SURFSIDE BEACH — Some business owners in Surfside Beach were worried Tuesday night about a proposed zoning ordinance change4 that would create an overlay district in the town.
The overlay district would be superimposed on existing zoning categories and, in cases of conflict, the overlay regulations, which are generally more strict, would take priority. The additional regulations would cover the commercial district, but would exclude Sandy Lane which has a more industrial look, said Sabrina Morris, planning director for Surfside Beach.
Amelia Tony is afraid she’ll be stuck with a large bill if she ever wants to sell her building. She’s one of the owners at Home Accents II.
“I have a new building,” she said. “It has metal sides. It has a beautiful front, but it’s a metal building. If we were to sell that building under the new proposal we would have to put new sides on it. Who’s going to pay for that?”
The regulations would require metal buildings to be covered with different siding -- either wood clapboard, or resembling a wood-grain material.
Morris said for the most part, businesses or buildings in town need more landscaping to comply with the proposed regulations. Only 17 parcels now comply with the proposed district regulations.
She said creating an overlay district would be a proactive way to prevent the town from having an eyesore and provided pictures of bright pink, purple and yellow businesses.
The ordinance passed the first reading by a 4-3 vote and the council agreed to hold a workshop before the Oct. 23 meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. specifically to discuss the overlay district before the second and final vote on the ordinance.
Councilman Rod Smith voted against the overlay district citing the amount of money businesses or building owners would need to spend.
“We need to rethink when this ordinance applies,” he said. “I’m OK with new construction.”
The ordinance includes required renovations to new regulations if a building or 50 percent of a strip center has been vacant for 180 days. That’s extended to one year for a seasonal operation. Renovations that exceed 20 percent of the appraised value would also need to be in full compliance, as would the chance of ownership, a new tenant or a different use for the building.
Smith said the changing of a tenant or an owner may be too much. He also has a problem with covering metal buildings.
Councilwoman Mary Beth Mabry said these changes, in the long run, would promote economic development and brings businesses to the town.
Morris said the overlay district helps protect property values, and would improve the overall look.
Council also discussed an ordinance that would allow businesses in the amusement district, near the Surfside Beach Pier, to utilize public parking instead of requiring onsite parking.
Morris explained the ordinance would be exclusive to restaurants and retail stores because the district does include a hotel and rental properties that do need to retain the parking spaces.
She said requiring the parking spaces is nearly impossible because of the amount needed under the current regulations and that any of the existing buildings, should they need to rebuild, would not have enough spaces to comply.
Councilwoman Beth Kohlmann said that could create more problems than it would solve.
That ordinance was deferred to the parking committee.
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.