Rock Hill council OKs apartments for Waterford Park area

adouglas@heraldonline.comFebruary 11, 2013 

— A Charlotte developer with plans to build a 208-unit apartment complex on Dave Lyle Boulevard is one step closer to his goal after the Rock Hill City Council approved on Monday night changing the zoning classification on the land he wants to buy.

Councilman Kevin Sutton voted against the rezoning, saying the Rock Hill Galleria and Manchester Meadows area has enough land already designated for apartment complex construction.

The apartments are slated to go near the entrance of Waterford business park on 17.5 acres at the corner of Dave Lyle Boulevard and Waterford Park Drive.

The Flatiron Group of Charlotte plans to buy the property from the Rock Hill Economic Development Corp., the city’s nonprofit economic development arm.

With serious thought being given to extending Dave Lyle Boulevard into Lancaster County, Sutton said in January the city should consider whether it wants more apartment complexes at its “gateway” to Rock Hill.

There are six apartment complexes along Dave Lyle Boulevard between Manchester Meadows and the site proposed for new construction. Those complexes have 1,232 units.

Before Monday’s rezoning at Waterford Park Drive, the 2.5-mile stretch between the soccer fields and the business park had six other vacant sites classified as suitable for multifamily buildings. Those sites have an estimated potential of hosting an additional 2,543 units.

City planners say it’s not likely that developers would be able to build all 2,543 units on the land available because of hurdles such as needing more roads, parking and environmental restrictions. The likely number of units built in the future, said city planner Eric Hawkins, is around 1,000.

The new Waterford Park apartments will have a “new urbanism” look and include green space in the courtyard of the units, said Paul Fitch of The Flatiron Group.

Rock Hill, unlike most cities, has mandatory design standards for “multifamily” or apartment unit construction, he said.

Once the land is sold, Sutton said, the city has little control over what is built on the property.

He’s concerned, he said, that many of the existing apartments on Dave Lyle will not “be in the best of shape” over the next 20 years.

Mayor Doug Echols asked Fitch to take into consideration the council’s concerns about the property after it is sold.

The new apartments could be beneficial to people with jobs at nearby retail stores who may not have a car, said Councilwoman Kathy Pender.

Council discusses possible new McDonald’s restaurant

Council members asked questions on Monday about the possibility of McDonald’s building a new restaurant at the corner of Celanese and Mount Gallant roads, now that the developer has withdrawn his request that land be rezoned.

Local developer Bryan Tuttle has been working with McDonald’s and the Oakwood Acres neighborhood for nearly a year to prepare the property for a new restaurant. He did not attend Monday’s meeting.

About four residents from the Oakwood Acres neighborhood attended the meeting but did not address the council. Council members did not vote on the rezoning matter.

It’s possible that a fast food restaurant could still be built on the corner lot now occupied by Americar, a used car dealership, city planners have said.

The rezoning request centered on changing one residential lot in Oakwood Acres to a commercial piece of land.

The developer wanted to use the residential lot for the restaurant’s purposes, Hawkins said, to “orient” traffic flow and create a buffer for the neighborhood.

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

The Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service