York County could add another large event venue for weddings, retreats

Another large event venue could soon host weddings, corporate gatherings and more in York County.

Owners of almost 50 acres on Garvin Road just outside McConnells want to use five acres of pasture and wooded land for a new facility.

The event venue would host up to 250 people, and up to 100 events annually, according to a zoning request filed with York County. The county zoning appeals board, which would have to allow the property to be used for an event site, will hear plans and could vote Jan. 10.

A rendering with the application shows a 6,000-square-foot building with a covered portico on one end, and a 3,000-square-foot patio off one side.

Photographs in the application of similar projects show long, open timber and beam buildings with high rafters, similar to a large barn or farmhouse theme.

Plans are to have the venue open year-round for events.

In 2018, York County set up a process for having new event venues approved after leaders learned there technically weren’t zoning districts that allowed them.

Several York County Council members spoke out in favor of allowing sites. Now event venues are allowed, with a special exception from the zoning appeals board and rules from when music is allowed to how late into the night events can be held.

In November, the zoning board unanimously approved two new venues. One is part of Starry Night Horse Farm on Chester Highway, near the Sherry Acres subdivision north of McConnells. The other is a former golf clubhouse on Carolina Crossing Drive in York.

The Starry Night site is 36 acres, and has a pond and several barns on site and is geared toward horse-themed events. It could have up to 100 people.

The former golf clubhouse is on 59 acres. The 4,500-square-foot building can host up to 160 people.

Each of those venues project about 20 events a year. The one up for discussion at Garvin Road projects more than both of them combined.

The zoning appeals board typically handles smaller cases, like a neighbor looking to add a covered deck or pool against a property setback. Sometimes larger decisions are made, like a developer wanting lot size or setback changes for an entire project.

The event venues are among the larger commercial decisions the board now faces.

One decision the zoning board won’t make, yet, is whether to allow a new waterfront park by Duke Energy.

Duke applied to use property on the west side of India Hook Road near Rock Hill, where Lake Wylie and the Catawba River meet, for a park to include fishing, swimming and more. The 20-acre site is part of Duke’s federal hydroelectric relicensing agreement to continue operating power plants along the Catawba.

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Duke came to the zoning board in December, but the decision was deferred after a dozen people spoke out against the plan. Duke then asked the county to hold off until February, to give the company time to meet with neighbors and address concerns. That zoning board meeting would be Feb. 13.

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John Marks covers community growth, municipalities and general news mainly in the Fort Mill and York County areas. He began writing for the Herald and sister papers in 2005 and won dozens of South Carolina Press Association and other awards since.

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