McDaniel helps resolve Elm Abode Terrace zoning dispute

COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – A Burnette Shutt & McDaniel attorney helped amicably resolve a contentious situation by negotiating an agreement under which the owners of Elm Abode Terrace, a stately mansion in Saint Andrews, could use their property for a commercial business while shielding neighbors from noise during events hosted there.

The problem dated back to last spring, when neighbors complained that big events at the mansion were causing problems with litter, noise and parking. The owners contended that what they were doing was perfectly legal. Neighbors, represented by Kathleen McDaniel, believed that gatherings violated the newly restored 10-bedroom mansion’s zoning as a single-family residence.

“Noise and parking problems were spilling out into the neighborhood,” said McDaniel. A former Richland County Planning Commission member, McDaniel’s practice at Burnette Shutt & McDaniel includes land use planning and zoning as well as other areas of government law.

Elm Abode Terrace zoning change

In the end, both sides gave a little, and the planning commission approved a compromise this winter that changed the mansion’s zoning to a Planned Development District. The new zoning allows events at the home but with some restrictions.

“It’s a happy ending,” McDaniel told The State.

Under the compromise, the property can be used as a bed and breakfast inn and for home occupations. There can be a limited number of commercial events and vacation rentals each month. In exchange, the owners agreed not to play music outside except during wedding or other ceremonies and that no subwoofers will be used. All music will be turned down by 11 p.m.

Before the idea of the Planned Development District was proposed, the situation appeared to be headed for litigation. “By bringing the mansion owners, the neighborhood, and Richland County staff together, we were able to craft a creative solution that preserved everyone’s interests as well as their relationships,” McDaniel said.