FLORENCE, S.C. — Three more development projects got go-aheads Monday afternoon from the Florence City Council.

First, the council approved the first reading of Bill No. 2020-01, which declares five parcels of property as surplus and authorizes their conveyance to HopeHealth for future expansion of its facility and development along North Dargan Street in Florence.

The parcels to be conveyed are located in a line along the west side of North Dargan Street, near its intersection with East Marion Street.

Florence City Councilman George D. Jebaily indicated that the company had purchased additional property, including the building on the corner of Dargan and Darlington, and a structure would be built there.

He also strongly expressed his desire for the structure to face Dargan Street, have pedestrian access and be visually appealing.

The council approved the first reading 5-0. Mayor Pro Tempore Frank J. “Buddy” Brand II did not attend Monday’s meeting and Councilwoman Teresa Myers Ervin did not participate, citing a conflict as a member of the council and a member of the HopeHealth board.

Second, the council approved the first reading of Bill No. 2020-04, which approves the abandonment of an ingress (entering) and egress (exiting) easement for a property located on Cecil Road near Mechanicsville Road’s crossing of Interstate 95.

City Planning Director Jerry Dudley said the property is owned by Adams Outdoor Advertising but is being purchased and developed by “another private entity.”

The council approved the first reading of the bill 5-0. Councilman Glynn F. Willis did not participate in the discussion because of his employment with Adams Outdoor Advertising.

Third, the city council approved the first reading of Bill No. 2020-05, which amends the city’s zoning code to allow for the building of town homes with front parking lots in commercial general zoning and activity center zoning.

The request to amend was made by the owner of a property located near the intersection of Hoffmeyer Road and Darlington Streets across from the baseball fields. That property is too narrow for the construction of town homes with either single access drives —the SCDOT is limiting road access for the development — or a rear lot.

The city’s code would be amended to allow for the construction of front lots but limit them to commercial general and activity center lots and would require substantial buffering and green space.

The council approved the bill 6-0.

Also by a vote of 6-0, the council approved the first reading of Bill No. 2020-03, which annexes and zones a property adjacent to the to-be-constructed Lions Gate subdivision as commercial general.

The matters probably will be before the council for second and final reading in February.

The council also approved second readings of a bill amending the city’s 2019-20 budget, a bill annexing and zoning properties in the Windsor Forest subdivision, a bill annexing and zoning a property located at 317 Hutchinson Ave. and the first reading of a bill annexing and zoning property located at 2490 Abbey Way.

The council approved adding finance director Kevin Yokim as a director of the public facilities corporation.

The council also received reports regarding the development of a residential rental registry ordinance and the development of a business license ordinance from city manager Drew Griffin.

Elder James Williams and Cecilia Meggs of Lighthouse Ministries addressed the council. Williams spoke about the water tap fees charged to non-city residents that he called unfair. Meggs provided an update on Lighthouse Ministries.

The council also recognized Lt. Gerald Cameron from the police department for his retirement effective Oct. 7, 2019, and Marilyn Wall for passing her “D” wastewater certification examination on Dec. 15, 2019.

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Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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