Originally created 12/18/97

Baggot supports zoning request



NORTH AUGUSTA -- The Aiken County Councilman who brought a controversial zoning request before the council defended the request Wednesday, saying the homeowners involved support it.

Jim Baggott, District 5 councilman, said his ordinance keeps mobile homes away from the Midland Valley Estates and Rolling Hills subdivisions.

Both of the Graniteville subdivisions are zoned RUD, a classification that allows everything but junkyards, sexually oriented businesses and disposal sites for hazardous and nuclear wastes. The ordinance Mr. Baggott drafted would change the area to RC, which allows single family detached dwellings, but specifically excludes mobile homes.

Subdivision residents discovered their property was zoned RUD and approached him separately asking him to rezone their area to prohibit mobile homes, Mr. Baggott said. The zoning change would pertain to property south of Chalk Bed Road and east of S-255 Connector Road that backs up to Midland Valley Estates.

"Had I known it was RUD, I would've initiated the request a long time ago," he said.

Michael Grooms, who owns about 500 acres within the proposed zoning area, attended Tuesday's county council meeting to oppose the zoning ordinance. He plans to divide his property into five- to 10-acre lots, each priced $30,000 to $40,000. He said he has no plans to build trailer parks, but didn't exclude the option.

About 50 residents of the Midland Valley Estates and Rolling Hills subdivisions showed up to support Mr. Baggott's ordinance.

After the council's first vote on the rezoning failed to win a majority, it was reintroduced and tabled for a month. County Administrator Bill Shepherd volunteered to set up a meeting between the homeowners and Mr. Grooms in the hopes of reaching a compromise.