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St. Matthews Road Rezoning

Orangeburg City Council has agreed to a review of its comprehensive plan. Some St. Matthews Road residents want their land zoned for commercial property, but the plan calls for it to be residential.

Orangeburg City Council has agreed to review the city’s comprehensive plan.

Council made the decision Tuesday after Orangeburg resident Phyllis Pelzer asked that it amend the comprehensive plan.

Pelzer is one of three owners of residential property on St. Matthews Road who asked for their property to be rezoned for commercial use.

Their request was denied by council during the Oct. 1 council meeting.

While the property owners have argued the land across from the Orangeburg Mall is already in a commercial area, the city’s attorney has noted Orangeburg’s comprehensive plan calls for the land to be residential.

Under the plan approved on a 5-2 vote Tuesday, the city’s comprehensive plan will be reviewed by the city planning commission, staff and zoning consultant John Ford of Robert and Company.

Once the review is complete, the comprehensive plan will go before the planning commission. The commission will hold a public hearing regarding the review.

The commission will then make a recommendation to city council.

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The council will also hold a public hearing regarding the review, and vote on the planning commission’s recommendation.

“I just want to make the provision that it be studied,” Mayor Michael Butler said.

“You brought up some things in your presentation that I’m just a little concerned about. So, we want to make sure that we are fair to all citizens,” he said.

Also during the meeting:

• Amanda Webb, DNA technical reader of the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety Forensics Lab, gave an update on the lab’s certification.

Webb reported that the lab is 18 months away from being accredited. Once the lab is accredited, it will have access to the CODIS DNA database and will also be eligible to apply for federal grant funding, she said.

• Council approved a motion to hold the Dec. 3 council meeting at noon.

• Council approved a motion to appoint a 2020 Census complete count committee. Each council member will appoint two people to the 14-member committee.

• Council proclaimed courtesy as the character trait for November 2019.

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Contact the writer: bharris@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516

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Staff Writer

Bradley Harris is a Government and Sports Reporter. The Irmo, SC native is a 2018 graduate of Claflin University and recipient of the 2018 South Carolina Press Association Collegiate Journalist of the Year Award.

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