Aiken City Council approves rezonings, annexations for planned businesses

April 16, 2019

The Aiken City Council on Monday night signed off on several annexation and rezoning requests, which in sum begin to clear the way for at least two in-the-works businesses.

City Council first approved annexing and rezoning a roughly 1-acre parcel on Silver Bluff Road.

Treats of Aiken LLC is angling to build a Dairy Queen on the undeveloped parcel, which is on the corner of Hamilton Drive.

The parcel will now be zoned general business.

A traffic study must be done for the development because of Silver Bluff Road’s level of service, according to City Council documents. The plans for the Dairy Queen include a drive-through, according to Planning Commission documents.

City Council member Dick Dewar on Monday night said he was reluctant to move forward before the traffic study is finished.

“I don’t see any need to hurry, quite frankly,” Dewar said, later voting in opposition. He clarified he was for the business but against the potential traffic conflicts.

The Planning Commission during its mid-March meeting unanimously recommended rezoning and annexing the Silver Bluff Road parcel.

City Council secondly approved rezoning a 4-acre parcel along Richland Avenue East bounded by Beaufort Street, Barnwell Avenue and Gaston Road. The vote was unanimous.

The parcel – vacant, too – will now be zoned general business.

Atul Patel of Tulsiraj Inc. has proposed building a “convenience store and a liquor store” on roughly half the property, according to City Council documents. It’s meant to serve nearby homes, according to Planning Commission documents.

The remaining half will be used for “future commercial development,” City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh said Monday.

The store could have a beer cave, more than a dozen doors for coolers and aisles in the center, according to a plan submitted to the city.

The Planning Commission at the same mid-March meeting unanimously recommended going through with the rezoning.

The Richland Avenue East parcel falls under the Old Aiken Overlay District, which brings with it more stringent rules for development.

The Old Aiken Overlay District covers a decent stretch of what is typically considered downtown Aiken.