Re Cathy Moore letter on Friday:
The letter written is wrong. The Surfside Beach Town Council, decades ago, voted for a zoning ordinance that everyone building in this town has used to build their homes. The Board of Zoning Appeals does not write these laws. The town council approves them after they are written by the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
The people seated on the Board of Zoning Appeals, all citizen volunteers, have no authority to change the laws as written. The applicant, in this case, had ample opportunity to present a case of hardship to the board. As chairman, I allowed Mr. and Mrs. Moore’s attorney more than 40 minutes to present their case. The board listened, and after the attorney finished, the board asked questions. The only answer given was the Board of Zoning Appeals should approve this request because the house is an award-winning design.
I totally agree, beautiful, and would add to the beauty of our town. The Board of Zoning Appeals is only allowed to issue a variance when a four-question criteria is met. These four questions are written in the Constitution of the State of South Carolina, governing the direction of all Board of Zoning Appeals Hearings throughout the state. The same criteria is written into many other state constitutions. The Board of Zoning Appeals is held strictly to these questions.
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Everyone seeking a variance from an ordinance is held to the same criteria. This is not the result of one person’s opinion. I thank Mrs. Moore for her concerns, but it was not me, nor the Board of Zoning Appeals that restricts her desires, it is the law, the ordinance of our town. In my personal opinion, I would love to have the Moores’ home built. Again, a personal opinion, not law.
I am running for Town Council, and with my experience of over 10 years as a seated member of the town’s Board of Zoning Appeals I will ask to be assigned to work with planning and zoning to update these town ordinances; to remove outdated restrictions, to remove obsolete ordinances; to add a sunset clause on every ordinance to be reviewed after a set period of time; to bring a future view into our town.
There are around 846 ordinances in our town, and the request from me to review and modernize these laws has been a central point in my campaign. This I guarantee to the people of Surfside Beach.
Ron Ott, Surfside Beach