Moratorium vote details on new home construction in Rock Hill SC

A moratorium on residential construction in Rock Hill has taken another step forward, a month before the big one.

The planning committee voted Tuesday night to recommend the new house moratorium to Rock Hill City Council. The council gave its initial approval last month, which treats the moratorium as if it was already in place. A second Council vote, scheduled for January 10, would finalize it.

“The moratorium would be in effect for up to six months after that,” said Leah Youngblood, director of planning and development.

Youngblood offered two reasons for the moratorium on Tuesday night. There have been a lot of home and townhouse subdivision applications in recent months, she said. Some of the existing development standards, she said, do not reflect the Council’s intention.

The town planning commission held a public hearing, but no one from the community spoke.

The goal of the fireplace moratorium is to allow time for city staff to review and possibly change the planning standards that guide growth in the city.

“It makes sense, as we grow older, to catch our breath and make sure we’re all on the same page on what our development standards should be,” said Keith Martens, Member of the planning commission.

The moratorium allows a developer to present a sketch plan to the board, and the board the option of allowing projects to go ahead if members wish.

“I also like that they have given themselves the opportunity to review things while the moratorium is in place, so that we do not miss out on great development opportunities,” said Shelly Goodner, member of the planning committee.

Planning commission member Nathan Mallard said parts of the moratorium might be a bit exaggerated by council, but it may be a necessary decision. He initially wondered what projects, and why, the council might choose to undertake while others had to wait.

“Maybe I’m reading too far,” he said.

He noted that no one spoke out against the plan on Tuesday night, taking his decision into account.

The moratorium would not impact projects approved before it, additions to an existing residence, accessory buildings on an existing residence or remaining lots on a largely built subdivision.

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John Marks graduated from Furman University in 2004 and joined the Herald in 2005. He covers community growth, municipalities, transportation and education primarily in York and Lancaster counties. The Fort Mill native has won dozens of South Carolina Press Association awards and multiple McClatchy President’s Awards for his media coverage in Fort Mill and Lake Wylie.
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