WTC OKs Teacher Village zoning

WINNSBORO – A request for R-3 zoning for property for a once controversial Teacher Village, sailed just as smoothly through the second and final reading as it did the first reading.

Winnsboro Town Council unanimously approved of the rezoning with a 5-0 vote. As during the first reading, there was no discussion except for Councilman John McMeekin assuring those attending that the Planning Commission had thoroughly researched the request before recommending it to Town Council last month.

No one spoke in support of the rezoning and only one person spoke against it.

“I am representing my family as adjoining land owners. We have some concerns. What can we do?” Benjamin Clowney asked the council.

“It seems like the only thing being considered is whether the proposed use meets the R-3 zoning that has been requested, not whether R-3 zoning is appropriate for the area where the subject property lies,” Clowney read from a prepared statement.

“While the proposed use may meet R-3 zoning, I don’t believe the area is suitable for R-3,” Clowney said. “You’re talking about three or four houses to the acre. It shouldn’t be in that rural location. That is not where it belongs.”

Mayor Gaddy thanked Clowney for his comments, but no one addressed the information he presented.

The request is to rezone 22 acres behind the district office from C-2 Commercial to R-3 Residential. The project is expected to cost $3.6 million.

School Superintendent Dr. J. R. Green said the District plans to give the property to the Fairfield County Education Foundation who will, in turn, turn it over to the developer who will own it and rent out the homes, but only to teachers in the district and to law enforcement and first responders, according to Sue Rex, Chair of the Education Foundation.

The district is asking for a multi-county business park agreement and a seven-year $600,000 property tax abatement for the developer. Both require County Council approval.