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City to take up fee waiver for dealership, Dana homes

A day after an election sure to tilt the Hendersonville City Council in a pro-business direction, council members will take up a request to waive an impact fee for the new Boyd Chevrolet dealership on Spartanburg Highway and waive the charge for up to 80 Dana households with contaminated wells that will be offered city water.

Boyd would get a break of $6,478 if the council approves the waiver. The Dana households would save $1,430 each, and the city would be waiving a total of $114,400 in fees if 80 homes hooked up to city water.

New council members are not sworn in until December but the election of Jeff Miller sets up a three-vote coalition of Miller, Ron Stephens and Steve Caraker that could push the council to make more business friendly decisions. Miller in his campaign promised to listen to all constituents, business owners and residents alike, and Stephens challenged Mayor Barbara Volk on a strong pro-business platform. Caraker endorsed both.
Cam Boyd requested the waiver because the dealership is on land that had contained a mobile home park with about 50 trailers. The water use will be reduced by at least 50 percent, the city staff said.
"Therefore, the staff is recommending the waiving of the SDCs (system development charges) for Boyd Chevrolet because of the tangible benefit derived from the reduction of water use at this location and the economic development benefit derived from the redevelopment of this property," City Manager John Connet told the council in a memo.
The city has applied for state grant money to cover the cost of the water line extension to serve the Dana homes whose wells were found to be contaminated with an agricultural chemical. Grant money won't pay for system development charges, Connet said.
"It's a public health concern where these folks have no choice and their being forced to do this" to receive potable water, he said.
City policy says that the council can waive the system development charges for public heath reasons.
The Boyd waiver based on a reduction in water use on redeveloped property could invite a council look at a broader policy.
"I think where we're reducing the demand on the system, we ought to at least look at whether system development charges are applicable at that location," Connet said.