The Anderson County Planning Commission voted 5-3 on May 24 to defeat the proposed $11,208 impact fee on new homes. This is how they voted:
Jane Jones (motion, district 6)
Donna Mathews (seconded, district 2)
Dan Harvell (district 7)
Brad Burdette (district 3)
Will Moore (chair, district 4)
David Cothran (district 5)
Wesley Grant (vice chair, at-large)
Bryan Boggs (at-large)
Thomas Dunaway (district 1)
From the “they said it couldn’t be done” department:
After two years, multiple public hearings, dozens of meetings, three very detailed and expensive studies, and three rounds of ordinances, the eight special purpose districts providing sewer to the unincorporated areas of Greenville County are now two special purpose districts.
Last week, Greenville County Council gave third reading to the last ordinance consolidating the last two sewer sub districts, Parker and Taylors, into MetroConnects. The unification will be completed on July 1, however MetroConnects is effectively governing now the installation of new sewer service in the Parker and Taylors.
MetroConnects will now serve as the only sub district collecting sewer in the unincorporated areas. ReWa continues to be the district treating the sewer collected by the sub districts. In addition to MetroConnects, the six cities in Greenville County continue to operate as sub districts collecting sewer and delivering it to ReWa.
Your HBA was part of a multi-organization coalition that successfully advocated for unifying the county’s sewer system.
Greenville County’s fractured sewer system was a legacy of the old mill villages. The sub districts were left in place when the General Assembly adopted the Home Rule Act in 1973. That action effectively froze the sub districts until a legal study provided County Council with a road map to force consolidation of sewer in the county.
Sewer consolidation was important to home builders because almost 90% of the lines in the sub districts, other than MetroConnects, were clay and failing. That failing infrastructure was affecting economic development and home building. And the sub districts did not have the resources to remedy the problem and were under consent orders with DHEC.
According to a study by Truist, housing searches on Redfin by users in other MSAs, Greenville had the second highest increase in searches in 2020 behind Knoxville TN. Housing searches in the Greenville area increased in 2020 by 302% year over year, and 400% compared to 2017. Greenville’s population increased 12% between 2010 and 2020 and is projected to increase by another 6.1% between 2020 and 2025.
Trump WOTUS Rule Replaced
Twice last Fall, the US Army Corps of Engineers suspended issuance of nationwide permits under the Federal Clean Water Act. The suspensions were the result of legal challenges to the Trump Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule.
The Biden Administration is replacing the WOTUS rule with the rule that was in place for nearly 30 years until it was replaced by the Obama Administration. The new rule will include the substance of a US Supreme Court ruling in Rapanos.
Below is more on the subject from NAHB. You can learn more by attending the briefing by SC Attorney General Alan Wilson on February 7, and support his campaign for reelection as well.
Brenda Jo Anderson
Brenda Jo Campbell Anderson, 49, passed away November 7, 2021. Brenda was the wife of James Anderson, a mortgage lender with HomeTrust Bank.
Brenda was a native of Sioux City, Iowa, and an interior decorator. Her family says her love for Jesus and people was the centerpiece of her life.
In addition to James, Brenda is survived by her a daughter, Emma Grace Anderson, and sons Maxwell Anderson and Jacob Anderson.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, November 13, 2021, at Grace Church on Pelham Road . Burial will follow in Hillcrest Memory Gardens. Visitation will be held 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, November 12, at The Wood Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Miracle Hill Shepherd’s Gate, 11 Regency Hill Dr., Greenville, SC 29607.
Online condolences may be made at www.thewoodmortuary.com.
ADA=Americans with Disabilities Act
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s purpose is to ensure places of public accommodation provide the same level of access to people with various disabilities. Like other business where people with disabilities may visit, Home Builders are not exempt.
Two key places where Home Builders may be impacted by the ADA are model homes and model homes with sales offices.
If a Home Builder offers a model home without a sales office, the model home is exempt from the ADA because residential dwellings are exempt from the ADA even when it is used as a model or example of the Home Builder’s product. However, to protect this exemption, the Home Builder must refrain from doing any form of business in the model other than using it as an example of their work. Material samples, sales documents, and other business materials should not be used in the model. Instead, these types of materials and documents should only be used in a sales office or other ADA-accessible location.
Model Homes with Sales Offices
If a builder decides to include a sales office in one of the model homes, the section used for the sales office must be accessible because it is a place of public accommodation. Often builders will put the sales office in the garage area, which is acceptable so long as it can be accessed by people with disabilities. The rest of the model home would still be exempt provided it is not being used for any other purpose except as a demonstration of the Home Builders work.
These are some examples of strategies that may need to be taken to ensure that the Sales Office in the Model Home complies with the ADA:
- No part of the model home may be used for any business other than demonstration of the Home Builder’s work. Therefore, a bathroom in the model home may not be used by anyone, including company staff, unless it meets ADA guidelines. As an alternative, many Home Builders install a temporary accessible lavatory outside the model home that is used by everyone working at or visiting the sales office and model.
- The entry into the sales office must meet ADA guidelines. If you use the garage for the sales office, which is common, you must choose a site where the slope of the driveway does not exceed ADA guidelines. And the entry into the sales office must be wide enough to allow access along with an accessible path into and through the sales office.
- Even though the model itself may not be accessible, it is still a good idea to provide a means of viewing the areas of the model that are not accessible. Offering standard industry videos of the model, or photo boards showing the model and features, are a good idea.
ADA advocates and advocacy groups are actively visiting Home Builders’ developments, particularly those with sales offices and model homes. They also are viewing your websites for accessibility.
As a Home Builder, you should take steps to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law in 1990. If you fail to do so, and you get on the radar of an ADA advocate or the U.S. Department of Justice, you could become the subject of litigation not just for current developments but projects dating back many years. Settlements usually involve payments of attorney fees, damages (under state law claims), corrections to your business operations, and training of your staff by the very advocates by whom you were sued, paid for by you.