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Georgetown County, SC, Considers Self-Storage Building Restrictions in Overlay Zone

July 26, 2023

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Georgetown County, SC, Considers Self-Storage Building Restrictions in Overlay Zone

Officials in Georgetown County, South Carolina, are considering new self-storage building restrictions for projects along U.S. Highway 17 on the Waccamaw Neck peninsula. A zoning ordinance, recently recommended by the planning commission, addresses lot coverage, site orientation and design considerations, according to the source.

Self-storage is already an allowable commercial use, with multiple conditions, within the overlay zone, but the ordinance is intended to provide “orderly growth and development” along the Waccamaw Neck Commercial Corridor. The zone is comprised entirely of commercial land within 500 feet of either side of U.S. 17 between the Horry-Georgetown County line and the Waccamaw River bridge near the city of Georgetown. Eight self-storage facilities operate within the zone, the source reported.

New self-storage conditions being considered include:

  • Allowing self-storage in site redevelopment as long as the property’s “existing principal building” is used.

  • Restricting frontage to 40 feet for individual structures along U.S. 17 and limiting building length to three times their width. Unit doors would be prohibited from facing the highway.

  • Buildings would be able to cover only 40% of a site.

  • Mandated landscaping buffers and number of trees and shrubs per 100 feet.

  • For facades facing the street, 80% would have to contain a “porch, canopy, portico or other similar design feature.”

County staff initially discussed prohibiting self-storage in the overlay zone entirely but believe the new conditions are a compromise. Officials were concerned that a full ban “would force these facilities far back from the road and into the vicinity of residential neighborhoods,” according to the source.

“We kind of demonstrated that these storage facilities end up appearing more industrial, sort of, in appearance and function,” said Holly Richardson, county planning director. “And we are recommending these changes to allow for some more careful design and planning to help reduce the sheer size and scale of the self-storage facilities.”

The Georgetown City Council will decide final approval. It’s expected to review the ordinance next month.

Source: Georgetown Times, New Design Requirements for Waccamaw Neck Self-Storage Facilities Sent to County Council

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