Commission OK’s Uniform Industrial Height Limits

Traffic Study Wording Cleared Up

BLYTHEWOOD – Following up on Town Council’s April 27 final vote to create the Limited Industrial Two District (Li2) with a height limit for facilities within the district set at 100 feet, the Planning Commission Monday evening voted to recommend a uniform height limit within all industrial districts. The Commission also cleared up language in the Town’s codes requiring traffic impact studies for the expansion of existing developments, while also recommending a text amendment to the Town’s Historic Preservation Ordinance to include input from the Blythewood Historical Society.

Height Limits

Town Council unanimously passed final reading on April 27 on an amendment to the Town’s Zoning Ordinance text to include a Limited Industrial Two District (Li2) and various regulations that relate to the district. Included in the vote was approval to allow the height of facilities in the industrially zoned district to be extended from 35 feet to 100 feet. Another 10 feet can be approved by the Town’s Board of Zoning Appeals, for a total height of 110 feet. That decision left the other industrial districts – Light Industrial Research Park (LIRP), Light Industrial (LI) and Business Industrial (BI) – with height limits ranging from 35 to 100 feet.

Monday, the Commission unanimously recommended setting the maximum height for each district at 100 feet, with an additional 6 feet of setback. The recommendation will go before Town Council at their May 18 meeting.

Traffic Impact Study

“We thought we were adequately prepared for advising developers on the need for having impact studies and that text was presented to Council last Monday,” Malcolm Gordge, Commission Chairman said Monday, “but there was a question about how that would be applied to all potential situations, whether the neighborhood is increasing or the density was changing.”

The result, according to Town Consultant Michael Criss, was expanded language in the Town’s codes to “hopefully . . . cover all the bases,” Criss said.

Previous language, Criss said, only required traffic impact studies on “future phases” of existing developments.

“That was not clear enough to apply adequately to new projects, existing projects that were originally designed to expand, existing projects that were not originally designed to expand but now they have acquired adjacent property and want to add more lots,” Criss said.

The new language for subdivision plats would require a traffic impact study to be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission as part of the “preliminary plat procedure for those subdivisions designed for 90 or more dwelling units, or a total non-residential gross floor area of 25,000 square feet or more.”

For group development plats, a study would be required for “developments designed for 150 or more dwelling units, or a total of non-residential gross floor area of 25,000 square feet or more.”

Any traffic impact study must “meet or exceed” the S.C. Department of Transportation’s Access and Roadside Management Standards, the recommended language states.

The Commission’s 7-0 recommendation will also be forwarded to Council on May 18.

Historic Preservation

Finally, the Commission added language to the Town’s historic preservation ordinance to include input from the Blythewood Historical Society in developing and maintaining the local inventory of sites more than 50 years old.

Language added to section 155.539 (Historic Property Inventory) reads: “The Board (of Historic Preservation) shall invite and consider recommendations from the Blythewood Historical Society for developing and maintaining this local inventory,” while an addition to section 155.540 (Designation of Historic Properties) reads: “The Board shall invite and consider recommendations from the Blythewood Historical Society for assigning total value scores” under the ordinance’s classification system for designating historic properties.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to meet again on June 1 at 6 p.m. at the Manor.

 

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