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Low-income housing bid for Walterboro denied

The City of Walterboro’s Board of Zoning Appeals denied a special exception that would have allowed a proposed high density, low-income apartment-type housing project to be built on Bells Highway beside the Belks Shopping Center.

The 3-1 vote that denied the appeal came after an August 14 public meeting at which many residents, most of them from the Forest Hills area, expressed concern over the proposed complex the company that wanted to build the complex dubbed “Savannah Meadows.” Board members Tom McDaniel, Jimmy Syfrett, and Ron Ordel voted against the special exception that would have allowed construction preparations to begin. Member Travis Godley voted in favor of the exception.

A revised zoning ordinance that passed recently was, in part, partially responsible for the ruling. The change stated that a multi-family unit now requires the approval from the Zoning Appeals Board.

The tract of land on Bells Highway was selected from four possible sites, a site located on Robertson Boulevard near Smith Street, and a tract of land located just on the west side of the Belks Shopping Center.

Earlier this summer, City Council decided not to pursue the passage of a rezoning ordinance that would have allowed a low-income, high-density apartment complex along Mount Carmel Road near Bells Highway. Council’s move came after a public hearing at which many people voiced opposition the proposed project.