SURFSIDE BEACH — Residents and property owners who spoke at a meeting in Surfside Beach were generally in favor of a proposed overlay district.
But, the property owners didn’t think the ordinance was ready as written and suggested several changes during the hourlong public comment period before the regular Town Council meeting Tuesday.
The proposed 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.
Materials, paint colors and landscaping requirements would all be included in regulations. For example, metal buildings would not be acceptable and would need to be covered with a different siding – either wood clapboard, or something resembling a wood-grain material.
Brick, granite and marble are also included as acceptable siding materials.
The siding regulation is one with which several property owners took issue.
Amelia Toney, who co-owns Home Accents II, said her building is new and was constructed with metal siding that would be costly to redo.
“There are many, many good things about the overlay district, especially the colors and the landscaping,” she said. “But, the metal is a big, big problem.”
Toney said the siding on the Home Accents II building is covered by warranty for 20 years, so it’s not going to look drab anytime soon. She asked council to reconsider the acceptable siding materials.
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.
Dalton Floyd, with Floyd Law Firm, said he’s in favor of beautifying Surfside Beach. His main issue was the trigger points that would require a property owner to renovate.
“Give serious consideration to things like a change in tenants,” he said. “You’re going to have more abandoned property than you have now.”
Town Council discussed those triggers during a workshop Tuesday and agreed a change in tenant should not require a property to come into compliance with the overlay district regulations.
A change of ownership would only be a trigger if a property was sold. Inherited properties could remain unchanged.
A single building, or 50 percent of a strip center, that has been vacant for more than 180 days, or one year in seasonal purposes, would need to comply with the overlay district.
Randy Harrison, who owns Harrison Realty Company that neighbors the Floyd Law Firm and Third Avenue South, was worried about resurfacing a parking lot and being forced to upgrade a property. Morris explained that line refers to landscaping, not the building construction.
Expansions or the combination of units in a strip mall would trigger the need to comply with the overlay district, as would renovations greater than 20 percent of the appraised value.
All new construction would need to follow the overlay district regulations.
Many issues discussed by Town Council in the workshop were resolved by Morris agreeing to add clarifying statements to the ordinance. The revised draft is scheduled to be voted on at the next Town Council meeting on Nov. 13.
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.