Zoning Update from the Town of Cheraw

Cheraw, SC – The Town of Cheraw is taking the next step forward toward a vibrant community in updating its zoning ordinance and districts. RS3 Planning Collaborative, LLC is taking the lead on this project. Mr. Rodney S. Tucker, the Town's Planning & Community Development Director via contracted planning services, is the Principal for the planning firm. The rezoning and text amendment procedure complies with SC Codes § 6-29-760. Simply, property owners have been notified along with property owners within 300 feet of the proposed re-zonings in addition to the public hearing announcement in the Link's general circulation page on April 10.

Proposed is adding several permitted land uses to the Core Commercial District. Core Commercial largely consists of Downtown. Land uses considered are upper-story housing/loft apartments, condominiums, roof-top bars, research and development companies, and garages among other activities. The goal is to bolster downtown to become more robust. "Successful downtowns, according to Mr. Tucker, are incorporating housing and an active nightlife. Young people, professionals as well as older adults are attracted to vibrant shopping, dining, and living experiences. Florence, Hartsville, and Aberdeen, NC are shining examples of robust downtowns. Cheraw has a similar opportunity." Council's eventual adoption of the Bailey Bill Ordinance, written by Tucker, adds another tool to Cheraw's economic development toolkit.

Between Third and Christian Street along Market Street, the proposed zoning replaces Office Commercial (OC) with Market Commercial (MC). Office Commercial has land uses that are more intense that is not keeping with the current built environment. More importantly, the OC District prohibits single-family housing. There is a number of single-family homes along Market Street with various design and architectural features. Many are contributing to the Town's historic district. Presently, the OC District makes these homes nonconforming. The popular term is grandfathering. Nonconforming means a use or uses are no longer compatible with the zoning district. Once the use in inoperable or destroyed that use can no longer be permitted. "What does this mean, stated Tucker? "It means if one or more of these homes were unoccupied for six (6) months or longer while on the market, the home would not be permitted to exist as a residence. It would have to be converted or sold as one of the other permitted uses." The newly created Market Commercial District allows those homes to exist. Market Street is a primary SCDOT roadway with gentle speeds and generous sidewalks. Although there are several businesses along the corridor, it continues to maintain its residential appearance. MC District focuses on less intense uses.

This round of re-zonings includes converting several properties along Front Street from Industrial to Core Commercial, R-1 Family, and Neighborhood Commercial. Front Street is synonymous with the truck route. The Town has no desire or intent to promote industrial development along this corridor. Consequently, the proposed re-zonings reflect appropriate uses. The portion of Front Street from the Farmer's Market stand to E. Market Street is proposed to be rezoned to Core Commercial because its proximity to downtown and current land uses. The Old B.C. Moore site ideal for condos or a mixed-use commercial/residential development. From E. Market Street to Shields Row is proposed as R-1 Family. Currently, this section of Front is residential in nature and design. The current zoning makes these uses nonconforming resembling the previous explanation. Neighborhood Commercial is proposed from Shields Row to Powe Street. This includes the former Robert Small School. Again, the current Industrial zoning is not realistic nor the Town's aim.

There is a portion from the railroad tracks along Cash Road zoned General Commercial. The rezoning would transition these commercial properties into Core Commercial, complimenting future downtown redevelopment. The remaining properties are residential in nature and design. There are no plans or desire to convert these properties into commercial uses.
Several single-family homes, on Third Street behind the gas station and along Church Street, are zoned Core Commercial. Core Commercial encourages more intense uses. Single-family homes are inappropriate for a traditional downtown. Consequently, the proposed re-zoning will change these properties to R-1A Single-Family reflecting neighboring single-family zoning.

Lastly, Carolina Cars, LLC is requesting a rezoning from Core Commercial to General Commercial to allow a car dealership. It is currently being used as a car dealership counter to the current zoning designation and ordinance. The car dealership was allowed as a result of an error by the Codes Department and issuance of a business license.

Property owners and stakeholders are welcome to attend the public hearing on the proposed re-zonings and other matters at Planning Commission's Thursday, May 2 meeting at 6 pm. The public hearing will be held in Town Hall's Courtroom. Please contact Rodney S. Tucker, Planning & Community Development & Planning Director, at 843.537.8400 or rtucker@cheraw.com for more information. Special accommodation requests for persons with physical, hearing, or other disabilities, should be made 48 hours in advance of the meeting.