The Van Wyck News

Volume 3 Number 10 The Web – Based Newspaper of the Van Wyck Community            14 August 2011
Executive Committee Members
Front: Jan Duke, Betty Cauthen, Marite Eden
Rear: Betsy Steele, Lois Rao, 
Pat Troutman
Lancaster County Republican Women
    A new group will enter the Lancaster County political scene on Tuesday 13 September 2011 when the Lancaster Coiunty Republican Women receive a charter from the South Carolina Republican Party. The presentation will be made at the USCL Carol Dowling Center, 509 Hubbard Road, Lancaster at 11:30 AM. All are welcome. 

Sheriff Faile
Sheriff Solves a Problem
    The Sheriff solved a difficult turnover problem in his department when he implemented the Career Ladder program using existing funding. In the process he saved the County $50,000 during the 2011-12 fiscal year. Kudos to the Sheriff for finding a way to continue the excellent service he provides to county residents for less than we thought it would cost.
County Budget
   County staff came up with a complete budget for the 8 August County Council meeting after Council refused to pass an amended budget ordinance at the 27 July meeting with a large blank space in it where the budget was supposed to be.  This new budget contains about $250,000 in tax increases and was accompanied by a plaintive plea from County Staff to include another $600,000  in items omitted from of the budget. Council postponed consideration of the budget until the next (22 August) meeting.
    This puts County Council in something of a bind because the budget must be finalized through third reading before 1 September to permit the Assessor to get tax bills out by the state mandated deadline of 1 October. Council is thus left calling special meetings for second and third readings of the budget during the last week of August.

     County Council initiated a rewrite of the Unified Development Ordinance (zoning law) last fall. The problem is an overly broad list of permitted uses in zoning classification B3. This was giving difficulty with excessively noisy and dusty operations being permitted near residential areas in densely populated Indian Land. Council instituted a ban on zoning changes in Indian Land pending completion of the new law.
    After six months of work, county staff unveiled a highly intrusive zoning proposal last spring that was unacceptable to many residents, especially those living in the sparsely populated southern areas of the county. County Council stopped work on the UDO rewrite at that time.  Requests are coming in for zoning changes and County Council is feeling the restrictive nature of its own rules.
    The difficulty is that the same set of rules is being applied to four very different situations. A developer who is planning to build hundreds of houses is in a much different situation than a homeowner planning to build a playhouse for his children or a storage building. Likewise homeowners in Indian Land with houses 40 feet away on three sides are in a much different situation than homeowners in southern areas of the county with 500 feet between houses who live on dirt roads so they can ride horses. Zoning in the urban area of the county, defined essentially as the combined areas of the Pleasant Valley and Indian Land Fire Districts, needs to be a lot more restrictive than it does elsewhere in the county. Zoning and building restrictions need to be much different for developers, who have the potential to make a mess of square miles of land, than they are for homeowners.
    In addition, residents have rightly become very suspicious of the zoning process and the secrecy that often surrounds it. It brought us the mess that is Edenmoor, the latest development of which is here,  would have brought us a huge sanitary landfill without extensive citizen intervention mainly by LCAC and which is still formally on the books, and is responsible for the patchwork problems in Indian Land.

Feeding the Hungry
Donations to Lancaster County food programs have fallen off recently. The recession increases the number of people facing hunger and the need for food.  The Van Wyck Press is happy to transport food to the agencies serving the needy in Lancaster.  If you have food that you would like to donate and would like us to transport it for you, let me know.

Fall Festival and Car Show
The Van Wyck Mining Company
    The Van Wyck Fall Festival and Car Show will be held on Saturday 10 September 2011 from 10 AM - 4 PM at the Van Wyck Community Center, 5036 Old Hickory Road. Always a fun time for families, the Festival will feature music, food, crafts and many activities for children including the Mining Company (above) as well as a first class car show that attracts vehicles from all over the area.   Brochure     

Trinity Bluegrass  
Car Show

    One of the most important events in the future of Lancaster County is the upcoming redistricting. The census completed in the year 2000 has made it necessary to change the boundaries of the County's voting districts so that each Councilperson represents about 11,000 voters. The population shift into Indian Land and Sun City makes it necessary to place additional representation into this area. Council districts in the southern portion of the county will need to be made larger for the same reason.
     Redistricting is little more than an exercise to keep the current incumbents in office. Councilman Rudy Carter has decided not to run again, which  makes the process easier. His district has been divided among the remaining districts in the southern portion of the county with each of the remaining councilpersons with the exception of Councilman McCullough residing in one of the new districts. Under current state law, these individuals  will continue to represent the new district in which they reside until their current terms expire.
    The panhandle area is currently represented by Mr. McCullough and now contains two districts worth of people. Mr. McCullough lives in Sun City. If one simply begins at the northern border and moves south until the area encloses 11,000 people  the area ends up  including a portion of Sun City. Mr. McCullough's home could therefore be placed in within the northern (Indian Land) district or the southern (rural panhandle) district.
   If Sun City is included with the rural area to the south, the districts would be as below with the line between the two districts being roughly at the northern border of Sun City. In this case Mr. McCullough would represent the rural area marked District 1 on the map below and a special election would be held to elect a representative for the Indian Land area marked District 7 on the map below.

Sun City with Rural Area to the South
    There are many ways to draw these lines, but one that places Sun City in with the Indian Land area to the north is shown below. The blue area on this map extends from the southern border of Sun City north along Rte. 521 roughly to Rte. 160 and then east to the state line. Mr. McCullough would represent this district and a special election would be held to elect a representative for the yellow area, which runs roughly from Rte. 160 down Rte. 521 to the southern border of Sun City and then south roughly to Shiloh Unity Road and Route 9.
Sun City with Indian Land to the north
    The urban area of the panhandle is perhaps best defined by the boundarues of the combined Indian Land and Pleasant Valley Fire Districts. From a governmental situation the major questions are development in both districts and fixing the problems caused by botched development in the urban district.

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