“While the Richland County ordinance has specific requirements for development and redevelopment in the floodway, the county is looking womens nike air max into various alternatives to help property owners – both commercial and residential – affected by the flood,” Harris said.
Though Chastain’s property is surrounded by the city of Columbia, it is in an unincorporated parcel of land known as a doughnut hole.
Three months after the historic October flooding, the vacant brick building that held a TitleMax and Liberty Tax on a high-traffic stretch of Devine Street remains almost as it was when floodwater tore through it.
Much of the ceiling of Chastain’s building has collapsed. Insulation and wiring hang from parts of the ceiling that remain standing. Rubble is everywhere. The floor and parking lot on the side closest to the creek have caved in.
Chastain’s is not the only unused building in the hard-hit area. Across Devine Street, a Subway and Title Loans remain boarded. Their owners are working with city officials because those parcels are within Columbia’s city limits.
On the uphill side of Gills Creek, womens nike air max an adult sex shop and a sandwich shop have reopened.
Though Chastain said the county has given him the option, he said he has neither the interest nor the money to repair the building, which was at the site before restrictions on construction.
He discovered the damage to his investment while on a trip in early October. Chastain said he stopped at a hotel and watched television images of the building as it buckled. He said he had flood insurance and received a settlement, though Chastain would not say how much.
“The sheer force of water is truly amazing,” Chastain said last week during one of three trips here to find a solution. He said he’s been in talks with the county since the days immediately after the flood.
TitleMax and Liberty Tax have moved out of the building that dates to 1956, apparently before the land was designated as being in a floodway. Chastain said he wants to tear down the building, which county tax womens nike air max records show he bought for $720,000 in 2008. He wants to sell it to a developer.
The distinction between a floodway and a floodplain is key to what can be done with the property.
Floodways include land closest to rivers or other waterways. They have tighter development restrictions than floodplains, which are farther away from waterways.
For example, the county’s floodplain law allows construction in floodways of parking or loading areas, agricultural or horticultural uses, fishing or swimming areas and other open-air uses. But buildings are not permitted, with very few exceptions.
Chastain said he has decided to postpone his next move until new flood maps go into effect later this year.
County spokeswoman Harris said the maps, drawn by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are going through an appeals process. Once all the appeals are addressed, there is a six-month “compliance womens nike air max period” before the maps take effect, she said.
“It’s not a matter of what I want to do,” Chastain said. “I have no choice but to simply wait and hope that the maps will allow the restrictions to be eased.”
He said he is mulling other options, including selling the property to the county for green space.
Chastain said he has agreed to pay contractors to clean up the debris and put up fencing around the property. “And then,” Chastain said, “we’re going to sit for months.”