Lake Wylie Pilot photo illustration
Almost 2,000 acres in Lake Wylie is being planned for development to include recreation facilities, a low-density residential neighborhood, mixed-use including commercial and residential, and land for Clover School District.
LAKE WYLIE -- Almost 2,000 acres of prime Lake Wylie real estate might just be the last chance at getting everything the community wants.
"If we don't do stuff like this, I don't know what else to do," said Tom Smith, York County councilman for Lake Wylie.
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Since last spring, Smith has been meeting with landowners Crescent Resources and Allison Creek Partners, as well as Clover School District and Daimler Trucks (formerly Freightliner), about creating space for a recreational complex, additional school sites and major roads while lowering the density of development near Lake Wylie.
"I want people to understand, this didn't happen overnight," said Smith, who said meetings have been held on a weekly basisthis year. "This is, hopefully, a way to work it all."
The talks include four properties:
• The first is a Crescent property, valued at $1.85 million according to York County Geographic Information Services, located on more than 462 acres on the south side of Crowders Creek between S.C. 49 and Bethel School Road.
Planned there is a 50-acre tract to be donated to the county for park and recreation facilities and an adjacent 50-acre tract to be sold at a "reasonable cost" to Clover School District. The remaining acreage would be a mixed use of commercial, office and residential.
• Two other properties are just north and south of Big Allison Creek. More than 725 acres, valued at $13 million, to the north is owned by Allison Creek Partners and stretches from Hands Mill Highway past S.C. 49. Another 622 acres south of Allison Creek stretches the same distance and reaches as far south as Campbell Road. That Crescent property is valued at $2.27 million.
Those properties currently are zoned for residential and industrial uses. The new plan would allow for mixed uses with an office campus near the lake -- including the 340-acre future Daimler site -- and residential or commercial properties just to the north. A commercial development will be located on the southern portion of the property away from the lake, with lower-density residential use near S.C. 49.
Those properties also include a 23-acre elementary school site to be bought at cost, two new roads connecting S.C. 274 and 49 on either side of Allison Creek, and a regional pump station.
• The final property, 300 acres on Allison Creek Road owned by Crescent, will be changed from high density residential to lower density. Lots will average one acre and will be no smaller than half an acre, and buffers will be increased up to 100 feet. At least 20 percent of the area will be reserved as green space.
Residential components likely will include townhomes or patio homes in higher-density areas farther away from Lake Wylie, while single-family homes will make up the medium and lower densities.
Efforts to obtain comment from Allison Creek Partners and Crescent Resources were unsuccessful.
The master plan
The proposed development is intended to address concerns about the current land-use plan, which zones areas nearest the lake with the highest residential densities, while adding much-needed community infrastructure.
"We're going to get some density off the lake and put it where it's more applicable," Smith said.
Dr. Marc Sosne, superintendent of Clover School District, said one option for securing land for schools is to swap property owned near the Crowders Creek schools for the 50-acre tract.
Clover schools are growing at a 6.4 percent rate each year, Sosne said, which is almost four times the state average of 1.7 percent. While Sosne would not say what type of school might be located on the 50-acre tract, he did say last week that a new high school "needs to be in existence" within the next eight to 10 years somewhere within the district.
With the proximity of the 50-acre school site and the 50-acre recreation site, an arrangement could be made combining school and community use of the fields and school facilities.
"When the school's not using it, the facility will be open for community use," Sosne said.
Baseball and soccer fields are expected at the recreation complex, Smith said, along with possible tennis courts, football fields and a track. Walking trails also could be included. By locating school and recreation property near Crowders Creek, facilities will be ideally set up within the community, Smith said.
"It needs to be located in the heart of everything," he said.
The development, though close to a point where a document can be presented to the York County Council, is still being negotiated by the groups involved. Smith said it would likely take 20 years to complete the projects.
No timeframe is set for the two new roads, although the road north of Allison Creek likely will be constructed before the road that will connect S.C. 49 to Bethel School. A public meeting in Lake Wylie will be held before County Council makes any decision on the development, Smith says.
"Before it even goes to the council, we'll go to the public," he said.
Smith, who said a planned development like this fulfills one of his main objectives as a councilman, believes the agreement is advantageous for everyone and necessary if Lake Wylie wants land for schools, recreation use and to lower lakefront densities.
"It needs to be done," Smith said. "These are the two largest parcels left. This is it."