NEWBERRY — Newberry County Council quickly dismissed a request Wednesday that would have allowed a high-density subsidized housing complex to be built on Louis Rich Road.
Council vetoed the rezoning by a 4-1 vote. Councilmen Steve Stockman, Buddy Livingston, Bill Waldrop and Scott Cain voted against the rezoning request while John Caldwell voted for it. Councilmen Les Hipp and Kirksey Koon were unable to attend the meeting.
Supporter Rodrick Cummings said the complex would have been the first of its kind in the state and region. The closest one of the USDA built facilities is in Florida.
Cummings said through his workings with the Living Hope Foundation, headquartered on Louis Rich Road, he found that many working at the Kraft Foods plants did not have housing in the county.
He said he had hoped the new complex would provide homes for the employees.
But council members were concerned about putting in another subsidized housing complex in the community and said they would rather see the land used for a future Kraft expansion or a company to supply needs for the plant.
Concerns also arose over the increased traffic on the two-lane road and mixing residential traffic with tractor-trailer traffic.
Council members also said expressed concerns about the impact developing over 20 acres of land would have on the school district and law enforcement.
The complex would have received water and sewer services from the City of Newberry.
Cain said he had many calls from area residents asking that the zoning not be changed. Waldrop said he would need more information about the complex before he could vote for it.
Resident Jimmy Morris told council he spoke for the community, which does not want the complex built in their neighborhood.
Unless a councilman who voted against the rezoning change asks for it to be put back on the agenda, the rezoning request cannot be put before council again for a year.