Laurens City Council voted to move forward with two residential projects, including 64 townhomes and 19 homes.
Building and Zoning Director Jeremy Hudson presented council with two proposals from the City of Laurens Planning Commission.
In the first proposal, the Planning Commission of the City of Laurens voted unanimously to approve the proposed plan for multi-family townhomes on property located between Pinehaven Street Ext and Todd Ave.
Oxford Real Estate Group will develop and sell 64 units on the property with an approximate 18-month timeline for completion. The units will average 1,300 square feet each and the property is currently zoned R3.
Council opened the floor for questions after a motion made by Councilwoman Sara Latimore. It was made known that the land could not be surveyed until council approved the proposal.
Questions from council ranged from parking spaces, soundproofing, sidewalks, and if the proposal was in line with various ordinances.
A representative from the real estate group said they cannot move forward with their plans if the land is not surveyed. The land has several big trees that they are wanting to leave on the property.
Finding out where these trees are could change the layout of the townhomes.
After discussion, Latimore amended her first motion, to allow council to approve the proposal conditionally. This gives the developers what they need to begin surveying the land but leaves the door open for adjustments.
Hudson also presented a proposal to extend Pinehaven Point.
The Planning Commission of the City of Laurens voted unanimously to approve the proposed plan to extend the Pinehaven Point subdivision with 19 additional houses. The new homes will be in accordance with the previously approved plans and conforms to the current zoning for the subdivision.
Council approved the proposal as-is.
Hudson then asked council to approve the recommendation of Beth Holmes and Diana Hayden as new members of the Historical Preservation Commission. They would be filling two spots that became vacant.
The recommendation was accepted by council.
In other business, council passed a resolution designating an authorized representative and contact person for purposes of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) appropriates $19.53 billion to States for distribution to non entitlement units of local government (NEUS), which are local governments typically serving a population under 50,000.
This led to the council voting to unanimously naming Mayor Nathan Senn as the municipality's contact person.
Elma Morrison, Chairperson of the Historical Marker Committee presented council the reading of the marker for Hampton Street School that was approved by the state Historic Preservation Office.
The marker reads:
HAMPTON STREET SCHOOL
By 1895, this intersection was the site of the Laurens Colored School, eventually known as Hampton Street School. In that year, Thomas Sanders became principal and taught 60-100 students with his wife, Rachel Sanders. It was housed in a wooden building behind St. Paul Baptist Church and supported by local African American residents. It was rebuilt after a 1912 fire that also burned the church and the Sanders family home.
HAMPTON STREET SCHOOL
Hampton Street School was located in what was once known as the "Possum Hollow" neighborhood. It served grades 1-10 until 1937, when Thomas Sanders High School opened 1.3 mi. SE. Hampton Street School then became an elementary school for grades 1-7. The school closed in 1954 and was replaced by a new Thomas Sanders Elementary School, built near the high school with funds from the S.C. equalization program.