R3 zoning sought for Teacher Village

WINNSBORO – Fairfield County education leaders have amended a rezoning request for the proposed “Teacher Village” from PD-R, Planned Development-Residential to strictly residential.

The change in zoning plans was presented last week to the Winnsboro Planning Commission, a week after a previously scheduled meeting was canceled to give the Fairfield County School District more time to assemble the required planning documents.

Now the district is requesting an R3 zone, which permits three homes per acre and would allow for cluster housing on 22 acres behind the district office off U.S. 321 Bypass.

The planning commission took no action on the Teacher Village at a meeting last week, but did vote to accept the district’s application package.

Speaking in public comment, Winnsboro resident Shirley Green, a member of the Fairfield County Education Foundation, said the rezoning should be approved.

“This rezoning is a large step for the Fairfield County School District Education Foundation, and a giant step for the Town of Winnsboro to infuse our community with housing to attract teachers, first responders and their families,” Green said.

The R3 zone is a strictly residential zone, allowing only residential uses, whereas the PD-R allows a limited amount of non-residential structures as secondary uses, according to town planning documents.

A preliminary site plan for the development does not subdivide the Teacher Village into individual lots. Rather, the entire development consists of one lot, planning documents show.

R3 also has less strict design standards than other residential zones, allowing for reduced spacing between buildings – 25 feet, front to front; 20 feet, front to side; and four feet, side to side – than R1 or R2 zones.

It also only requires only 20 percent of open space, as opposed to 35 percent for R1 and 25 percent for R2.

Yard sizes are also significantly less, planning documents state.

Required rights of way in an R3 zone are 6,000 square feet for the first home and 2,500 square feet for each additional dwelling unit. An R1 zone requires 6,000 square feet for all units. In an R3 zone, the minimum square footage is 10,000.

Fairfield County educated leaders have touted the Teacher Village as vital in recruiting and retaining teachers.

Billy Castles, Director of the Town of Winnsboro Building and Zoning Department, has set a workshop for the Planning Commissioners to discuss the preliminary site plan at 4 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Old Armory, 307 Park Street, Winnsboro.