City Hall and Clock Hartsville, SC

Craig’s Work Session & Regular Meeting Recap – 10.10.2023

Click here to read the full agenda from Tuesday’s City Council Regular Meeting

The work session was moved from October 8th to the 10th but they still held it in the morning and the Regular Meeting in the evening. Below is my recap from both.

Work Session – Craig’s Recap

Pickle-ball Courts – A lot of discussion was had surrounding pickle-ball courts at Lawton Park. There was a rush on this because if council decided to move forward on it immediately, the asphalt work needed to be done before mid-November. Ultimately it was decided to do a larger renovation, this will allow them to fit 8 courts in the current space where the tennis courts are and the entire area will be redone. The funds used will come from ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) money. They let the vote on this die on the bench so that they could start a fresh discussion on it in January. Estimated spend is around $125-175,000 and it will be sent out for formal request for proposal next year once it is voted on.

Charette Process – A lengthy discussion was had by council to explore the Charette Design process. This was being discussed for the (formerly called) “Canal District” development. A charrette is a collaborative process in which stakeholders, community members, designers, and architects collectively brainstorm design ideas for an upcoming development project. Often times cities and developers will use a third party for this and typically these companies will have a very thorough process and know how to get community involvement, the company then compiles detailed information on what the community and stakeholders want to see. This in turn can be provided to developers to get buy in and explain in a detailed fashion what the city wants to happen with the project. Initial estimates put the cost of something like this around $135-150,000. Regarding the “Canal District”, some of the city council is hesitant to spend more on planning for this when there has been a lifetime spend of over $3 million already and no project has moved forward. Councilwoman Mack pointed out that South Hartsville also needs consideration for a charette and deserves a fair share of attention. Councilman McGee provided further explanation of the charette process and reiterated the importance of community involvement and the need for a 3rd party that is experienced with these types of forums to facilitate the process. Look out for more on this, nothing was decided yet and was a discussion and a possible option to allocate some ARPA funds to this that will probably be discussed in January.

Regular Meeting – Craig’s Recap

Nuisance Properties – The final reading of this passed. This allows the city police, fire, and building codes to address nuisance properties in a more expedient fashion. It also also properties to be converted to bee sanctuaries.

Rezoning of two properties on Sonoco Road – There was public hearing comments on this rezoning from concerned residents that back up to the current Machine Shop building. There was concern about drainage from increasing impervious ground area with the expansion of the Machine Shop. A Sonoco employee spoke about the plans for the area of concern and clarified that the the machine shop was only being expanded on area that was already used as a parking lot. The City Manager reiterated that the rezoning of the two parcels was what was being approved and not the actual Machine Shop expansion. The rezoning had been through the planning and zoning committee and included required buffer zones between the residential parcels that abut the concerned properties. The ordinance passed with one Nay vote and it was final reading.

Expanding commercial service boundary for solid waste services – This was the first reading of this ordinance. It will allow for the expansion of the boundary for commercial solid waste service pickup. This will be a revenue generator and the Sanitation Manger has reviewed current service and is able to provide the additional service with the help of the new trash truck that was purchased by the city.

As mentioned in the work session recap, the authorization of funds for the pickleball courts at Lawton Park was allowed to die on the bench and will a new ordinance will be opened in January to discuss a larger renovation project.

**Please note these are not a comprehensive minutes from these meetings, and are simply my personal recap regarding the bigger topics that are discussed.