ROCK HILL, S.C. - In mid-October, Winthrop University expects to begin the process of transitioning to the new city zoning category created for “planned educational districts,” university officials said today.
The new zoning category, known as “PED,” was written into the City of Rock Hill’s 2006 zoning code update in recognition of the fact that the previous category, “OI,” (Office/Institutional) didn’t fully reflect the many concurrent land uses and development needs essential to fulfillment of a public university’s mission. Moving to the planned district concept will involve a typical zoning review of the university’s existing development plans, including a public hearing and votes by the Planning Commission and City Council.
“We want to conclude the process in January,” said Rebecca Masters, assistant to the president for public affairs.“That will allow for timely groundbreaking on our next two construction projects – a College of Business Administration auditorium that will facilitate bringing students and the business community together for special events, and the DiGiorgio Campus Center, which will replace the current Dinkins Student Center as the central meeting place for student organizations, as well as housing the university post office, bookstore, food court, and other support services. These two projects alone represent a $36 million investment in Rock Hill, and they are key to our capacity to grow student enrollment over time.”
Recently completed projects – the Lois Rhame West Health, Physical Education and Wellness Center and Owens Hall – were completed under the city’s old zoning code.
As part of the process, Masters said, the public will notice bright orange zoning notices appearing around the perimeter of the main campus and the Winthrop Farm area sometime in early November, which is a normal course of events following a formal application in October. Neighboring property owners are being notified of the plans by mail, she said.