2018-09-14 / News

Shandon addresses development concerns


Krista Hampton, director of planning and development services; Rachel Bailey, zoning administrator; and Amy Moore, principal planner/ historic preservation, answer questions from Shandon residents regarding zoning matters. Krista Hampton, director of planning and development services; Rachel Bailey, zoning administrator; and Amy Moore, principal planner/ historic preservation, answer questions from Shandon residents regarding zoning matters. The Shandon Neighborhood Council held its bi-monthly meeting Monday, September 10.

Krista Hampton, the director of planning and development services; Rachel Bailey, the zoning administrator; and Amy Moore, the principal planner/ historic preservation, answered questions regarding development activities in Shandon.

Among the bigger topics of discussion was the Design Development Review Commission’s denial of a proposal from developer Allen Rutter to demolish the house on 140 South Walker Street. The house has been a major topic of discussion at Shandon Neighborhood Council meetings for over a year.

In July 2017, the council denied a proposal to support the demolition of the house. However, council voted to support the demolition eight months later. Moore said the house didn’t meet the requirements DDRC has to follow in order to recommend the demolition. She said she walked through the structure over a year ago, and saw the damage to the house was typical of a house neglected for a long period of time, but the overall condition was not that bad.


Blake Weiss, with the University of South Carolina, discusses issues surrounding students living off campus. Blake Weiss, with the University of South Carolina, discusses issues surrounding students living off campus. Among the house’s features working against those who want to see it demolished are the shape of the roof and the style of the house. The setbacks are all typical for Shandon.

The guidelines for demolition drew the ire of another developer and Shandon resident, Michael Pate, who has built at least five houses in the neighborhood. He said the rules associated with demolition need to be done away with. He believes people should be able to demolish their homes if they want or rehabilitate them if they are able.

Part of the reason for the strict guidelines is Shandon’s community character overlay designation, which came about after a groundswell of residents seeked protection after losing a number of historical relevant homes to demolition. The designation has made news recently, after it was announced council would look at whether changes needed to be made.

Changes would include expanding the construction review but doing away with the demolition review. Hampton said the issue would come in front of the Planning Commission around November or December and move to council around January or February. Even if changes are made, according to Hampton, the codes for residential neighborhoods will largely stay the same.

Residents also expressed concerns their communications with the Board of Zoning Appeals are falling on deaf ears. Hampton urged residents to reach out to their city council representatives. However, for Shandon residents, their representative, Moe Baddourah, has been suspended from council for over a year. Hampton and neighborhood council president Russell Jones urged residents to contact at-large representative Tameika Isaac Devine and Howard Duvall.

Rich Horton, chair of Shandon Neighborhood Council’s traffic and safety committee, announced after speaking with City of Columbia traffic engineer David Brewer he was informed the neighborhood’s request to change the speed limits from 30 miles per hour to 25 will be brought to council at the September 18 meeting. If the request is approved, the signs will be made by the South Carolina Department of Transportation and placed throughout the neighborhood on both city and state roads. This is the latest in an issue that has been looming around council for two years.

Blake Weiss, neighborhood relations coordinator for the University of South Carolina, announced some steps his department is taking to improve relationships between neighborhoods and students.

The University has incorporated an off-campus living module, a 20- minute workshop for students to attend and learn tips for living off-campus. It includes taking out and bringing in trash cans in a timely manner, picking up after pets, and keeping events quiet and reasonably timed.

In the spring, USC launched an off-campus living sanction. If students are sanctioned for an off-campus living situation they will have to attend a two-hour workshop where representatives from campus life and university police departments will attend and address any questions or concerns.

Council approved a motion to relocate the bimonthly meetings to one location, Heyward Street United Methodist Church. The issue was first addressed by council at the July meeting, when members became aware of the capacity at Sims and Emily Douglas Park.

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