Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 16, 2015

SC Appeals Court Upholds Finding that a Hospice was a Permissible Use in a the Designated Zone After the Board Determined it was More Akin to a Nursing Home than a Hospital

The Horry County Zoning Board of Appeals (the Board) appealed the circuit court’s order reversing the Board’s decision finding a Mercy Care Hospice (MCH) facility could be built within the proposed area zoned Commercial Forest Agricultural (CFA). The Board contended its determination that a hospice is a permissible use in a CFA zone should be accorded deference by the circuit court. Respondents argued the Board’s decision involved its interpretation of the Horry County zoning ordinances and, therefore, constitutes a question of law which the circuit court properly reversed.

In this case, Horry County ordinances do not specifically permit or prohibit a hospice in a CFA zone. Because of this, the parties asked the Board to determine whether the MCH facility was more comparable to a nursing home or group housing, permitted uses, or a hospital, a prohibited use. This required a factual inqury, after which the Board made a determination that the facility fell within the permitted uses and approved construction in the CFA Zone. Thus the court held the circuit court should have given deference to the Board’s decision because its decision was based upon appropriate findings of fact which are supported by the record. The circuit court’s holding was therefore revered.

Furr v Horry County Zoning Board of Appeals, 2014 WL 7157161 (SC App. 12/17/2014)

The opinion can be accessed at:

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