed the following people to board and commission positions: Paul Prescott to the District 7 seat on the library board, Simon Allen to the District 3 seat on the planning commission, Selena Goodwin-Hay to the hospital board and John Calhoun to the Upper Savannah Development Board.