Saluda approves rezoning of Greenville Street parcel
Published 10:01 pm Tuesday, February 16, 2016
By Michael O’Hearn
Saluda City Council approved the rezoning of a 1.03-acre parcel of land on Greenville Street during their February meeting.
The parcel, located next to the Saluda Fire Hall at 178 Greenville St., was added to the agenda following an application submitted by Don Mintz and DFM Land in December to change the parcel’s designation from R1 to R2, allowing more residential units to be built on the lot.
“In general, a rezoning by our ordinance goes through a very specific process,” Jonathan Cannon, Saluda’s city manager, said. “The process delineates what steps we need to take. The first step is there’s an application for rezoning that then goes to the planning board. They review it and make a recommendation and then it goes before the board of commissioners.”
Saluda’s Planning Board unanimously decided to recommend the approval of the application during their January meeting before city commissioners discussed it in February.
A public hearing occurred before February’s meeting to educate community members and address concerns of the rezoning. Questions from
“Any letters that were written about the rezoning were collected and taken to the planning board and board of commissioners for review,” Cannon explained. “The whole idea of that is ‘Okay, if we’re going to rezone this, are the neighbors heard and are their concerns taken into consideration?’ Will it hurt, help, harm or anything you want to say to the neighborhood?”
Cannon then consulted with the city’s attorney, Bailey Nager, to ensure he followed the process correctly and everything was accounted for before going in front of the board of commissioners.
“We sat in that meeting and went through a list of questions to determine what can be done,” Cannon said. “Anything that can trigger in their minds to say this is a bad idea or this is a problem and that would be taken into consideration. In this case, the board decided to approve it because they thought it was appropriate and it would not have any real harmful impact to the neighborhood.”
The town’s planning board had to call a separate special meeting to discuss the rezoning issue, and Cannon said they looked at the comprehensive plan of the town and the maps for the plan before making a recommendation.
“They just kept coming back to this and that it seemed like a reasonable action to take,” Cannon said.
An R1 designation, according to the town’s ordinance, determines the land in question as a lot primarily used for a one family residency.
Rezoning the lot as R2 makes the lot useful for both a one family residency and multifamily residence if it has at least 5,000 square feet of land area per residence unit.
The lot is 44,866.8 square feet, allowing for at most eight residential units to be built on the site.
Nancy Johnson wrote a letter to Saluda commissioners to avoid rezoning the lot unless apartments were built.
“That’s the interesting thing about this, that a lot of people were saying apartments,” Cannon said. “The reality of it is that there could be multiple buildings, duplexes, triplexes, condos or anything that is a residential structure so much as they can meet the setbacks and density requirements.”
If Mintz decides to develop the land, a site plan will have to be submitted to the town for approval in order to determine if it complies with the zoning ordinance. Alternatively, Mintz could decide to do nothing with the land at this time.
“Now that it is rezoned, he could do nothing,” Cannon explained. “He could sell it, he could do whatever he needs. With a rezoning it’s unlike a conditional use that is set to a site plan. It’s just a rezoning of the property. The planning board and the board of commissioners were not allowed to take in any testimony from him on what he intends to do with the property.”
Mintz has no deadline to determine what he wants to do with the lot.