A former Orangeburg resident is planning to build an affordable residential development of small homes just outside of Orangeburg.

North Carolina resident Tasha Woodley of Majestic Places LLC, who is making the request, wants to build eight to 10 homes ranging from about 800 square feet to 1,000 square feet on about 2 acres of property at 122 Industrial Drive.

The property is off of Old Elloree Road east of Orangeburg.

In a July letter to the county’s planning and land-use department, Woodley says she recently purchased the property at a land auction and wants to build “more than two homes.”

“I am committed and passionate about the community and its citizens’ welfare,” Woodley wrote. “The plans for this land will stimulate economic growth by directly addressing the significant shortage of housing needs through building small homes that provide modern living, providing all up-to-date amenities while keeping the house affordable.”

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Woodley says the homes will have between one and three bedrooms.

Woodley says she plans for the property to have a small park and playground where residents can barbecue and children can play.

Orangeburg County Council Monday gave unanimous first reading to rezone the property from forest agriculture to residential general to help make the development possible.

According to the zoning map amendment rezoning application submitted, the residential development would aim to address “the significant need housing (affordable)” in Orangeburg.

The request did receive two emails of opposition.

JC Till and Tommy Nivens of T and N Enterprises Inc. in a Sept. 7 email noted the company owns the surrounding property and said the property is a “state license pit and the road entering the property is not a public road.”

“The road is heavily traveled with triaxles and tractor trailers hauling dirt in and out,” the company wrote.

In another letter, an individual expressed a desire to keep the land as agriculture.

There were also two citizens expressing approval.

The rezoning application does note the property could be considered spot zoning based on the surrounding adjacent land uses, zoning districts and the size of the property.

While the South Carolina Supreme Court has held spot zoning to be invalid in the state, the court typically will not rule on the wisdom or expediency of local ordinances, according to the South Carolina Association of Counties Guide to Land Use Planning in South Carolina.

To help avoid the problem of spot zoning, many zoning ordinances include a provision requiring a free-standing zoning district to have a minimum land area of at least 2 acres.

The Orangeburg County Planning Commission voted 3-2 to approve the rezoning request.

In other matters, council gave unanimous first reading to rezone a portion of 30 acres on Gardner Boulevard in Holly Hill from forest agriculture to business industrial for the purpose of truck transportation, construction and special trade contractors business. The property is located just south of the town of Holly Hill.

The lot is undeveloped. Surrounding property is zoned forest agriculture.

The property could also be considered spot zoning based on surrounding zoning district.

There were no letters or emails sent in opposition. The county’s planning commission had previously unanimously approved the request.

In other business:

  • Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College President Dr. Walt Tobin informed council about the college’s creation of an employability skills course that will target adult working students

Students will be able to earn microcrendentials online for a period of seven weeks, which will help them achieve certification for career readiness.

The course is being prepared with Work Keys, a workplace assessment.

  • Council unanimously voted to follow the recommendation of the county’s planning commission that a rezoning request to rezone .86 acres at 127 Gillens Road in Eutawville from forest agriculture to rural community district be denied and sent to the county’s board of zoning appeals.

The applicant requested the rezoning in order to put another mobile home on the property, but the planning commission and council in turn suggested the rezoning applicant seek a variance rather than a rezoning due to the size of the property.

The property is located off of Old Number Six Highway east of Eutawville and southeast of Eutaw Springs.

No citizens expressed opposition to the rezoning request.

  • Council gave unanimous third and final reading to the rezoning of about 2 acres of property at 731 Dawson St. in Eutawville to commercial general for an events rental store.

The property is currently zoned commercial neighborhood/residential general. It is located near the intersection with Gardensgate Road in Eutawville.

The Orangeburg County Planning Commission previously unanimously voted in favor of the request.

  • Council gave unanimous third and final reading to the rezoning of about 2.6 acres of a 36-acre property on North Road to rural community district for the placement of a mini storage warehouse.

The property is currently zoned forest agriculture and is located across from St. Mark United Methodist Church near North and adjacent to the North Auxiliary Airfield. Airbase Road runs through the property.

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Three individuals expressed opposition to the rezoning and one resident had questions and concerns. The county planning commission had previously approved the rezoning 4-1.

  • The Orangeburg County Voter Registration and Elections Board will conduct the Elloree and Eutawville municipal elections Nov. 7. Council gave unanimous third and final reading to an ordinance giving the county’s voter registration department the authority to handle the elections for the towns.
  • Council read and unanimously passed a proclamation in observance of Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 8-14.

According to South Carolina Fire Stats, home fires killed more than 82 people last year and 50% of home fires start in the kitchen mostly with unattended cooking.

  • Recognized and declared October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the county. The theme for this year is Thrive365. Orangeburg County employees were encouraged to wear pink on Fridays in October in support of breast center awareness.
  • Unanimously passed a resolution honoring Elder James Ray Blassingame.

Blassingame served for 35 years in the Calhoun County School System before he retired as a principal in St. Matthews. He also served as an associate superintendent and as the director of finance in the Calhoun County School System.

After his retirement from Calhoun County, Blassingame also served at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, William J. Clark Middle School, The Technology Center in Orangeburg in various positions.

Blassingame was joined with his wife, Patricia, and family for the recognition presentation.

  • South Carolina State University will have its Youth/ROTC Day/Business, and Industry Day Saturday, Oct. 7. Tickets are $10 each.

Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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