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County council considering demolition ordinance

Posted: September 5, 2014 5:34 p.m.
Updated: September 8, 2014 6:00 a.m.
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Among the items up for consideration during Tuesday’s Kershaw County Council meeting is an ordinance that would put Sandy Grove Park, shown here near the intersection of Bethune and Old Stagecoach roads, up for sale. The 6.1-acre site is considered surplus property by the county.


The Kershaw County Council will consider first reading Tuesday of a proposed ordinance that would allow the county to close and demolish dwellings that are deemed unfit for human habitation.

Council discussed the issue at its Aug. 26 meeting and asked that it be crafted into an ordinance. Kershaw County Attorney Ken DuBose said the ordinance mirrors a state law and would give the county the authority to carry out the demolition of derelict dwellings at the county level. He said there is a process property owners will be able to go through to protest a county decision to raze a dwelling. The cost of the demolition would be added to the property owners’ tax bill.

Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter said the wording of the ordinance makes it applicable only to dwellings and not commercial properties.

“The intent of it is for dwellings -- structures originally built to be lived in,” he said.

Another new ordinance set for consideration and first reading would allow the sale of 6.1 acres and a building owned by the county and maintained by the Recreation Department in a rural area in eastern Kershaw County, along S.C. 341 south of Bethune.

 “This is a facility we own and maintain, but never do anything with,” Carpenter said. “We consider it to be surplus property and the ordinance would authorize us to go through the process to advertise it and take bids for it.”

An ordinance that amends an existing ordinance regulating the construction of communications towers is also slated for second reading. The new proposal specifically calls for more advance time to inform property owners near a proposed tower site of a permit application, so they have the opportunity to protest the permit with the planning and zoning board. Adjacent property owners within a “tower notification zone” would be informed by registered letter of a proposed tower in their area. A tower notification zone is defined as an area equal to the height of the proposed tower, plus 25 percent. For example, a 400-foot tower would have a tower notification zone of 500 feet.

Council will also consider second reading of an ordinance regulating how votes are recorded in council meetings. Currently, most votes are cast by a show of hands. The new ordinance would call for roll call votes to make it clear how each councilman votes.

Four other ordinances passed first readings Aug. 26 and are up for second reading Tuesday. They include ordinances setting the county tax millage for the fiscal year that began July 1, changing the zoning designation of a particular property from R-10 to B-2, allowing tow vehicles to operate in B-2 zoned areas, and allowing larger freestanding signs at businesses and shopping areas.

Other agenda items include a presentation by Madge Strickland, author of the book “A Sandhills Revelation” and a resolution recognizing Strickland and her achievements will be considered. Another resolution recognizing Lugoff-Elgin and Camden high schools for their recent fundraising drive to benefit United Way of Kershaw County is also on the agenda.



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