Developer takes another stab at Rimer Pond Road rezoning

BLYTHEWOOD (Oct. 29, 2015) – Unsuccessful in swaying residents in the LongCreek Plantation and Rimer Pond Road area to accept commercial zoning on a 5.23-acre parcel on Rimer Pond Road (across from the Blythewood Middle School) last summer, commercial realtor Patrick Palmer withdrew his rezoning request at the June 23 Richland County Council public hearing. But last week a new sign went up on the property requesting once again that Richland County rezone the property for commercial use.

The request, which was made by Hugh Palmer, Patrick Palmer’s father, will be heard by the Planning Commission at 1 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5. Members of the public are allowed to speak at this meeting, but must sign the speaker’s list (for or against the rezoning) before the meeting begins. Palmer is asking for the property’s current Residential (RS-MD) zoning to be changed to Rural Commercial (RC) zoning.

Patrick Palmer, whose family owns the property, is Chairman of the Planning Commission that will be hearing and voting on the issue. Because of that conflict, he is required by law to recuse himself from taking part in the discussion and from voting on the issue.

Last week Patrick Palmer met with three residents in the area seeking their support for the commercial zoning. He did not reveal, however, that a request for rezoning of the property would be on next week’s public hearing agenda.

Although the RC Zoning Dostroct allows such intense uses as service stations and grocery stores, Patrick Palmer told residents last spring that he envisioned such businesses as a Papa John’s, a dry cleaners and a dance studio as end users. Last week Palmer told the residents he met with that he did not know what businesses would go on the property and that he had not had any offers.

While the County’s administrative planning staff recommended the rezoning for commercial use last April, the Planning Commission, voted against it, saying the Zoning District Summary in the zoning ordinance for the Rural Commercial District (RC) was antiquated in that it stated, among other things, that the RC district was best suited for “isolated agricultural and rural residential areas and so that residents located beyond the limits of service of the municipalities can receive convenience merchandising and services.” Some Commissioners and residents argued that the Rimer Pond Road and LongCreek areas are neither isolated nor underserved and therefore this RC zoning was not appropriate for the area.

The zoning public hearing is set for 1p.m., Thursday, Nov. 5, in County Council chambers located at the corner of Harden and Hampton streets. For information and updates about the rezoning (including meeting agenda and information packet), ‘like’ the Facebook page KEEP IT RURAL For information from the county, email Suzie Haynes at [email protected]