By Jeremy Handel, Staff Writer
In their final meeting of 2020, the Woodruff City Council approved a number of annexation and rezoning requests, which will bring a number of new housing units to the city in the coming years.
Following a brief public hearing with no comment, council members approved five old business items that made two changes to the city’s zoning ordinances, approved the sale of a small parcel of city property to a townhome developer, and annexed and rezoned several parcels into the city.
The approval of two ordinance changes prohibits first floor dwelling units fronting Main Street in the revitalization district, which runs approximately from First Citizens Bank to Kirby Street. Any current first-floor residents will be grandfathered in until any action that would trigger new inspections of the unit or a lapse in utility service takes place. The second item eliminated the minimum lot width and setback requirements for buildings that are 45 feet or less in height.
Among the approved annexations were three lots located on Hunter Road, which were subsequently rezoned to R-2B in anticipation that they would be sold to a home developer for a large housing development at Highway 101 and McElrath. The council also approved the rezoning of 129 acres to R-2B for the same development.
The council also gave final approval for the sale of small parcel of city-owned land at Hayne and Pearson, east of the Woodruff Public Library, to a developer planning to build six townhomes. The sale is expected to be completed for $1 and continue to promote growth in Woodruff and the downtown area.
In new business, the council approved the first reading on several items, including the authorization to contract with Willdan Financial Services to conduct a study and forecast of various rates and fees for the city. The city was referred to the company following a meeting with their financial advisor and bond counsel. The study will project the future expectations of income from these fees with the continued residential growth and the capital needs that will be required because of the growth.
“It’s an investment on our part,” said City Manager Lee Bailey, who added that he and city engineers can do general projections but that Willdan would provide a more thorough projection to allow the city to better plan for the future. The contract is estimated to cost between $25,000 and $30,000.
The council also approved the first reading of a request for annexation for a single-family home on West Georgia Street to bring the property on to the city’s sewer system. They also approved a petition and request for annexation of three lots along Snowmill Road. Approximately 13 acres at 201 Snowmill will potentially be used for the second phase of a planned apartment complex nearby. The other two lots are residential lots with double-wide mobile homes that will remain as such in the city limits.
In departmental reports, Bailey reported to the council that the city’s finances were doing well, with projections for expenditures and revenue still on target.
“2020 has been a really odd year, but if you look around at what’s happening in our city, it’s probably been one of our best ones,” Bailey said. He told the council that 2021 was shaping up to be a good year with a number of big announcements expected in the coming months.