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Council gives annexation nod to 198 acres, potential W. Main subdivision

Jan. 20, 2020

Laurens, South Carolina – The City of Laurens may end up with another large-scale subdivision on the west side of the city if land now under contract is sold to a regional housing developer as planned.

Laurens City Council on Tuesday night approved the first reading of annexation into the city of  two parcels totaling 198 acres, and gave second reading to the rezoning of an adjacent 10 acres from business to residential.

For the rezoning request brought before council by City Attorney Tommy Thompson, council unanimously approved the second and final reading of an ordinance to rezone a 10-acre tract located just west of, and adjacent to, the Western Square shopping center where Bi-Lo is located, 1500 West Main, Laurens. 

Owned by Chen Investments LLC, the tract which was already within city limits was rezoned from Business, B4, to Residential, R4, which allows for single family residential housing.

Council also voted unanimously to approve first reading of an ordinance which annexes into the city two separate properties totaling 198 acres which adjoin the first 10-acre tract would result in a total of 208 acres for the proposed development.

The 126 acre lot, 325-00-00-014, is also owned by Chen Investments, and another 72 acre tract, 354-00-00-022, is owned by a local landowner.

“These properties have not been sold yet,” said Laurens City Administrator Gary Coleman. “The properties are contiguous to the first 10-acre tract, and all three properties are under contract to be sold to the regional developer. We have been told the purpose of purchase is a subdivision of single-family homes.”

Laurens Mayor Nathan Senn said as the city understands, the developer plans to construct housing which would be at a lower price point than the planned development behind The Ridge at Laurens, a 130-home development which the city announced in October, 2020. Those homes were suggested as $200,000 to $300,000 homes.

Council also decided to table a vote which would have given first reading to an ordinance that would establish new regulations for the city regarding parades, filming, event block parties and picketing.

“Our current ordinance is archaic and porous,” said City Attorney Tommy Thompson. “My understanding is that a parade ordinance must be linked to a security ordinance.”

Council opted to table the discussion until it could hold a workshop to fine tune the suggested ordinance with the police and fire chief’s recommendations. Council plans to schedule an open workshop and a called meeting to reconsider first reading in the next couple of weeks.

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