Industry Getting a Lift

Planning Commission OK’s Height Increase

This map of the Town of Blythewood depicts the areas that have been or are currently being zoned for industry. The Planning Commission has recommended that height requirements in these districts be allowed up to 100 feet.

This map of the Town of Blythewood depicts the areas that have been or are currently being zoned for industry. The Planning Commission has recommended that height requirements in these districts be allowed up to 100 feet.

BLYTHEWOOD – The Planning Commission voted to give Blythewood’s economic development consultant, Ed Parler, what he asked for and more on Monday evening – a recommendation to Town Council for an extension on the height of industrial facilities, from 35 feet to 100 feet, in the town’s newly proposed Limited Industrial (LI-2) zoning district. Another 10 feet can be tacked on by the Board of Zoning Appeals upon request.

And while they were at it, the commissioners, at Chairman Malcolm Gordge’s suggestion, voted to make the 100-foot height extension applicable to all the town’s industrial zoning districts which, in addition to the proposed LI-2 district, include: Light Industrial Research Park (LIRP), Limited Industrial (LI) and Basic Industrial (BI).

The height recommendation will now be tacked on to the second reading (vote) of the proposed LI-2 industrial zoning ordinance. Council passed first reading on that ordinance last week, but only approved Parler’s height request up to 50 feet, so Parler took his request back to the Planning Commission for recommendation. At their April 28 meeting Council members will decide whether to act on the Planning Commission’s recommendation for the additional height on the LI-2 zoning district only. Adding additional height to the ordinances governing the other three industrial zoning districts would have to be brought up separately.

When Commissioner Marcus Taylor questioned how the 100 feet of height would impact neighboring residents, Parler said the nearest resident would be more than 3,000 feet from the industrial facility and that, when in proximity to residential areas, the lot line setback for the building would be 6 feet for every foot above 40 feet.

The proposed LI-2 zoning ordinance is a text ordinance only. The zoning map will have to then be amended before such zoning can be applied to a particular parcel of land. Parler has told Council that a 600-acre parcel is the target of the LI-2 zoning proposal and will accommodate a specific industry that Richland County has recruited and wants to locate in Blythewood. The parcel is roughly bordered by I-77, Northpoint Industrial Park, the Ashley Oaks neighborhood and Locklear Road. The proposed parcel as well as the other three industrial parcels in the town can be seen on the zoning map.

 

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