Planning for residential growth, extension of the Mineral Spring Trail and property development were the primary topics of discussion during a
Williamston Town Council work session meeting held Tuesday evening,
A number of growth related item are currently being addressed by the Town’s Planning Commission and will require action by council.
Planning Commission Chairman Marion Middleton, Jr. said the commission is recommending that two at large members be added to the current five members, for a total of seven. The planning commission currently has one member from each of the four wards and an at large chairman. Middleton said that adding the two new at large members would make the board more effective in having a quorum present to make decisions.
The planning commission is also recommending the town add a R7 classification to the zoning ordinance. Middleton said the new classification, which allows 7000 square feet lots, will allow developers to build larger homes on smaller lots on property at Middleton Blvd. and Minor Street. The property is already laid out for the smaller lot sizes, he said. The norm for single residential homes is 10,000 sq. ft., he said. The lots are expected to sell for approximately $23,000 each.
“We want more people in town, but we want to grow and grow responsibly,” Middleton said. “This will allow big houses on lots that are already laid out. We are not rezoning the property (which is already residential) other than
adding a new classification.”
Mayor Burgess said the town will need to create a new R7 classification by ordinance and then rezone the property mentioned to R7.
The town’s zoning ordinance currently has R1, R2 and R3 classifications. R3 is 10,000 sq. ft.
There will be a public hearing on the zoning change.
The planning commission is also recommending changes to property on Brock Lane currently zoned Multi Family Residential (MFR) to a new classification called Planned Development.
Planned development allows for more green space in a planned subdivision.
Middleton said the planned development classification is what he is “Most excited about, because it gives the town more control” over what a subdivision looks like.
He said it also allows new development in an area where topography presents challenges.
Middleton said most of the land that is easiest to build on in Williamston has already been developed.’
Planned development allows for more green space, smaller lots and adjustments to set back guidelines to allow a builder more leeway.
“You (the town) can tell a developer what you want them to do,” he said.
The developer must also draw up plans and present them to the town and the town can say “this is what we want” before the development is approved.
The classifications are based on recommendation from Appalachian Council of Government (ACOG) and Anderson City planning, Middleton said.
The planning commission is also recommending an increase of preliminary plat fee from $25 to $50 and $1 per lot, to help cover costs such as posting signs and public notices that are required. They are also recommending a final plat review fee of $75 to help with coding people and Anderson County.
Middleton said the Planning Commission is being very involved. “We want to keep Williamston as Williamston, but we want more people.” Middleton said the town has infrastructure needed for more growth.
Mayor Burgess added that the County has approved selling 300,000 gallons per day sewer capacity the county owns back to the town. Burgess said the cost will be $300,000 but will not have to paid until development happens.
He said the state has also requested funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) which will eventually bring funds to the town.
Burgess said the town is also looking at expanding the trail system. “We have always been know for the Mineral Spring. Our number two resource is going to be out rail system.”
Burgess said the town is already working with Anderson County, ACOG and SCDOT to preliminary plans to expand the current Mineral Spring Trail to connect with the school system, reservoir, Pelzer and West Pelzer and the Saluda River.
He said the trail will probably have four phases and that the ARP funds, which can be used for trails and other transportation, will help pay for it.
“I was told we have to have a plan in place,” Burgess said. He said the town has a proposal from Alliance Engineering to provide a detailed plan for the envisioned trail system. A local company will also be subcontracted to help with the layout of the trail.
(Pictured: Mineral Spring Trail to old Water Plant)
Several options are being looked at for the location of the trail extension from where it currently ends behind the old water treatment plant.
Burgess said there is also interest by an investor to provide funding for a brewery at the water treatment plant and the town is looking for a long term tenant for the facility.
“We want to be a long term partner, and get our money on the back end,” he said.
Connecting the trail system to the new development planned for Brock Lane will be a priority, the mayor said. “Brock Lane will be a showpiece for the town.”
Williamston Town Council approved a purchase agreement in July with Hunter Quinn Homes LLC, of Mt. Pleasant, for development of the “Milliken property”. The property is located at Williams Street and Brock Lane and includes a total tract of 31.49 acres. Of that, 27.51 acres is being made available to the developer who plans 64 single family lots. The second tract, which will be retained by the town, is 3.98 acres and will be split zoned for commercial use.
The development will include lots of green space, sidewalks, curbs, and a trail head for access to other town trails with easy access to Mineral Spring Park and the Mineral Spring Trail.
Mayor Burgess said the town is also in the process of selling five acres of property on Rector Road. The property was purchased about 10 years ago for a proposed “drip irrigation” waste water treatment system which didn’t happen. The town originally paid $55,000 for the property. Burgess said the town is working on a deal to sell the property for $65,000.
The town is also looking at a required business license update to include some classification changes. The changes will meet state guidelines.
Burgess said work on the pickleball court is on hold due to a soil sample which indicates the ground will not be a good base and will need additional work. He said the project may be on hold until the spring when weather conditions are favorable.