Sumter tiny house manufacturer, retailer requests rezoning

By ADRIENNE SARVIS
adrienne@theitem.com
Posted 12/14/18

Sumter County Council approved first reading of a rezoning request on Loring Mill Road that could lead to the development of a tiny house manufacturer and retailer and received an update on the county's audit process.

The county started preparing …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Sumter tiny house manufacturer, retailer requests rezoning

Posted

Sumter County Council approved first reading of a rezoning request on Loring Mill Road that could lead to the development of a tiny house manufacturer and retailer and received an update on the county's audit process.

The county started preparing for the audit right after the fiscal year ended in July and brought in external audit team Webster Rogers in October to begin the audit process, Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon said.

"They have been working diligently with our finance team to audit all of our books and records," he said.

Mixon said the audit process is staying on schedule.

"We anticipate that we will have that report to us by the end of this month," he said.

This will be the second time the county has completed its audit so quickly in a calendar year, he said.

Mixon said he anticipates the audit report will be presented at council's first or second meeting in January.

Rezoning could bring tiny house manufacturing, retail site

Reading: First of three

Agenda item: A request to rezone a 1.48-acre parcel and a .74-acre portion of an adjoining parcel at 2110 and 2115 Loring Mill Road from agricultural conservation to light industrial-warehouse.

Background: The applicant and property owner intends to develop a tiny house manufacturing and retail site on the parcel once it is rezoned.

The property is about 800 feet south of the intersection of Loring Mill Road and Broad Street and just north of a power transmission substation, according to Sumter Planning Department Director George McGregor and a staff report from the planning department.

Power lines run along the front of the undeveloped property, which could be problematic for other types of developments, McGregor said.

Sumter City-County Planning Commission made similar comments in the staff report saying the presence of high-tension power lines along the front of the property and adjacent properties make residential development at the location likely not viable.

The planning commission also said removing residential development entitlements from the property by rezoning it light industrial supports the county's 2030 plan as well as the military protection area.

While certain light industrial uses may conflict with potential high-quality commercial development at this intersection, the commission said in the report, this request is not unreasonable given existing conditions.

Planning commission voted 4-1 to recommend approval of the request during its meeting on Nov. 28.

McGregor said the planning department will start advertising next week for the public hearing scheduled for Jan. 8.

Discussion: Councilman Charles Edens said he does not expect residents on Loring Mill to be happy about the possibility of a light industrial-warehouse rezoning.

"We'll wait and see," he said. "This use may not seem too bad, but things like this come and go."

Once the land is rezoned to light industrial-warehouse the business can pull out and anything else can come in there that can fit in that zone, he said.

During the public comment section of council's meeting, applicant and property owner Randolph Black said he understands that someone could be upset about incompatible developments on neighboring investment on the piece of property but his property will be an asset.

And you wouldn't see the facility on the property unless you were looking for it, he said.

"That property has been in my family longer than anyone in this room has been in the world," he said. "And that property is an eyesore as we stand today."

"I promise you," Black said, "when I develop the property I'm not going anywhere."

Vote: Unanimous approval