Curran Stone, Baynew Development, developer
• Car storage building business.
• Jan 2008 – Nov 2008, Bayview complex
• Garage condos.
• Partner with John Taylor, LTC.
• Delayed grading permit…over 90 days.
• DHEC permit had to be re-filed.
• No one voice from county staff on similar questions….lack of code understanding from county staff.
• Staff response: “That’s just the way it is” (meaning the process)
• Issue with requirement for sidewalks in development.
• Water line installation – finally had to put in three, cost $250,000 out of budget.
• East Richland County staff was unaware of his development. Took 1-1/2 years to get plans approved. Requirement to pre-pay for water tap/plumbing installation costs.
• Inspectors have made onsite requests that are not concurrent with the approved plans from the permit set.
• Impact on small businesses is tremendous.
• Comparison between Columbia and Charlotte (50 years later).
• Airport is substandard for international travel.
• Fire marshal request for fire suppression in paint booth. Official has the final word, but there is no code requirement.
Ben Arnold, contractor/developer
• Staff and city staff have been very helpful; however, the ordinances are not developer friendly.
• Zoning ordinance needs to be a smoother process.
• The rules: The City
o 96 principal uses
o 23 service
• Mid 90’s project: Jillian’s PUD process.
• PUD has to many restrictions.
• Landscape ordinance is too complex to comply with at times, not much flexibility.
• County: water/sewer $620 sewer tap fee/calculations…equation for determining the fee is too convoluted. There should be a standardization which is determined by local officials and not influenced by the federal regs..
• Fire and life safety requirements/IBC requirements are….
• Landscaping show be look at on a case by case situation.
Al Timmons, Timmons Contracting, small office/upfits/remodeling
• Less complex issue: Plan review period is too long.
• For small business, this is too long. Realtors/tenants have a 30 day turn around policy.
• Plan review process could take longer if comments have to be addressed….a two week process can easily turn into 4 weeks. Recommend that plan reviewer focuses on noting that the comments were addressed and approve plans in two or less days. This really impacts tenant move-in.
o Comments: door swings, counter top heights,
o Has had experience with
• 800 sf to 24,000 sf type renovation projects.
• Post inspections have been going well, overall….
• No issues with getting C.O.; however, fire marshal has requested minor changes. The requirement for a fire marshal inspection varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This should be improved
Michael Quinn, Ellis/Lawhorn, & Sims Law Firm
• Conditional approval leads to a process
• Plan review taking 2 and 3 times to get approvals. Recommend that re-reviews be done by one group to finalize the process. (Hasting’s, Albuquerque, NM)
• Public works…contacting staff have been difficult.
• City/County tree ordinance are misaligned.
Sam Johnson, City of Columbia – left early.
Hal Stevenson, Rental homes
• City is focused on the rules only!!! They cannot think beyond the ordinance’s words. Allow the city staff to make improvement recommendations.
Carter McEntire, McEntire Produce, Inc.
• One project, 165,000 sf facility
• Why did Amazon, BMW, Boeing go to other places instead of Columbia???
• What’s going to make Richland Co. competitively regionally?
• One idea: Eliminate the business license fee (tax)! Milage fee??
• County’s interpretation of the law.
• Limited to no..
• Issue with business categories inflexibility….lack of common sense.
• Contact and return call from staff.
• Search for a 2007 surety bond took about three weeks.
• Outsiders are discouraged.
• Lack of customer friendless
Mary Brewster, CB Ellis Development Co
• Competition with Lexington County, same day permitting from them.
• Small businesses drive the community
• City sewer tap fee: Krispy Kreme $70,000 sewer tap impact fee in a change of use from bank to restaurant.
• Another project: old restaurant (vacant for 7 years) into a new restaurant.
• No tap fee for fire sprinkler in Mt. Pleasant.
Mike Irons, Sonic
• Winston Salem, VA. Richmond, KY
• Common sense does not exist.
• Have been able two projects built in other cities before getting one built here.
• Give staff the power to make sensible decisions on site without reprimand.
The next meeting was set for 11-2-11 at 4:00 pm at the Chamber.