Published on 11/23/2008
By Scott Harper
When Georgetown County Council considers a request next month to amend the Pawleys Island Business Center Planned Development to allow multi-family residential units, it will be with a recommendation from the County Planning Commission that they vote "no."
Architect Steve Goggans delivered revised plans to the Planning Commission Thursday for the property on Center Marsh Lane near the Oak Lea gated community.
Earlier this year, Goggans was seeking 12 multi-family units on the property but reduced that to eight after fierce opposition from nearby residents and property owners.
Holly Richardson, the county's assistant planner, said the new plans call for a six-foot buffer between the two units, each with four residences.
County Planning Department Director Boyd Johnson said the proposal does not line up with the Future Land Use Map for that area but, he said, "we don't see where future land use map so fixed" that some changes cannot be made.
"We have had discussions about whether the Land Use Map should be so finite or more broad," he said.
There were some at Thursday's meeting who spoke in favor of the development.
Bill Hartis, a real estate agent who once chaired the Georgetown City Planning Commission, said he supports the plan.
"It looks like this project accomplishes diversity. This looks to be down zoning, not up zoning. It is a good project," Hartis said.
David Murray, owner of Murray Wealth Management, agreed with Hartis.
"We ask this body to consider what could happen without this approval," he said, adding if a commercial development is created on the site it would generate at least 230 new vehicle trips per day.
"This project would be a fifth of that," he said.
However, others who spoke were against the building of the units.
Marshall Russell, president of the Sweet Grass Marsh Homeowners Association, said the residents of that organization want to protect their property and oppose the plan.
County plannning Commissioner Brian Henry said there was "a lot of spin" from the speakers but he has talked to many residents and tourists who oppose the development.
"The structures will be out of character for what is on the marsh. Pawleys is unique. There are no multi-family units in that area," Henry said. "If we allow more and more large structures on the marsh, tourists will no longer want to come here."
Commission member Glenda Shoulette said when the neighboring residents bought property, they knew they were going next to a business park and not a multi-family unit.
All the Planning Commission members except Chairman Jeff Kinard voted to deny the request. It will be up for first reading by title only at the Dec. 9 County Council meeting.
Planners OK zoning in northern areas
Also at that meeting, the zoning for the northern part of the county as well as Sandy Island will be introduced by title.
The Planning Commission unanimously approved the zoning of areas such as Carvers Bay, Pleasant Hill, Pee Dee, St. Luke, Folly Grove and Knox Swamp.
They will also place the zoning of Sandy Island on the agenda.
The Planning Commission unanimously passed the zoning of both areas Thursday night.
The only opposition expressed was by he Coastal Conservation League.
It amazes me that after all of these years with the ever popular Republican ran South Carolina that these people still do not want diversity in SC. I guess to build multi unit housing for families would look bad for tourists coming to Pawleys Island. However, it is okay to approve housing units in Carvers Bay, Pleasant Hill, Pee Dee, St. Luke, Folly Grove and Knox Swamp. This type of sterotyping is one of the main reasons that people are leaving SC, due to wanting to keep things the old way, never trying to expand only when it benefits the rich. Perhaps the members on the Planning Commission only see diversity as minorities working in the hotels/motels, restaurants, waste management, custodial, landscaping, and domestic work. Wake-up people there's a new sheriff in town and his name is Barack Obama. It's time for change and it's going to start with or without you.
Posted by BEHIND THE TIMES on 11/24/2008