Enquirer Herald

Clover annexes several properties

CLOVER -- The town council unanimously passed the second and final vote to annex nine properties along Zion Church and Kings Mountain roads and the American Auto Sales property on Main Street Monday.

The nine properties in the Zion Church Road area had been receiving town water and sewer service and other town benefits for several years, but had never been officially annexed into town, Town Administrator Allison Harvey said.

"At some point they were added to our billing system as being 'in-town,' but they weren't on our annexation map, so they weren't paying town property taxes, but they were getting town services and 'in-town' rates," Harvey said. "We finally caught up with them, and most of them were surprised that they weren't already in town."

There was no discussion of the annexation prior to the vote, and none of the property owners were present at the meeting, but all had filed annexation requests. State law requires that property owners request annexation, generally it does not allow a municipality to annex anyone against his or her will. In the case of a neighborhood, if a certain percentage of residents request a vote on annexation and a majority of them approve it, property owners can be annexed against their will.

The town also has an annexation ordinance that states any property outside of town that receives town services must request annexation if and when it becomes contiguous with the town limits, or give up the services.

That ordinance could face a challenge though if a proposed bill in the S.C. General Assembly ever becomes law, Harvey told the council. That bill, which has been introduced in the house would require municipalities to maintain the zoning on property they annex for as long as two years to maintain the county's density, Harvey said. The bill also prohibits municipalities from requiring annexation of contiguous properties that receive municipal services.

Foreclosure funds

Harvey also informed the council that Clover will receive a share of $1.6 million in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Funds to buy and renovate foreclosed properties. The town will split the money with York and Fort Mill. The City of Rock Hill will also receive $1.6 million.

Clover will only be able to use the Neighborhood Stabilization money to purchase and renovate foreclosed properties, or to demolish abandoned properties, Harvey said.

The town has compiled a list of several properties that would be candidates for the funding, Harvey said, both foreclosed properties and sites for demolition. The Catawba Regional Council of Governments provided the town with a list of properties in areas with high concentrations of foreclosures, and the town's building officials has been compiling the demolition list, she said.

Harvey did not know Monday exactly how much of the $1.6 million Clover will receive.