FORT MILL -- Like most of his neighbors, David Osborne doesn't want to leave the Henlsey Road home he's lived in for more than 40 years.
But on Tuesday, county officials will reveal five homes in Osborne's neck of Fort Mill that York County officials have chosen to raze to make room for the Southern Bypass.
"Most of us are up in age," Osborne said. "I'm 70. My wife's 72. Most of the people (here have) got some age on them, and they weren't even thinking of being uprooted."
County officials haven't named the addresses that will have to disappear to accommodate the bypass, and they say the route could change slightly.
For example, the county might plan to remove one house, but a homeowner across the street could be prepared to move, and his home could be razed instead of the one initially planned for destruction.
But five homes, on one side of the road or another, will likely go.
Wednesday's meeting gives county staff a chance to explain why this path was chosen. Maps will be set up for public viewing; engineers will be on hand to answer questions; and residents will be able to fill out comment cards.
"This is an opportunity for the public to come and see, for the first time, what this preferred alignment is," said county engineer Phil Leazer. "This is not the end of the world. This is not etched in stone. This is what we've come up with ... what we feel like is the least intrusive to the landowners, the homeowners and everybody else who's out there."
The four-mile bypass is intended to relieve congestion in downtown Fort Mill by connecting the existing Fort Mill Parkway southwest of Fort Mill with Springfield Parkway and S.C. 160 on Fort Mill's east side.
The bypass, part of the county's 2003 "Pennies for Progress" road-building program, has been hampered by design problems and sparked controversy after bureaucratic errors forced the rerouting of the road around an expensive subdivision and through an area with existing homes, including Hensley Road.
In October, the subdivision's developer filed a lawsuit against the county and the town of Fort Mill over their handling of the bypass.
Kimbrell Fort Mill LP claims it didn't know about the bypass when it bought the land for the subdivision in 2005, according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court.
The developer agreed to sell the subdivision to a builder that same year.
Fort Mill gave final approval to the subdivision, Kimbrell Crossing, in April 2006. But, according to the lawsuit, it wasn't until October of that year that county officials realized the bypass route went directly through the subdivision.
When the land buyer learned of the problem, the company pulled out of the deal. County officials considered buying the land, but they said it would be too expensive, so they began redrawing the road around the subdivision.
Kimbrell reached an agreement with another buyer in August 2007, but that deal was contingent upon the bypass not disrupting the subdivision, according to the lawsuit.
The latest design shows the bypass not affecting Kimbrell Crossing.
"We wanted it to go across Kimbrell Crossing, but I think that's history and we may as well accept that," said Billy Hensley, whose family has owned land on the corner of Legion and Hensley roads since the 19th century. "If they can save the houses, even if (the road) comes close by, it's better than losing the houses."
From what he's heard, Osborne doesn't think the road will claim his home, though he fears it will come close to it.
"Be a big difference being right in front of a bypass," he said.
Although he doesn't want to sell his house, he doubts the bypass would allow him to do so if he changed his mind.
"Nobody would want to buy my home now, with the road coming," he said. "And nobody's going to want to buy it afterwards."
York County Councilman Paul Lindemann, whose district includes the bypass, said the county has destroyed homes before for projects and these moves are necessary to plan for the future.
"I've said it so many times before -- and it's so true -- with growth comes convenience, but also inconvenience," he said. "And you've just got to prepare and plan for the best."
Those who do lose their homes, Lindemann said, will be given plenty of notice and be paid fair market value for their property.
"The homes that do get taken, we're talking three to five years at the earliest," he said. "It's not like we're going to spring this on them and a month later (say), 'Move!'"
Although he's nervous about what he'll hear at the meeting, Osborne said he plans to go anyway.
"It's a chance to go in and take a look at it and say, 'Hey, could you move over to the right or over to the left?'" he said. "But you never know what they're going to do."