“In a 3-3 vote May 25, Georgetown County Council voted against rezoning land owned by Tidelands Health off of North Fraser Street and Wedgefield Road to allow for multifamily housing.
This vote overturned council’s previous second reading vote May 11 in support of the rezoning. Ordinances must have a majority vote for it to be approved — because the rezoning vote was tied, it did not have a majority and therefore failed.
Last county council meeting May 11, one councilmember, Everett Carolina, recused himself from the vote. This time around, though, Carolina voted against it, and rather chairman and Wedgefield-district representative Louis Morant recused himself because of criticism over his wife’s involvement with Tidelands Health’s volunteer board of trustees.
Morant told council and residents in attendance May 25 that with these concerns in mind, he spoke with the South Carolina Ethics Commission and requested an informal opinion on whether or not there was a conflict of interest.
Morant told council the commission’s opinion was that there was, in fact, a conflict of interest, but Morant told the Post and Courier Myrtle Beach May 21 his wife, Marthena Morant, became a trustee before Tidelands bought the property and would see no gain from the sale of the land.
Despite this, Louis Morant told council and residents May 25 he felt recusing himself was the best decision.
“If the public seems to think that there’s a conflict, then obviously I don’t want to (give) any false impression,” Morant said.
Blue Line Development and FourSix Housing originally proposed building a 90-unit affordable housing development on the land if the rezoning was approved. More than 100 residents of Wedgefield Plantation clapped when the rezoning was voted against, as they fought the county for the last month and a half against it.”
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Lawrence, Demi. Georgetown Times 25 May 2021.