A rezoning conflict off Broad River Road has been resolved, with a compromise allowing the well-known owners of a mansion to rent out their home for a limited number of parties, weddings and other events, the main players said Monday.
Neighbors disturbed by crowds and noise at 1335 Elm Abode Terrace have agreed to the proposal, which Richland County Council takes up on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“It’s a happy ending,” said Kathleen McDaniel, lawyer for the neighborhood groups.
Mansion owners Charles and Valerie Aiken will continue to live in the 10-bedroom, 7-bathroom home, where they have had large gatherings for the past two years in defiance of the county zoning law. The Aikens are parents of Miss America 1994, Kimberly Aiken Cockerham.
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The couple’s lawyer, Toby Ward, said they will specify limits for parking, noise levels and the number and timing of their events.
Zoning officials – who last week dropped a case in magistrate’s court against the two – would police the agreement, Ward said.
In July, the Aikens asked the county to rezone their 1930s home and nearly three acres from residential use to office and institutional use, allowing their parties to continue legally.
The county planning commission recommended against the request, citing the encroachment of a business into a neighborhood and traffic problems. County Council, hoping for a consensus, twice put off a vote.
McDaniel and Ward said the wording of their agreement, known as a Planned Development District, had not been finalized but neither anticipated a problem.
Norman Jackson, chairman of County Council, said he’d been notified that an agreement had been reached but he had not gotten details Monday.
“This way the historic structure can be preserved. It has to be used as a residence, but it can also be used for events,” Ward said. The Aikens have two adjoining residential lots that are not part of the proposed PDD, he added.
The 11,500-square foot home was vacant and falling into disrepair when the Aikens bought and restored it.
“It really is a property that the neighborhood values and that the Aikens value,” McDaniel said.