Planning Commission recommends rezoning plan

  • Posted: Sunday, November 18, 2012 11:58 p.m.
    UPDATED: Monday, November 19, 2012 7:43 a.m.

The Aiken County Planning Commission has recommended to County Council that it approve the rezoning of nearly 400 acres along Good Hope Farms Road.

The Commission voted unanimously to pass along the recommendation at its meeting Thursday after hearing from Ruth Vance, a resident in the area, who said her neighbors want to “protect our property and property values.”

The request proposes rezoning 392 acres along Good Hope Farms Road to agricultural preservation. Currently, the surrounding area is a mix of zonings, including AP and rural development.

No one in the audience spoke out against the rezoning during the public comment period.

Commissioner Terri Turner made the motion for approval, saying that the proposed rezoning is “in keeping with the agricultural makeup” of the area.

Vance said she and her neighbors grew concerned when they read in the Aiken Standard that County Council was considering changing the code on RV parks and campgrounds to reduce the minimum acreage size from 5 acres to 2 acres. Council approved the changes at its most recent meeting.

Area residents approached their Councilman, Scott Singer, and worked out a solution to rezone to AP.

“They told us we could rezone, and we’d never have to worry about that (RV parks),” said Gilbert Vance.

RV parks and campgrounds are not permitted uses in AP zoning districts.

The intent of an AP zoning district, “is to conserve, sustain and protect from premature urban encroachment rural areas and resources, particularly agricultural and forested lands; and maintain a balanced rural-urban environment without interfering with the entrepreneurial abilities and endeavors of local residents,” according to Aiken County’s Land Management Regulations.

The Planning Commission can only make a recommendation to Council.

County Council is set to consider first reading of the rezoning at its Dec. 11 meeting.

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