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County halts park rezoning

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By Chris Sardelli

As land continues to be developed at the under-construction Lancaster Air-Rail Park, county officials decided not to move forward Monday, July 22, with a planned rezoning change for the property.

During Lancaster County Council’s recent meeting, County Administrator Steve Willis requested rescinding an application to rezone the property, located along S.C. 9 and near the county’s airport, from I-1 light industrial to I-2 heavy industrial. 

The rezoning request was first brought to council in December 2012 and subsequently approved.

“There were no plans to recruit an industry that would need an I-2 zoning; this was simply to maximize the marketing opportunities for the park,” Willis told council in a memo. 

Despite county approval, though, the plan has since met opposition from residents who live near the park.

After discussing options for the park with Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. President Keith Tunnell, Willis said the property should still be marketable as is and the rezoning is no longer needed. 

“I think I-1 got us where we want to be,” Willis said. “Now that we have a tenant we definitely don’t want to do anything to detract from getting another tenant.”

Willis asked to rescind the rezoning request and leave the area at its current industrial zoning. 

“This is just for discussion and if there are no objections then I will do an application to withdraw the rezoning request from the planning commission,” Willis said. 

Council Chairman Larry McCullough then gave Willis the authority to pull the request from the next planning commission’s agenda. 

Temporary use of Ag building 

Also at the meeting, Willis presented a request from the local S.C. Department of Vocational Rehabilitation facility to use a portion of the Agribusiness Development Center on a temporary basis.  

Located along U.S. 521, the 22,600-square-foot Agribusiness Center was designed as a shared-use kitchen and manufacturing facility. 

Established in early 2012, the center is managed by the LCEDC.

Willis said the local rehabilitation facility will be undergoing building upgrades and employees will need to temporarily relocate for at least two months. 

Initially concerned this could impact the center’s S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control food certification, Willis was reassured by Tunnell it would not. 

“This wouldn’t interrupt business at the Agribusiness Center at all,” Willis said. 

Councilman Jack Estridge asked if the LCEDC needs to put in writing how much square footage the vocational office will be allowed to use, while Councilman Bob Bundy asked if the time period of use could be added as well. 

“We’ve got it all written in our agreement,” Tunnell said. “We’ll get it all worked out.”

Council then unanimously approved for the Vocational Rehabilitation office to use space in the agribusiness building on a temporary basis. 

 

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416