Council hears three rezoning requests

May 5—NEWBERRY COUNTY — Newberry County Council recently heard first reading for three potential rezonings where two were rejected and the third will go to second reading.

One of the requests was to rezone 20.59 acres from RS-Single Family Residential to R2-Rural on Tom Savage Road, Prosperity. The request to rezone was for the purpose of having a small hobby farm.

Multiple neighbors came before council in opposition to the rezoning, with Kathy Sims speaking on behalf of the neighborhood. Sims said there are 18 property owners in the subdivision and 15 of them object to the rezoning and the hobby farm.

Sims cited concerns such as the property in question being in the middle of the subdivision and the property having multiple runoff areas to the lake.

"Rezoning would also allow for potential undesirable variations to that property, like businesses, retail, duplexes, mobile homes, agriculture," she said.

Sims also mentioned that the property has a conveyance in place that should prevent this from happening.

Property owner Amy Harpool spoke in favor of the rezoning. She said that, after coming into some money, she and her husband chose to live in Newberry County. While she was purchasing the property, she said that the conveyance did not come up and when she was made aware of it, she asked her lawyer.

"Our lawyer says it is not enforceable, theirs says it is," she said.

Harpool added that a hobby farm with goats and chickens is just what she'd like to do, she said she would put a barn at the other end of her property and place a big fence around it.

County Administrator Jeff Shacker said that the Planning Commission did not make a recommendation on this rezoning due to the fact a motion to recommend the rezoning and a motion to not recommend both failed.

Councilperson Mary Arrowood said that she believed this rezoning would be going backwards because it was planned out to be a subdivision.

Following a motion from Councilperson Nick Shealy and a second by Councilperson Karl Sease, the first reading failed 0-6.

The next rezoning request was to rezone 56.73 acres on Mt. Bethel Garmany Road from R2-Rural to RS-Single Family Residential for the purposes 70 single family residential lots.

In opposition to the rezoning, multiple speakers, roughly 18, came to ask council not to approve the rezoning. One of those speakers was Catherine Boozer.

"This has been a farming community for as long as I can remember," she said.

Boozer said that she was concerned for a neighboring property owner with a chicken farm, she was concerned that the new subdivision would try and get them to move.

She, along with a few other speakers, also cited the dangers of that road.

"Please, do not let this happen to this community," she said.

According to Shacker, the Planning Commission voted 9-1 to recommend the rezoning.

Sease said that his concern was with the poultry farm and that the new neighbors would complain about the smell and try and shut them down.

"There are other areas in the county I think would be better suited for that subdivision," he said.

Councilperson Todd Johnson added that while residential housing is necessary for Newberry County to grow, this was not the right location for a subdivision.

Following a motion from Shealy and a second from Sease, the first reading failed 0-6.

The final rezoning request was for 2.85 acres on Adelaide Street from RS-Single Family Residential to R2-Rural. The purpose of the rezoning is for commercial personal storage.

There was no opposition to this rezoning and following a motion from Johnny Mack Scurry and a second from Arrowood, the first reading was approved without objection.

Other business:

—Council approved a proclamation recognizing April 30, 2023, as National Therapy Animal Day and another proclamation recognizing National Small Business Week.

Reach Andrew Wigger @ 803-768-3122 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.