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Williams v. Lexington County Board of Zoning Appeals

Court of Appeals of South Carolina

September 2, 2015

Scarlet Williams, Appellant,
v.
Lexington County Board of Zoning Appeals, Respondent

Heard December 9, 2014.

Appeal From Lexington County. R. Knox McMahon, Circuit Court Judge. Appellate Case No. 2013-000314.

Renae Stacie Alt-Summers, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Jeffrey M. Anderson and William Joseph Maye, both of Davis Frawley LLC, of Lexington; for Respondent.

MCDONALD, J. WILLIAMS and GEATHERS, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 750

MCDONALD, J.:

Appellant Scarlet Williams seeks review of the circuit court's order upholding the Lexington County Board of Zoning Appeals' unanimous decision that the county zoning ordinance prohibits Williams from operating a dog grooming business at her home. We affirm.

FACTS/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Scarlet Williams resides in the Richmond Farms subdivision of Lexington County. Prior to any events relevant to this case, Williams converted her single-car garage into an additional living space with a modified shower for her mother-in-law. When Williams' mother-in-law moved into an assisted living facility, Williams left her job as a dog groomer at PetSmart and began grooming dogs for friends and neighbors in the converted garage.

In the summer of 2010, Walt McPherson, the Lexington County Zoning Administrator, received an anonymous letter regarding Williams' in-home dog grooming business.[1] McPherson then contacted Williams and determined that dog grooming services were in fact being performed at her home.

In September 2011--over a year after receiving the first letter--McPherson received another anonymous letter reporting that Williams was running a dog grooming business from her home. McPherson again contacted Williams about " trying to get her into compliance with the Zoning Ordinance[,] . . . issuing a zoning permit, maybe a home occupation zoning permit, [or] . . . [trying] an alternate location."

McPherson opined that he could not issue Williams a regular zoning permit because her street's zoning classification is " Resident Local 5" (RL5). Section 22.00 of the Lexington County Zoning Ordinance[2] (County Ordinance) defines an RL5 street as " [a] street with frontage over 50 percent residentially developed . . . or platted as a residential subdivision." Section 22.00 explains that " [t]his type street is intended to accommodate some residential activities at five dwelling units per acre. Access will be limited to this type development and allowed home occupations or accessory activities."

McPherson also stated that because Appellant's street was zoned RL5, activities that fell within the " Kennels, Catteries, and Stables" classification of the ...


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