Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) On Thursday night, the Architectural Review Board of Chapin denied the application of the developer to approve plans to build on the outparcel of Chapin Crossing, the development that currently is home to the Publix in the heart of the town. The developers had presented in front of the ARB several times, and each time they had been sent away with directions to make changes to their plans. Each time they returned and presented to the ARB, they had more arguments than changes in hand.
At the heart of the disagreement was the position of the outparcel’s building. The developer had the building’s position situated so that its rear faced Chapin Road right in the heart of the town. The ARB maintained that it would look just as one would expect, the service and utility area of the building. The ARB told the developer that it would look bad and that they fully expected it to mimic the rear of the Publix where employees take their smoke breaks and pallets, mop buckets, and other unsightly materials are sometimes stored. The developer argued that they would police the area regularly, but the ARB said that wasn’t currently happening at the Publix and they simply didn’t believe that anything would be different with the outparcel. One member of the ARB even had pictures that showed an unsightly mess behind the Publix that stayed there day after day.
The developer seemed in the mood to argue but the ARB wasn’t of like mind. After the presentation was made and the argument heard, the quorum of three members of the ARB that was present flatly denied the developer’s request to go ahead with the building. The vote was unanimous against the project.
Now, the question regarding what happens next needs to be made clear. Several felt that it would go to the town’s board of appeals while others expressed the opinion that it would end up in front of an administrative law judge. The simplest solution would seem to be that the developer simply rotates the building 180 degrees so that the more attractive front faces Chapin Road. Although there are several other smaller sticking points, this would seem to be an olive branch from the developer that shows they are willing to work with the town instead of fighting every point tooth and nail.
The one thing that was clear after the meeting was that the project was a no go until something changed. The ARB is dedicated to making the project complement the town, while the developer seems hell bent on doing what they want with the building. Once again, until all these points are ironed out, there will be no construction of an outparcel building with the small businesses that the developer hopes will soon call Chapin home.