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County zoning ordinances face final approval Tuesday

Posted: May 22, 2015 4:53 p.m.
Updated: May 25, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Kershaw County Council meets Tuesday, with public hearings on, and third and final readings of, four ordinances which affect county planning and zoning on the agenda. The matters in question all passed their first two readings unanimously.

The first will ease the restrictions on signs used to identify the county’s industrial parks. The second will amend the code specifying the minimum allowable distance between fire hydrants in unincorporated areas of the county. Current code says hydrants must be placed no more than 500 feet apart. The amendment was requested by Lugoff Fire-Rescue (LF-R) and would keep the 500-foot requirement, but also add the 500-foot distance must be readily accessible to fire trucks. LF-R Chief Dennis Ray previously explained the current 500-foot rule is measured by straight “line of sight” and does not account for obstacles such as fences, swimming pools or other hindrances which would keep fire hoses from being deployed.

The third ordinance up for final approval Tuesday would allow, but regulate, the operation of merchandise auctions in rural zoning areas. Hours of allowable operation, space requirements, noise levels and other rules are part of the proposal.

The fourth will change the way Planning and Zoning Board commissioners are appointed. Councilman Jimmy Jones has said a board member should be nominated by each councilman, which would result in more equal representation on the board from throughout the county. Commissioners would still be appointed by final approval of the entire council; their terms on the board would run concurrently with those of the councilman who nominated them.

Other ordinances set for third readings Tuesday include one which would defer the county’s property tax assessment by one year, meaning the taxable value of property would remain unchanged. Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter previously explained the staff in the assessor’s office could benefit from an extra year of experience and state law allows such a deferral. An ordinance regarding the county’s stormwater management plan is also up for third reading, as is a zoning change which would allow a manufactured home to be placed on property near Lugoff-Elgin High School for Pearl Brown, a woman whose home was destroyed by arson in November 2014.

Tuesday’s meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers at the Kershaw County Government Center, 515 Walnut St., Camden, and is open to the public.

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