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County Council passes first reading of rezoning request

Council also continues All-America City celebration

Posted: August 29, 2018 3:46 p.m.
Updated: August 31, 2018 1:00 a.m.
Jim Tatum/C-I

Susan Witkowski (third from right) presents a pair of jeans embroidered with All-America City patches to Kershaw County Council Chair Julian Burns (center) during council's meeting Tuesday evening.

Kershaw County Council passed first reading of a request to rezone a property in Elgin.

The 3.74 acre parcel is located at 2672 Ft. Jackson Rd. Currently zoned RD-2, which is a rural resource district, the property owner is requesting a General Development (GD) zoning designation. The property is located at a high-traffic intersection and has industrial developments south of its location.

While no future development plans have been submitted as of yet, the property owner has indicated possible interest in building a gas station on the property. The parcel is pie-shaped and is situated at the intersection of Ft. Jackson Road and Highway Church Road. It is currently wooded and has never been occupied. There is an adjacent 16.13-acre parcel to the rear of this parcel; it would remain zoned RD-2.

The Kershaw County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the rezoning during its Aug. 13 meeting.

No one appeared before council to support or oppose the request. According to County Administrator Vic Carpenter, the planning commission received no negative feedback from anyone in the community regarding the proposed rezoning.
Council unanimously voted in favor of the rezoning.

Other business discussed:

• Council officially received the trophy for the recent 2018 All-America City award. Members of the volunteer committee appeared with committee head and PLAY Foundation Executive Director Laurey Carpenter to present the trophy to county council. The group also presented commemorative plaques to supporters and sponsors.
They also had a special presentation for Council Chair Julian Burns: a pair of blue jeans with All America City patches embroidered on the pockets.

“I haven’t worn blue jeans since I was about six years old -- but this woman made me wear them in Colorado,” Burns said with a laugh, referring to Community Medical Clinic executive director Susan Witkowski, who presented the jeans to Burns.

• Council heard a presentation from Ron Jarosz of the Kershaw County Amateur Radio Club. Jarosz updated council on some of the club’s activities and noted that one of the missions of the club is to maintain communications in the event of a disaster. In fact, many of the club’s members have radio systems that operate on batteries and even solar power, which means they are not dependent on power grids to continue to be functional.

“We actually were activated as back up during the 100 year flood,” he said. “We also work with the Tour de Camden bike event every year to ensure there are adequate emergency communications available if needed.”

The club even has members who are certified to administer Federal Communication Commission licensing examinations to people who wish to obtain HAM operator licenses, he said.

“They can do that, right here in Kershaw County, rather than having to travel to a major city,” he said.

• Councilman Al Bozard requested that the county administrator research the possibility of replacing several signs throughout the county. He noted that other counties, notably York County, have installed large, beautiful, even ornate signs welcoming visitors to their county and while he is not advocating costly replacements, he said he would like to see nicer signs welcoming people to Kershaw County.

“I know some of those signs in Rock Hill are made of brick and some of them even have fountains,” Bozard said. “I don’t think we need all that, but we should step up a little bit, especially now that we’re an All America City.”

The county administrator does have discretion to spend up to $25,000 for such projects.

“We will be looking into that and will have information for you at the next council meeting,” Carpenter said.

• At requests from Councilmen Tom Gardner and Ben Connell, respectively, council appointed Dennis Outlaw and Laina Shoemake to the Clean Community Commission.

Kershaw County Council meets next at 5:30 p.m. on Sept.11 in the County Government Center, 515 Walnut St., Camden. Meetings are open to the public.

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