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Non-profit animal shelter on agenda

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By Chris Sardelli

Christopher Sardelli
csardelli@thelancasternews.com
A proposal to rezone an Indian Land property for use as a non-profit animal shelter will be front and center at Lancaster County Council’s Monday meeting, Oct. 8.
Council will hear first reading of an ordinance to rezone a Barberville Road property from R-15P Moderate Density/Agricultural to B-2 Community Business district. The owner, Gloria Davey, is seeking to construct a non-governmental, indoor animal shelter to be operated by animal rescue group, PAWS in the Panhandle.
Davey has spoken at several council meetings this year in support of the plan, though the county’s planning commission recommended at its Aug. 21 meeting to deny the request. The commission cited parking, traffic and number of animals as potential concerns.
County Administrator Steve Willis said the ordinance is “guaranteed to generate some discussion.”
“No one’s disputing they have a good idea. In dispute is where they want to do it,” Willis said.
The area surrounding the property is zoned residential.
Also on the agenda, council will hold two public hearings to hear comments on an ordinance to adopt the county’s Capital Improvements Program, as well as a plan to fund an evidence storage building for the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office.
Willis said the latter hearing will focus on the county’s plan to apply bond funds allocated for the county’s new courthouse, to help construct the evidence building at the still-under-construction sheriff’s complex along Pageland Highway.
“We came in under budget on the courthouse,” Willis said. “The way the bond was written, this is an allowable use for the money, but we still need a public hearing.”
There will be several ordinance readings at the meeting as well, including second readings of ordinances to allow animal shelters in certain zoning districts and add digital billboards to the county’s unified development ordinance.
Final reading of a proposed county-wide smoking ordinance remains on hold, pending review by the county’s Health and Wellness Commission. Willis said the commission has revised its penalties for violators and is clarifying language about enforcement. The ordinance is expected back before council either at the end of October or beginning of November.
Also on hold are several Haile Gold Mine ordinances, pending review by council members, including one to rezone several properties near the mine from residential to heavy industrial.
Still missing from the agenda is an ordinance to revise the county’s B-3 commercial zoning definitions, a discussion which stalled earlier this year.
Council will meet in closed session before the meeting at 6 p.m. to discuss a personnel matter, as well as two legal briefings, one on a surety bond claim and another on an economic development project. The session will continue after the meeting if needed.
Regular council meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays each month at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers at the Lancaster County Administration Building.
Council meetings are open to the public. Council agenda packets are available online at www.mylancastersc.org/, by looking under the Government Tab and then clicking Agendas and Minutes.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at (803) 416-8416