Residents' pleas prolonged but did not curb York County leaders' plans to prepare for the extension of Dave Lyle Boulevard east of Rock Hill.
Long sought by the Catawba Indian Nation and county, business and development leaders, the project has been on hold as efforts to secure money to pay for it have fallen through.
Monday night, the York County Council gave the second of three nods needed to adopt guidelines for developing land along the Dave Lyle Boulevard extension - if and when the dollars materialize to build it.
The guidelines will give the county some control over how the region develops, staff say.
The county has a pending application with the State Infrastructure Bank, which provides financing for major highway projects for purposes including economic development.
The money might be a long shot, county staff have said, but they want to be ready if it comes their way.
Some residents who live in the project's path have vigorously fought any move related to the proposed roadway, saying they don't want the road or the way it will affect their rural lifestyle.
Councilman Curwood Chappell, whose district includes the proposed roadway, stood behind them Monday night.
Chappell has criticized the county's willingness to work with a California-based company that owns much of the land between the Catawba River and where the road would go. The company wants to create a mixed-use residential community there.
He questioned whether the county is best served by building a new road that likely would bring more homes, schools, teachers, and with them, the need for additional county services.
"If all this development has been good for America, then what are we doing broke?" asked Chappell.
Chappell criticized the council for not taking his lead where voters in his district are concerned.
"I know if it was in your district and you didn't want it, I wouldn't support it," Chappell said.
More public input
Landowner Betty Rankin asked the council not to adopt the guidelines until more specific demands for open space and parklands are included.
Open space and parks and recreation are priorities of the plan, county staff have said, but nothing specific can be determined until developers' and landowners' plans are under way.
The county has held three public meetings with property owners east of Rock Hill to gather public input and answer questions.
But county staff and residents have had difficulty agreeing on the agenda. County officials want to fine-tune development guidelines along the proposed corridor; residents have sought to persuade them not to move forward with any road at all.
Council Chairman Britt Blackwell recommended that staff reach out to the residents one more time, postponing the final vote, which had been scheduled for Dec. 19, until after the holidays.