Tuesday, July 16, 2013
With recent rain and floods plaguing the area, the Dorchester County department of Planning and Zoning proposed to conduct a new study on stormwater and drains at the County Council meeting Monday.
Planning and Zoning Manager Alec Brebner requested the Planning, Development and Building Committee pass an ordinance to suspend all development in a specific area of the Pine Hill Acres community, where the study is planned to take place.
The study will cause a five-month pause in building that will affect residential construction, mobile home set up and lot clearing. According to Brebner, construction within the study area will negatively affect the accuracy of the study results, and as a result must be stopped for the study period.
In response to concern from councilmembers, Brebner clarified the suspension of development would not apply to certain scenarios, including if construction had already begun and if a disaster were to require the need to rebuild a resident’s home.
County Public Works Director Matt Halter explained the specific section of Pine Hill Acres was chosen for the study because the environment naturally defines the project area, which is flat and doesn’t run into other water sources. The project will help areas upstream, he said.
“I think this is a wonderful recommendation,” said Councilwoman Carroll Duncan.
The Planning, Development and Building Committee, led by Councilman David Chinnis, unanimously approved the request for a second reading; this recommendation was later followed in the county council meeting where it was also approved.
Interested parties will have the opportunity to further discuss the temporary suspension of the building ordinance and the study at the Planning Committee meeting Thursday, July 18, at 3 p.m. in the County Council Chambers.