West Pelzer approves zoning change for two day care facilities


By Stan Welch
The town of West Pelzer will soon have two in-home day care centers, thanks to actions taken by the town council Tuesday night.
Following giving final approval to a zoning change for.8 acres of land “located nearest17 Park Street”, the council also gave approval to two exceptions of the existing zoning ordinance to allow for two private residences (located at 8 Park St. and 541 Woodcock Road) to be used as in-home day care centers.
The Council granted the exceptions, contingent on the facilities, which will each care for only six children, being approved by SCDHEC.

Mayor Blake Sanders emphasized, as did Councilman Riddle, that the town has no regulatory authority. “DHEC will monitor these facilities to ensure that they comply with all pertinent state laws,” said Sanders. He also stressed that the exceptions are not tied to the properties, and cannot be transferred if the locations are sold or leased to someone else. In other words, if one of the day cares closes in three years and the owner moves away, a muffler shop, for instance, couldn’t take advantage of the exception and move in.
Council also gave second reading approval to an amended business license ordinance, as required, to comply with the state business license ordinance. The amendment will not alter the rates that the various licenses cost, but will adjust the start/ expiration dates to comply with state law

Town clerk Paula Payton reminded the council, and the audience that two council seats are up for grabs in the municipal elections scheduled for November 2. Two candidates , including incumbent Johnny Rogers and newcomer Jeff Lee, are the only two signed up to run. Filing closed on August 19, and anyone not registered to vote by October 3 is too late.

Mayor Sanders announced that approximately ten thousand people attended the town’s Mile Long Yard Sale . Upcoming events will be Westy’s Fall Market (Oct. 16); Farm Fest (Oct. 23): and Pumpkinpalooza (Oct. 30).

Police Chief Scott Stoller reported that the department has hired another full time police officer, Brandon Rogers. He also reported that there were two auto thefts last month, and that both cars were quickly recovered and restored to their owners. He also stated that the department had received additional training in identifying and interacting more effectively with citizens with autism, as well as separate training in detecting and handling cases of animal cruelty.