Petigru rezoning returns with density swap – Coastal Observer


Petigru rezoning returns with density swap

Owners of the property proposed creating a conservation easement on a nearby tract to offset the density increase on this parcel.

A plan to rezone property for a 26-lot residential development at the corner of Petigru Drive and Martin Luther King Road is due for a public hearing this month.

So is a request to amend the “planned development” zoning for the River Club to allow 21 townhouses on 7 acres just down the street.

Both requests are from Old Kings Highway LLC, whose members have said that they would like to shift the number of residential units from one tract to another and preserve wetlands on the 7-acre parcel through a conservation easement.

The concept is similar to one that Georgetown County Planning Commission members also expect to discuss this month, a land-use tool known as “transfer of development rights.” 

David Gundling and Guerry Green, partners in Old Kings Highway, applied to the county in March to rezone 8.8 acres from “residential half-acre,” which would allow 17 lots, to a “flexible design district” with 26 lots no smaller than 6,000 square feet.

The request drew opposition from the citizens group Keep It Green, which has pressed the county to adhere to the goal of its land-use plan to limit increases in residential density on the Waccamaw Neck. The plan was withdrawn so the partners could prepare a request to rezone the 7-acre parcel in tandem.

The River Club “planned development” is approved for 400 units. There are now 333 units within the gated community: 245 single-family lots and 87 townhouses. The property outside the gates could be used for 67 units under the current zoning, according to the application.

The plan submitted with the zoning amendment shows 21 units. Green said in April that they would like the county to shift nine residential units to the other parcel. That would result in a net decrease in density between the two parcels of 46 unit, the partners say in their application.

Gundling said this week that he and Green plan to meet with the leaders of Keep It Green to discuss the proposal. He didn’t want to comment further on the plans until after that meeting.

Cindy Person, the attorney for Keep It Green, said in April that the group was willing to collaborate with the partners. As of last week, she hadn’t seen the current application.

Commission member Sandra Bundy asked planning staff last month for information about the transfer of development rights as part of a review of a change to the zoning ordinance that would require certain developments in “general residential” zoning districts to maintain half their property as open space. The change was proposed by County Council Member Bob Anderson as a way to reduce residential density.

Commission members said they were concerned that the open-space requirement would make property more expensive at a time when the county is looking for ways to increase the availability of workforce housing.

Transfer of development rights is used in other places to help preserve open space. It was a tool recommended to the county by consultants who did a land-use study of the Highway 17 corridor.

The commission deferred action on the open space plan until this month’s meeting on July 21.



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