City council responds to ultimatum, overturns planning commission

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Developer John Beeson gave City Council an ultimatum Tuesday night.

Beeson told council if it didn’t reverse the Planning Commission’s recommendation for R-15 zoning, by a 4-3 vote, he would not develop a proposed 194-residential subdivision on Snow Road.

Council held its regularly scheduled meeting despite treacherous road conditions caused by the snow, sleet and freezing rain. During the one-hour public session the city streets were turned into sheets of ice and traffic was slowed to a crawl on the main highways into the city. City police were reportedly busy responding to increased accidents at the start of the meeting.

Council overturned the commission’s decision 7-0, needing a super majority of at least five votes.

The planning commission’s decision for a zoning of R-15 was in response to neighbors voicing concerns for annexation, narrow county roads, steep land elevation and storm water runoff, and the saturation of new housing near Abner Creek Elementary. R-15 provides for less density of housing, thus it would have limited Beeson’s subdivision to 184 single-family homes.

“We can’t do the project with R-15,” Beeson told council. “We are committed to R-12 and 194 homes. If we get R-12 we can go forward with the project.”

Beeson told council another of his developments, two miles away, was approved for R-12 zoning with virtually similar roads – maintained by the S.C. Department of Transportation. R-12 zoning allows for up to 228 homes but Beeson said he would keep the Snow Road development at 194 homes.

Council also sailed through two other second and final readings for annexation and zoning classification:

• 35 acres at Brushy Creek Road and Alexander Road approved 7-0 for R-12 to accommodate 102 new homes

• 6.05-acre tract, rezoned from R-15 single family to RM-1 multi-family to construct 57 townhomes with garages. Riverside Baptist Church is selling the property.



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