Rimer Pond Road Gets Reprieve

BLYTHEWOOD – A group of residents from Rimer Pond Road and three neighborhoods connecting to the Road – LongCreek Plantation, Cooper’s Pond and the Round Top Community – won their case Monday afternoon against a recommendation by the Richland County Planning staff for commercial zoning on Rimer Pond Road. But the victory does not end the residents’ fight to keep their road zoned Rural (RU).

The issue will now go before County Council on April 28 for a public hearing and the first of three readings (votes) on the ordinance. That first meeting is the only one of the three meetings that members of the public will be allowed to address Council on the matter.

After listening to most of the members of the group speak out against commercial zoning on the road, the County Planning Commission, which is only a recommending body, voted against the recommendation in a 4-1 vote.

Commission member Christopher Anderson, a realtor in northeast Columbia, was the sole commissioner to argue for the rezoning of the 5.23-acre property located on Rimer Pond Road across from Blythewood Middle School.

The property for which the zoning is sought is owned by developer Pat Palmer (Sycamore Development), who is also Chairman of the Planning Commission. Palmer recused himself before the agenda item was discussed, leaving only five members to vote.

Commissioners Heather Carnes, Beverly Frierson, David Tuttle and Walter Brown Sr. sided with the residents, voting against the recommendation for commercial zoning on the road.

A request at the same meeting by John Warren of Chapin for commercial zoning on a property he owns on the other end of Rimer Pond Road near Highway 21 was withdrawn from the agenda two days prior to the meeting.

In a letter dated Feb. 17, Warren had sought the assistance of Blythewood Mayor J. Michael Ross to help him (Warren) obtain a commercial zoning designation. In a letter responding to Warren at the request of the Mayor, Blythewood Planning Commissioner Malcolm Gordge agreed to help Warren in his endeavor to obtain commercial zoning for the property and did not reveal that fact to a group of Rimer Pond Road residents when they came to a Blythewood Planning Commission meeting after learning about Warren’s Feb. 17 letter to the Mayor. Gordge’s letter was revealed only after The Voice asked Ross if he had responded to Warren’s letter.

Because Warren withdrew his request, he must now wait 30 days before he can again take his request for commercial zoning before the County Planning Commission.

 

Comments

  1. Patrick Palmer says

    Folks, we are good, live long residents of Dentsville and come from an agrariran background like most of raised out here. I am trying to set up a meeting to show everyone the plan we have for the site. We can get approximately 9,500 sf (4bay) of retail on the site which we envision satisfying needs for cars already going to and from home, Which will not generate new traffic concern. If you have an interest in the case, please contact me on my cell phone at 803-556-3340. We are hoping for a papa johns, dry cleaner, State Farm agent and possibly a Generial store. The rural zoning requested is the lease intrusive and is in line with the desires of the county as well as the majority of residents who travel the roads in the area. I look forward to a reasonable discussion with all.

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