Orangeburg City Council is moving forward with changes that could potentially bring businesses to the Pecanway Terrace neighborhood.
Area resident Phyllis Pelzer says it’s natural for areas to shift from residential land to commercial land.
âA lot of the houses in my neighborhood inside are very old, they are rental properties, and I’m sure they will be there for a long time,â she said at a recent city council meeting.
âBut having a property that faces such a busy road as St. Matthews Road, and not being able to have it zoned for commercial, doesn’t really make sense, especially since there is a commercial one. in front of us, commercial by our side, and even a commercial sort behind us, âshe said.
During the meeting, Orangeburg City Council approved at first reading an ordinance amending the city’s future land use plan and the city’s comprehensive plan compliance index.
Board members Sandra Knotts, Jerry Hannah and Bernard Haire voted against the change. Council members Richard Stroman, Liz Zimmerman Keitt, Kalu Kalu and Mayor Michael Butler voted for the change.
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The ordinance changes the future land use map for the Pecanway Terrace area from suburban residential use to urban residential use.
Deputy city administrator John Singh said the change “will allow, at some point, these areas can be dezoned as business class 1, business class 2 or three.” Technically, they will be in category B-1, B-2. B-2 is actually what you think of as your downtown area. This is what starts this process by moving from the suburb to the urban to do it. “
Singh also said there had been discussions about setting up a buffer zone for residents who live in the inner part of Pecanway Terrace. A buffer zone would help separate commercial and residential developments in the area.
âIf you did decide to make a change, there were strong buffering requirements to protect the additional residential areas of the properties that would surround St. Matthews Road and Chestnut (Street). This would be something that needs to be changed in our zoning, and that our municipal lawyer and our planner, John Ford is working on, âSingh said.
âIt will be a separate order that we will present. This will be in place before someone applies, if you decide to go ahead, âSingh said.
Butler said he visited the community and spoke to several residents about the possible changes and answered their questions.
Keitt said the changes were long overdue.
âWe’ve been talking about this since 2005. Several residents have called and asked us why we are taking so long to give them what they want? I have over 50 residents in my home right now who have signed petitions to have this area changed in their favor, âKeitt said.
She added: âOrangeburg needs to grow and as board members we are holding it back. But we need to stop, think positively, and do what we need to do to make Orangeburg the way it should. And it can be a very progressive city, a county, if we stop holding people back. “
Keitt said the city should be further ahead than it is.
“We’re not progressing as we should, and that’s because half of us don’t want good or new things to happen, and when you don’t want good things to happen, it doesn’t. not happen, âKeitt said. âPeople are moving, going to other cities and spending their money because we don’t have much here for them. Until we put new things in this city, we’re going to stay back because that’s where we are now. I am for change, and we have to take it into account, âshe said.
“In order for us to move forward, we have to change,” Kalu said.
Kalu referred to the new library project and the city working to move the city hall to an existing building in the city center as examples of progress.
He said changes need to be made to attract new business.
Hannah said there needs to be communication with owners and landowners in the area.
âWe have to find a way to send letters to each of these landowners so that we have a specific way to do it. Finally, if there is a wall, if there is a barrier, if there is some kind of mechanism that you think will cushion the situation, then it needs to be explained to them so that they know because sometimes we’re talking over people’s heads, âHannah said.
Hannah noted that the area is within his council district and that he constantly communicates with his constituents. He encouraged his constituents to contact him with any concerns they may have.
“We have to make them understand that this is not a buffer and that it will not affect your land, or your taxes, but all the parameters so that these people can make an informed decision about their land, their livelihood, âHannah mentioned.
Haire said the city must first focus on existing areas that need to be revitalized.
âWe have a downtown area with a number of vacant buildings, and we need to make every effort to revitalize this neighborhood. We’re talking about people getting jobs, and that sort of thing. Personally, I don’t think the kind of jobs that would be created, or the businesses that would be created, would be attractive to keeping students here in Orangeburg, as I heard at council meetings, providing jobs for the rest. here, âHaire said.
âI don’t see that in the kind of buildings and businesses that are going to be here. My whole thing is, I think we need to keep the residential areas until we can get an improvement in the population of this city, so we probably won’t decrease our numbers when it comes to the census and that. what others look like is about a city and its growth, âHaire said.
Haire said downtown revitalization is more important than moving tenants and others to the Pecanway Terrace area.
If final approval is obtained, the change will not immediately affect zoning in the Pecanway Terrace area. The decision will help guide city officials in the future if a landlord seeks to rezone a property.
The Pecanway Terrace area is defined as an area bounded by St. Matthews Road to the west, Chestnut Street to the north, the rear line of non-residential lots facing the northeast side of Boulevard Street and Fairfield Street. to the East.
Pecanway Terrace is located roughly across from Popeye’s and Chestnut Square Shopping Center on Chestnut Street.
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