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KCC will consider final reading for rezoning request

Posted: August 13, 2018 4:55 p.m.
Updated: August 14, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Kershaw County Council will consider final reading of a request to rezone 10 acres on Wateree Dam Road near Longtown Road in Lugoff during tonight’s meeting.

The property is part of a 26-acre parcel currently zoned MRD-1 (Conservation Resource District). The request is to rezone a 10-acre portion of that parcel, bordered by Longtown Road and Wateree Dam Road, to GD (General Development) to allow for commercial use. Specifically, the request, made by Coastal Development Partners, is for the purpose of allowing a Dollar General store to be built on that site.

During council’s meetings of July 10 and 24, a number of residents spoke during public comment period regarding the rezoning. People who oppose the development have cited a number of concerns, including traffic, safety, future land use and potential environmental issues.

Craig Davis, a resident of the area, noted that the traffic count at the intersection, which is essentially the gateway to Lake Wateree from Lugoff, is 2,800 cars a day. He also pointed out that there are more than 16,500 Dollar General stores in 45 states and opening another one here would send a negative message.

“Rather than yet another common shopping location, it should highlight and emphasize this entrance to this unique premier fishing and boating destination,” Davis said during the July 24 meeting. “The retail establishment proposed is anything but unique, nor premier, nor special … Rather than highlight this gem, such a decision (to rezone) would embraces a principle that shopping convenience or other short-term factors are more important than long term asset preservation and enhancement. A significant advantage of Lake Wateree over that other lake on the western side of Columbia is the sense of separation and retreat gained from a drive that is rural, natural, uncluttered and largely untouched by time … Please preserve our specialness and not choose the path of commercial development where unique, significant, long-term interests apply, as here.”

About an equal number of people in support of the development have also appeared at council meetings. They stated that having the Dollar General would not harm the area; and it would, in fact, be welcome by many who otherwise have to travel significantly longer distances for shopping needs such as groceries.

“We would love to have it here,” Charles Atkins said.

“I encourage council to be progressive and move forward with this,” Randy Bowers said. “The entire county will benefit from it.”

Greg Googer, the representative for the developer, has stated that Dollar General has strict rules about what types of businesses it will allow to locate on property it leases or owns. He also noted that the store will provide six to 10 new full time corporate, benefited jobs.

Since the July 24 meeting, area residents, the developer, and several council members have met, including at a community meeting hosted in St. Matthew Baptist Church, located across from the site.

In addition to the rezoning, council will consider second reading of an ordinance updating the flood prevention plan as well as hear two public presentations, one regarding vehicle requests for the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, the other a summary of the Recreation Master Plan.

Council will also hear updates regarding a COPS grant and live streaming of council meetings, as well as consider a bid award for a water line at the Heritage Point Industrial Park.

Kershaw County Council meets at 5:30 p.m. in the County Government Center, 515 Walnut St., Camden. Meetings are open to the public.

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