Sumter City Council discussed a potential commercial rezoning across from Bible Way Church of Sumter and approved the removal of nursing homes and, separately, secondary schools from certain zonings Tuesday at its regular monthly meeting.
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City Manager Deron McCormick said the Finance Department and city department heads continue to work on the citywide budget for fiscal year 2020 and remains with $725,055 to balance in the general fund.
That amount of a deficit is "pretty normal for this time of the year," he said.
Land across from Bible Way church may become open to more commercial uses
Agenda item: A request to rezone nearly 12 acres at 1770 Camden Highway from Planned Development to General Commercial to facilitate future commercial development
Reading: First of three after a one-month deferment
Background: The parcel is where the Summit Realty and Development offices have been across from Bible Way Church of Sumter, First Church of God and Beach Forest subdivision, and the land use plan for the area is supportive of higher uses. The empty land is currently being used as soccer fields.
Currently, there are only three uses allowed, so the applicant, Tyler Dunlap, wants to be able to expand his options for future development. General Commercial is the broadest zoning and allows for almost any use, according to city planners.
The planning commission recommended approval.
Discussion: Councilman Steve Corley voiced concern about the possible future uses coming to the property if approved at the least restrictive commercial zoning, citing the two churches across the street and what may or may not be a good fit to be their neighbors.
Councilman David Merchant asked what channels the council has to restrict uses when a building permit is applied for, but Sumter City-County Planning Director George McGregor said there are only building requirements that come into play at that point.
Vote: 6-1 with Corley opposed
Nursing homes, secondary schools among uses barred from certain zonings
Nursing homes, non-emergency medical transportation stations and psychiatric hospitals are no longer allowed in downtown Sumter's Central Business District after a third and final reading passed unanimously. Anything that falls under those definitions that are there now can stay, but those uses are now not permitted in future zonings.
Downtown's CBD spans from Calhoun Street to Washington Street and Bartlette Street to Harvin Street.
Also approved unanimously in a third and final reading, secondary schools, defined now as middle and high schools, are no longer allowed to open in the two smaller residential zoning categories, General Residential and Residential-6.
Elementary schools were not affected by this change, and the ordinance amendment applies to both public and private secondary schools.
Single-family homes in Hampshire Estates approved
A rezoning to allow seven undeveloped units in the Hampshire Estates duplex subdivision to be built out as single-family homes was passed unanimously after the third and final reading, which included a one-month deferment so the applicant and neighbors could align their goals for the properties.
City receives more CDBG funding
Agenda item: An ordinance request to amend the Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Budget for 2019-20
Background: The city received more money than originally budgeted for in its Community Development Entitlement Funds from HUD.
Originally thought to be $297,301, the city received a letter from HUD on April 15 announcing the actual allocation is $309,499.
The funds provide assistance for housing, community and economic development activities and for low- and moderate-income persons and special needs populations across Sumter County.
Also during the meeting Tuesday, council:
- Approved a purchase contract to B&B Construction Co. Inc. for the low bid of $125,650 to replace the Nottingham Drive Sewer Line; and
- Approved a purchase contract to Versalift Southeast out of Graham, North Carolina, for $114,723 to buy a new bucket truck for the city. Assistant City Manager Al Harris said the city currently has three bucket trucks and that they are heavily used and need "aggressive maintenance," so this new truck will replace the oldest one.
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