Senior apartments project requires Sumter city, FEMA approval

BY ADRIENNE SARVIS
adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 12/26/17

The Sumter City-County Planning Commission recommended approval of a site plan for a three-story senior-living apartment on North Wise Drive amid pending requests to Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding floodplains.

Evergreen Villas - …

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Senior apartments project requires Sumter city, FEMA approval

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The Sumter City-County Planning Commission recommended approval of a site plan for a three-story senior-living apartment on North Wise Drive amid pending requests to Federal Emergency Management Agency regarding floodplains.

Evergreen Villas - the name of the proposed housing development - is planned to be a 49-unit complex set on 3.37 acres of general commercial land at 101 N. Wise Drive, behind Aldi grocery store.

Each unit will have two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a laundry area and elevator access. Community amenities include a clubhouse and computer room.

Approximately 60 percent of the property will be used as an open space area with an internal network of sidewalks for residents.

According to staff reports, the property is "almost entirely in the floodplain."

On behalf of the applicant, Douglas Sumter LLC, project engineers submitted a conditional letter of map amendment based on fill to FEMA, meaning the low-lying areas of the property will be filled, or elevated. If the fill is successful, the flood insurance rate map of the area can be amended to reflect that change and show the land is no longer in a special flood hazard area.

Currently, the North Wise Drive property requires federally mandated flood insurance because it is located in a flood hazard area.

If FEMA issues a letter of map amendment based on fill, federal flood insurance may no longer be mandated, but flood insurance will still be optional.

FEMA approval of the request is pending, and Sumter's floodplain manager has determined the proposed development plans meet local flood damage prevention standards.

Construction of the apartment complex cannot start until FEMA approves the request.

Later, the planning commission recommended approval of a request to rezone a .24-acre parcel at 1947 McCrays Mill Road from general residential to general commercial to make the property more attractive for sale.

The property - where a dilapidated double-wide mobile home was demolished - is owned by the Sumter County Forfeited Land Commission.

However, staff reports state the property does not appear to be viable for commercial development because of its size but could be more appealing if it is combined with another commercial parcel.

In other news, planning commission recommended approval of a:

- Request to amend the county zoning and development standards ordinance regarding contractor signs, subdivision project signs and commercial projects signs to mirror the city's regulations, which were amended in December 2014. The city's amended standards determine the acceptable size of the signs previously mentioned; and

- Request from Angel Maid Cleaning Co. LLC to rezone a .28-acre parcel at 301 S. Main St. from light industrial-warehouse to central business district to allow for more uses for the existing structure. The building - constructed in the 1960s - will be used for office space by the applicant.

Of the five agenda items, the planning commission did not vote on a major site plan regarding a 72-unit suburban multi-family apartment at 3760 Patriot Parkway.

A vote was withheld to allow the applicant to resolve outstanding issues with planning staff before the commission's meeting in January.