NEWBERRY — The Planning and Zoning Commission presented a request to the Newberry County Council on Wednesday to change 5500 Macedonia Church Road from a rural zone to a limited commercial zone.
“The homeowners have heavy trucks coming into the property. Limited commercial allows this, but not really permitted in residential/rural zones,” said Anne Peters, planning and zoning director.
The homeowners own and operate an artificial stone store in Irmo, and use their property to store the artificial stones. The owners are facing two issues, the first being the stones are seen from the highway and the second are the heavy trucks coming to pick up stones to take to customers homes for installation.
“At the time, when we moved the stones to our home, we did not know we were doing anything wrong,” property owner Renee Felix said. “We would love to hide the stones, it is an eyesore. Where they would move to, the stone would not be seen because of trees.”
Felix added that they do not want to begin selling from their home property (which would be allowed under limited commercial), but just want to be able to store the artificial stones there.
The Zoning Commission, which met Tuesday, approved the request to change the zoning from rural to commercial.
On Wednesday, County Council approved first reading of the zoning change, and now must have two more readings and a public hearing before the request can be approved. The first reading motion for approval was made by Kirksey Koon and seconded by Leslie Hipp, then unanimously passed.
Council also heard from Peggie West, president of the board for the new museum that will be located in the old library.
West said they hope to have everything completed by 2016. The board has also been traveling to museums across the state to get ideas for technology, displays and security.
West said the Internal Revenue Service form for tax exempt status has been submitted and W.E. Baker and Son Inc. has been chosen for the construction of the interior and exterior of the building.
The museum board is considering having a tea and topics luncheon as a fundraiser. The idea would be to charge $10 per person and then have a discussion of historical events during the lunch.
The new museum will hold a special opening Oct. 4 during Octoberfest to show the community the interior and a small exhibit. That same day, the renovated tombstone of Joseph Kerr in Village Cemetery will be held. Kerr was a Yale graduate and lawyer who died as he was passing through Newberry on his way from Augusta, Ga., to his parents in North Carolina.
An anniversary celebration will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 28 in the new museum. The event is open to the public.
In other business, council:
• Passed third reading of an ordinance authorizing a lease-purchase agreement not to exceed $1,265 to buy certain equipment.
• Passed a resolution approving an agreement with Fairfield County concerning the temporary transfer of law enforcement officers with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office. The agreement allows the Newberry County’ Sheriff’s Office to assign officers to the Fairfield/Newberry multi-jurisdiction task force.
• Heard from Councilman Koon, who gave recognition to Jerry Whitesides, who passed away last week. Whitesides was active in government and Koon said she deserved to be recognized.
• Heard from Councilman Hipp, who gave recognition and thanks to local media for their diligence and good work they do on covering county issues and events.