TEGA CAY, S.C.,None - The Tega Cay City Council has initially approved an annexation and rezoning request that could increase the city's commercial base.
The request to annex 10 acres on Dam Road into the city limits, most of which will be zoned for commercial use, was approved by a 3-2 vote during the council's Dec. 19 meeting. Councilman Stephen Perkins and Chris Landvik Larson voted against the request.
The council went into a closed-door session to "take legal advice on the annexation of the property" before returning to vote in open session. Property owner Michael Miller said he hopes to operate a boat storage facility, in addition to an existing auto impound lot, on the property. According to the rezoning application, the change would give the Tega Cay Police Department and York County Sheriff's Office use of the impound lot - a need for both agencies.
That is the sticking point for Perkins, who said after the meeting that he thinks the council is "skating on the edge of annexing with a contract" which he contends is prohibited.
"That's illegal in South Carolina," he said. "'We'll annex you if you do this for us.' The contract is obviously not part of the annexation contract, but it's definitely skating on the edge."
Perkins said he also has concerns that the property might expose the city to liability issues because it is adjacent to a junkyard.
During the meeting, Councilman John Dervay supported the request.
"This is what we have talked about for 10 years, that we want more commercial property," sDervay said. "This is it."
In November the planning commission recommended approving the request. City staff also recommended approval. A second favorable vote is required for final approval. Before the vote is held early in 2012, the council will be slightly different as former councilman Ron Kirby, who won a special election in November, will replace Dervay, who did not seek re-election. That change could make a difference in the outcome at second reading, Perkins said.
"The demographics of the council will change," he said. "It's not over yet."