Greenville County approves first reading of Tea House boathouse commercial zoning

Published 10:00 pm Monday, March 20, 2017

LAKE LANIER– The Greenville County Council recently approved a first reading to rezone the dock property at the Lake Lanier Tea House, which will allow the Tea House to conduct commercial activities on the dock, including customers being allowed to consume food and beverages on the dock, unamplified music to be played from the dock and for wedding events to be allowed on the dock.

Greenville County Council was expected to consider the second reading to rezone the property to commercial on Tuesday, March 21 and its third and final reading scheduled for April 4.

Tryon Town Council also amended its regulations and restrictions for the lake to allow the commercial activities earlier this year.

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Tryon’s amendment is contingent on Greenville County’s approval of a zoning amendment. Tryon owns the lake bed of Lake Lanier and has regulations and restrictions for activities over the lake. Greenville County has jurisdiction over the land at the lake.

Following Greenville County’s first reading of the rezoning approval, Tryon Town Manager Zach Ollis said the town will  monitor all properties on Lake Lanier according to the regulations and restrictions put forth.

“This simply means we utilize the amended version of the declaration to guide in our monitoring,” Ollis said last week. “Our amendment was approved contingent on Greenville County’s approval of the zoning changes asked of them by the property owner. Had they not approved zoning changes required, we would have eventually gone back to using our original declaration.”

Property owner Mark Kerhulas first petitioned the Town of Tryon for an amendment to the town’s lake restrictions earlier this year and following a public hearing, the town approved an amendment to allow the specific commercial uses on the dock. Kerhulas then had to ask Greenville County to rezone the property to commercial, instead of residential.

Tryon’s amendment to its regulations and restrictions for the lake reads, “Commercial and business activities conducted over the lake, except that if a restaurant business is being actively conducted at the Lake Lanier Tea House property, Greenville County Tax PIN 0624010401800, then, subject to the laws of South Carolina, including alcoholic beverage control laws, and of Greenville County, (a) food and beverages from that restaurant establishment may be consumed by patrons of that restaurant establishment on the 52’ x 25’ dock structure located directly across E. Lakeshore Drive from the restaurant, (b) unamplified music may be played on said dock structure, and (c) when the restaurant establishment is being used for a wedding or similar social event, the dock may be used for that event as well.”

The Tea House was established with the beginning of the lake in 1925 and used to have commercial activities on the water, including canoeing and other activities. The Tea House property is currently for sale.