South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Opposing a 1,000-acre Gamble on the Sampit
Posted: September 25, 2017

On behalf of the Coastal Conservation League and Sierra Club Winyah Group, we recently submitted comments to the Georgetown County Council in opposition to the proposed rezoning of approximately 948 acres of property located along the Sampit River and Pennyroyal Creek in the Pennyroyal neighborhood of Georgetown, tax parcel 01-0437-002-00-00.

The current zoning of this property (mostly Forestry & Agriculture, with small strips of Conservation Preservation) is appropriate for a multitude of reasons. The property has a vast amount of water and wetlands because it is wedged between two waterways. The relatively small sections designated CP do not delineate all of the wetlands.

If anything, the CP area should be expanded to cover the full acreage of wetlands on the property. These wetlands feed into both the Sampit River and Pennyroyal Creek. They provide important functions for the waterways and for the neighborhoods nearby because they filter and clean water and help to control flooding. These functions are especially vital given the increased flooding we have seen in recent years and because the Sampit River is already heavily taxed from discharges of other industrial sources.

What we know about this property counsels against rezoning it for heavy industrial use. But, there is a lot of information that we do not know which also counsels against rezoning. The Planning Commission voted unanimously in opposition to this rezoning, after hearing from community members and from Brian Tucker on behalf of the applicant.

In sum, to rezone nearly a thousand acres of property, that is providing public health and safety benefits and has historical and cultural significance, into a heavy industrial area, is contrary to county code and would be very poor decision-making.

Read our full comments to the County Council from the link below.

Download available Pennyroyal_CL to County Council