Annexation approved for future entertainment site

By Al Dozier

Despite opposition from area residents, the Irmo Planning Commission Monday approved the annexation of a 13-acre tract of land on Rocky Creek Trail that will be used as an entertainment event venue.

The commission unanimously recommended approval of the annexation with a rezoning to Fringe Agricultural.

That recommendation will now go to the Irmo Town Council, which could vote it down.

Residents sounded complaints about the noise that would be generated throughout their neighborhoods and a possible party atmosphere during the evening hours. They also expressed concerns about traffic at a site that would be designed to accommodate parking for 200 cars.

Resident Jim Reagan questioned whether the site has gone through proper regulations.

“Who approved the building permit?”

Another resident complained the town was “spot-zoning” the site, which is predominantly a residential area.

But Planning Commissioner Joseph Murphy said the annexation and rezoning has nothing to do with an event venue. The final use of the property is not something the commission decides, he said.

After the meeting, other commission members were asked by the Irmo News about the commission’s stance and agreed with Murphy that their vote was not influenced by a planned use. They said it would be up to the Irmo Town Council to decide if an entertainment venue is unsuitable for the property.

At the beginning of the meeting, Planning Commission Chairman Walter Lindler was recognized for this long service on the commission with a plague from the town of Irmo presented by Mayor Barry Walker Sr. Lindler’s term expires in April.

Lindler a long-time resident of Irmo, said he was pleased to see the progress the town has made over the years.

“I’ve seen it grow in the right way,” he said.