County Council denies zoning change that would allow new apartments – Off Liberty Highway

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During their meeting Tuesday, Anderson County Council denied a zoning request that would have allowed a 360 unit apartment and commercial development between Liberty Highway and Hwy. 76, agreed to sell the Iva library property to School District 3 and approved a zoning change request in the Williamston area.
Council unanimously approved a zoning change on property at 2647 Anderson Highway. The property was zoned C-2 (Highway Commercial) in 1999 and the zoning ordinance is being amended to R-20 (Single Family Residential). County Council District 7 representative Cindy Wilson said the property was being rezoned at the owner’s request so that a portion could be used for residential. The property is located at the corner of Hwy. 29 N and H. I. Taylor Road and is currently vacant commercial. The zoning will allow the owner to move the property line 125 feet in order to accommodate construction of an accessory agriculture shelter on the neighboring property.
In a 3-2 vote, Council denied a zoning change request for approximately 35 acres on Hurricane Road in the Denver-Sandy Springs area of Council District 4. Developer Bob Barton of One REI (Real Estate Acquisitions) out of Florida requested the property currently zoned C-2 (Highway Commercial) be changed to IZD (Innovative Zoning) to allow construction of an apartment complex with 360 units with 723 parking spaces. The project was to include walking trails, open spaces and other amenities. The issue drew a large crowd, both in support and opposed to the zoning change. Approximately half spoke during the public hearing. Approximately 25 people or more were opposed to the change and approximately 15 or so were in favor. The property is located just off I-85 and according to many of those who spoke during the hearing, is already a highly congested area. In the end Councilmembers Cindy Wilson, Tommy Dunn and Jimmy Davis opposed the change which would allow the apartment development. Councilmembers John Wright and Brett Sanders recused themselves from the discussion and vote due to an interest in property.
In other business, several properties were added to a joint county industrial and business park of Anderson and Greenville Counties. Economic Development Director Burriss Nelson said inclusion in the park allows benefits from the SC Dept. of Commerce.
Council unanimously approved the transfer of five properties in the Neighborhood Initiative Program to the Nehemiah Community Revitalization Corporation. In 2015, the County partnered with the Pelzer Heritage Commission to acquire properties which met the requirements of the NIP and the properties were acquired and titled in the Pelzer Heritage Commission and deeded to the County for clean-up and maintenance.
The properties are 11Q Street, 1400 Evergreen Street, 416 Rogers Street, 708 Jackson Street and 309 Glenn Street in Anderson. The Nehemiah Community Revitalization Corporation plans to acquire the properties for residential use.
Council held first reading on an ordinance to sell a parcel of property in Iva to Anderson School District 3. The property is currently the location of the Iva Library.
Council also approved a related resolution to match a Community Enrichment Grant through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program from the SC Department of Commerce. The grant will be used for the relocation of the Iva Library.
Under the grant program, Anderson County must commit $992,869 in local FUND match and commit to sharing cost savings on a pro rata basis in order to receive a $500,000 grant. Council appropriated the matching funds as part of its FY22-23 general fund budget. With the help of Senator Mike Gambrell a $550,000 grant was secured to help with the match for the project. Total cost for the project will be $1,050,000.
Council approved funding request of $2,000 from the District 4 for Split Creek Farm.
Council also approved funding of $464 for Lake Hartwell Partners for Clean Water for a clean up effort at Sadler’s Creek State Park.
Council also recognized Anderson County resident Hugh Oldham for 60 years of work in the Air Show industry, which ncluded a number of events at the Anderson Regional Airport. He was also recently inducted into the International Council of Air Shows Foundation Hall of Fame. The resolution also authorizes the display of Oldham’s ICAS Hall of Fame plaque in a place of honor in the Anderson Regional Airport terminal.
Council approved minutes from the Dec. 20 and Jan. 3 meetings.
Previous meeting highlights
Dec. 20 meeting highlights – Council members thanked District 3 Councilman Ray Graham for his service during six years on Council. County Administrator Rusty Burns announced that a project Graham had supported to relocate the existing library in Iva to Main Street in Iva was moving forward. The move was also supported by Anderson School District 3 in support of their expansion and consolidation efforts. With the help of Senator Mike Gambrell a $550,000 grant was secured to help with the project. Total cost will be $1,050,000.
Council approved a resolution recognizing retiring Probate Judge Martha Newton.
Council Districts 1 and 5 contributed $1,000 in funds to the Foster Parent Association. Council District 7 contributed $200.
Jan. 3 meeting highlights – New Councilmember Greg Elgin was sworn in by Sheriff Chad McBride. Councilman Tommy Dunn was elected Chairman, Brett Sanders was elected Vice-Chair.
Council approved third reading on an ordinance restricting use of County owned property below the dam in Piedmont. The County recently received a $500,000 grant for improvements to the property on the Saluda River.
Council approved an agreement between Anderson County and United Way for preliminary work on a trail from Anderson to Belton. Duke Energy awarded a $250,000 grant which will be used for the project.
Council also approved Accommodations Tax funding for various projects and events throughout the County.