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Abbeville adopting building codes

A year ago, Abbeville completed a comprehensive plan. Now town officials are in the process of creating zoning and building codes in anticipation of growth that is expected in the future.

Last week, Abbeville Alderman Jerry Pope came before the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors seeking an inter-local agreement between the two government agencies whereby the county’s building inspector would provide similar work to the town.

Pope told the board Abbeville officials will adopt the county’s building codes, probably use the same fee schedule and the county retaining those fees.

Supervisor David Rikard said a meeting was held with county building inspector Joel Hollowell, who indicated his department “could handle any increase in work.”

County attorney David O’Donnell said a fee structure and where the building permit fees would be paid would be part of the agreement. Anyone who would want an inspection would come to the county office to pay the permit fee to cover the cost of the inspection and the county would retain those funds, according to O’Donnell.

Pope said zoning is also “part of the current process.”

“In our comprehensive plan, it outlines building codes, a planning commission and zoning would be things we would move forward with,” Pope said.

Chris Watson was hired by Abbeville officials to develop the comprehensive plan, as well as building codes and zoning.

Pope said county planning commission chairman TJ Ray has been assisting in implementing the planning commission process for Abbeville.

“We’re moving and we’re moving slowly,” Pope said. “I think everyone understands why we move slowly with one item at a time.”

Pope said the building codes would be adopted once Abbeville officials get assurance from the county in entering into the inter-local agreement.

O’Donnell will draft the agreement between the town and the county for just the building codes at this time.