Public gets say on 'storefront churches'

Times & Democrat (Orangeburg, SC), 2014-08-05


Aug. 05 -- Orangeburg City Council will hold a public hearing and take up first reading on an ordinance to prohibit new storefront churches in the city's Overlay District .

According to the proposed ordinance, storefront churches are not compatible with the established uses in the city's Overlay District , which generally encompasses the downtown area of Russell Street .

If a church is currently housed in one of the buildings, the church will be grandfathered in as a permitted use. However, once a church moves out of the building it currently occupies in the Overlay District , a new church will not be permitted to occupy that building.

During a meeting in mid-June, the city's Planning Commission agreed that "storefront churches" are an incompatible use in the Overlay District .

The commission also held a public hearing on the issue, but there weren't any comments from the public.

Tonight the Planning Commission's recommendation goes before city council.

The public will once again have an opportunity for input into whether or not storefront churches should be added to the list of incompatible uses in the Overlay District . The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. , in Orangeburg City Council Chambers.

In addition, council will hold a public hearing to consider six applications for 100 percent annexation into the city of Orangeburg for residences located on Putter Path Road .

After the public hearings, council will consider first readings of the ordinances related to the annexation requests and to the prohibition of "storefront churches" in the Overlay District , along with the city's proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-15.

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