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Government

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County council votes for rewritten UDO

By Mandy Catoe

After nearly two years of a labor-intensive rewrite, the Unified Development Ordinance passed its first reading by county council this week following 90 minutes of discussion and explanations.
Councilman Steve Harper expressed concern on several issues, ranging from backyard chicken coops to tree permits, in the 339-page document, including 34 pages of definitions, 74 pages of appendices and five pages of edits since Sept. 2.


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County considers new ways to finance growth

Impact fee may raise building costs in IL

By Hannah Strong

A new study commissioned by Lancaster County predicts eye-popping growth in the Panhandle over the next decade – a 62 percent increase in population, 61 percent more jobs and 70 percent more housing units.
Accommodating those new residents and workers will cost the county millions of dollars for expanded libraries, parks and recreation facilities, and firefighting and EMS facilities.


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Animal advocates win staff increase at county shelter

By Mandy Catoe

Lancaster County Council voted unanimously Monday night to hire a part-time employee at the animal shelter to assist full-time staff who have been working overtime for months.
Before the vote, council members Larry Honeycutt praised the persistent animal advocates who have been pushing council for extra staff.
“Meeting after meeting we have heard concerned citizens tell us about the deplorable conditions at our animal shelter, and we have done nothing,” Honeycutt said.


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Planning board sends UDO rewrite to council, but without approval

By Mandy Catoe

After working on the document for 20 months, the Lancaster County Planning Commission has sent the 54-page revised Unified Development Ordinance to county council with no recommendation, positive or negative.
The motion to approve the UDO, the document that spells out the county’s zoning and development regulations, received a 3-3 vote in the commission’s special meeting Monday night. It was the second such meeting in two months.


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Officials agree: Time to dissect financial woes, sift alternatives

By Greg Summers

Consolidating some city and county services is possible, but starting the process will require exhaustive number-crunching and serious, “painfully tough” discussions.
That’s the initial reaction from a number of city and county officials after Lancaster Mayor John Howard floated the idea that the city’s colossal financial challenges require drastic action.


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Hospitality tax gets final OK

By Mandy Catoe

County council approved the third and final reading of the 2 percent hospitality tax Monday night, and the new charges will start appearing on diners’ and drinkers’ tabs Jan. 1.
Council voted 6-1, with the opposing vote from Chairman Bob Bundy.
The 2 percent tax, the maximum allowed under state law, will apply to all establishments that sell prepared meals and beverages in the unincorporated areas of Lancaster County.
The money can be spent only on tourism-related projects.


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Council sides with IL developer

By Mandy Catoe

After a two-hour hearing Monday, county council overturned the planning commission and approved Two Capital’s plans for a 300-unit Indian Land apartment complex.
The 6-1 vote, with only Jack Estridge opposed, rejects the planning commission’s concerns that the developer’s preferred exit point will pump hundreds more cars onto S.C. 160 too close to one of the Panhandle’s most congested intersections. The S.C. Department of Transportation had OKd the exit point, but the planning commission still refused to budge.


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It’s official: Mitch Lucas gets the job

KERSHAW – Kershaw Town Council unanimously named Mitch Lucas town administrator this week, six months after he stepped into the job on an interim basis when the previous administrator left in a rush.
This continues Lucas’ long-running service to Kershaw. He was a town council member from 1987-97 and mayor from April 1999 to June 2000. He retired in 2008 as the human resources director for the Lancaster County School District.


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Planning commission has twice rejected Two Capital’s proposal

Council to hear IL developer’s appeal

By Mandy Catoe

An Indian Land apartment development twice rejected by the Lancaster County Planning Commission will take its case directly to county council members Monday night, asking them to overrule the planning board.
The council will hear an appeal from Two Capital, which wants to build 313 apartments at the intersection of S.C. 160 and Calvin Hall Road.
The planning commission denied Two Capital’s plan because of traffic and architectural design issues, both in violation of the Unified Development Ordinance, according to Jerry Holt, the commission’s vice chair.


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Says get ready for deluge of negative campaign ads

Mulvaney gets lift from Scott

By Hannah Strong

U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney campaigned with U.S. Sen. Tim Scott over the weekend, telling about 100 supporters at an Indian Land fundraiser that his opponent, Fran Person, is an unknown quantity to most Fifth District voters.
“The guy has raised almost a million dollars. Nobody knows who he is, not even any Democrats around here know who he is, but he’s sitting on a giant stash of money,” said Mulvaney, a three-term Republican. “We expect to see all of that money dumped into negative ad campaigns in the last 30 days.”


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