Plans for a residential development on Five Chop Road will receive additional review and public input.

Orangeburg County Council on Monday voted to refer Colonial Holdings Group, LLC’s rezoning request to the county’s public service and planning committee. The committee is chaired by Councilman Joseph Garvin and includes Deloris Frazier and Willie Owens.

Colonial Holding wants to rezone property on Five Chop Road from forest-agriculture to commercial general for the purpose of residential and commercial development.

Council was scheduled to give second reading on the rezoning request on Monday, but received letters of concern about the project “at the last minute,” Council Chairman Johnnie Wright said.

The matter was referred to the committee for further review.

Wright said all parties interested in the rezoning request and proposed project will be notified about the time and place of the meeting.

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“This way they can have their input and they can state their reasoning, legal or non-legal, and make sure that the planning commission will be able to justify what they recommend,” Wright said.

Vice Chair Janie Cooper-Smith echoed Wright.

“I wholeheartedly agree that that is probably the best decision that could have been made on this item,” Cooper-Smith said.

The zoning change will require three readings. First reading has already been given by council.

The company has said it plans to develop the property by building affordable homes.

More than 100 individuals have expressed opposition to the development, including about 90 who signed a petition. Opponents have cited concerns including the commercialization of farmland, crime, reduction of property values, increased traffic, negative impact on wildlife and issues with water runoff and flooding.

About 50 individuals have also signed a petition in support of the project, citing the need for affordable housing, increasing the tax base and contributing to positive growth.

The project’s environmental consulting firm and engineer have said they’ll work to preserve all environmental interests.

The 81-acre property at 1657 Five Chop Road is near Nivens Road, Orangeburg Auto Auction and Trump’s Inn. It is currently a vacant field.

There is also a 20-acre tract in front of the property that’s already zoned commercial general. Colonial is also seeking to purchase the tract, which has vegetation and trees.

Adjacent properties to the west and south are zoned commercial general and properties to the north and east are zoned forest and agriculture.

Some adjacent property owners have said that they did not know their farmland was zoned commercial general and are trying to have it rezoned to forest-agriculture.

About 13 acres of the property falls within the flood zone of the Middlepen Branch.

Colonial Holding will have to go through environmental review with federal agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to access some of the property.

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