Saluda eyes conditional use zoning districts

Published 2:17 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Saluda property owners and those planning to buy land in the Saluda city limits may soon have to get approval from the city for their intended use for the property.

The City of Saluda is currently considering adding conditional use districts to its zoning ordinance. The addition would allow the city to approve what commercial uses are allowed for a particular parcel.

Saluda City Council met last week and agreed to ask the planning board to work on the concept.

Although it wasnt specifically mentioned by council last week, one reason the city could be considering conditional use districts is a voluntary annexation request made recently by the owners of a parcel on Holberts Cove Road. They want to be annexed into the city in order to create an RV park, which is not allowed in Saluda Township because of the county’s Mountain Ridgeline Protection ordinance.

One resident at the meeting last week asked if the conditional use districts have anything to do with the proposed RV park.&bsp; Mayor Fred Baisden answered that having conditional use zoning would make it possible for the city to allow the RV park while preventing the parcel in the future from becoming a mobile home park.

Saluda City Attorney Bailey Nager explained conditional use districts, saying that Saluda’s zoning districts each have permitted uses, but in the citys commercial districts, pretty much anything legal is allowed.

From time to time, Nager said, a use will be proposed for a piece of property and the owner will request the city to change the zoning. The city may feel comfortable with what is proposed but concerned about other uses that would be allowed if the property is later sold.

The planning board will draft the amendments to the citys zoning ordinance to allow for conditional use zoning and those changes will come back to city council. A public hearing will be required prior to those changes being adopted.

The city has not yet considered the request for voluntary annexation for the proposed RV park property on Holberts Cove Road.