Penelope has a plan

April 15, 2013 

It is not easy being the planning director of Lancaster County, but Penelope Karagounis emerged on Monday night as a woman with a great plan that involves the zoning issues in Indian Land.

Karagounis and her staff came up with an outstanding plan where they would look at small area plans and for commercial uses they could look at doing conditional uses. These “small areas plans” would look at areas of concern, instead of applying zoning requirements to the whole Panhandle area or the entire county.

Then these concerns could address the concerns of a specific community. The staff recommendation is also to follow state law by having the planning staff bring recommendations to the planning commission.

County Administrator Steve Willis said that there were a lot of setbacks in addressing this B-3 issue, but after taking another look he realized there were a lot of misconceptions.

So a fresh start is beginning, which includes a consultant who is familiar with planning issues and South Carolina law.

The Indian Land Action Council, a non-political group formed for the betterment of Indian Land, has had members attend and speak to the County Council in regard to these issues for several years.

Finally we feel that somebody did listen and heard our disastrous tales of six gas stations in a 1 1/2-mile area and other zoning issues that we could do nothing about. The residents of Indian Land want better things for our area.

The next step will be to hold a preliminary meeting with the Consultant on April 15.

A big thank you to all the concerned residents who spoke up for the changes, the County Council members, the Chairman of the County Council, Planning Department and the members of the Planning Commission for making this happen.

Hopefully we are all on the same bus going to the same destination with Karagounis as the driver.

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