City of Florence plans to take over building and inspection permits

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) – The City of Florence will not renew a joint building and planning agreement with the County.

With all of the developments in Downtown Florence, City Council members decided, last Friday, against renewing a joint contract with Florence County.

The growth in Downtown Florence is just one reason Mayor Stephen Wukela said the city needs to control building and inspections within city limit.

Mayor Stephen Wukela said, “The city needs to control its own destiny, with regard to planning, zoning and permitting.”

The agreement between the City and County dates back almost two decades but this year will be the last. The city gave the county 6 month notice.

Newest city council member Pat Gibeson- Hye Moore explains, “It just makes it easier, with all of the building that is going on downtown and our plans for neighborhood revitalization.”

“Everything will be in one location, under one umbrella. So, we can have better control,” Gibeson- Hye Moore adds.

Mayor Wukela said, “The good news is for a builder inside the city of Florence they will effectively have a so called one stop shop. Where you can come to the same place and get the zoning compliance, design review board authority, and you can get the building permit. All at the same place.”

City officials hope separating from the County will mean more development opportunities.

Mayor Wukela said not renewing the contract and hiring city building and planning employees will not cost taxpayers.

“The city is growing and expanding in a progressive way,” explains Mayor Wukela.

One Florence County Council member said they predict a few layoffs at the building and planning office as a result of not renewing the contract.

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