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July 29, 2014

Fort Mill development sheds some homes from plans

Apartments, townhomes and single-family homes are part of a plan for Pleasant and Vista roads. The subdivision will include retail and office space and some land will be preserved.

The developer of a residential project at Pleasant and Vista roads committed Tuesday to building fewer units than planned.

Fort Mill’s planning commission on Tuesday recommended approval of a plan for 931 new residences, down from 982 as first submitted. Although the 54 single-family homes initially planned more than doubled to 123, the subdivision’s 146 townhomes are 120 fewer than the developer first sought.

The plan includes 662 apartments and 10,000-50,000 square feet of commercial space.

The Fort Mill Town Council still needs to give final approval.

As part of planning commission approval, developer Atlantic Beach Inc. will commit to holding off on the densest development until the completion of road work at the intersections of Pleasant and Gold Hill roads and Gold Hill Road and Interstate 77. Plans for a middle school and road upgrades at school district-owned property on site must be finalized, too.

Building permits won’t be issued for the densest phases until the conditions are met. The developer could do site work but not start on homes, townhomes or apartments.

The developer previously agreed not to start construction until those conditions are underway, but agreed to completion when planning commissioners pointed to projects like the Fort Mill Southern Bypass, which has multiple extensions.

“History has shown us that just because they start it, it doesn’t mean it’s going to get done (on time),” Commission Chairman James Traynor said.

Cronin said the agreement between the developer and the town, should the council approve it, would be a 10-year vested interest. That means if those outside conditions aren’t met, the developer and town could be in this same spot a decade from now working out a new plan.

The plan includes almost 60 acres of protected land for the Nation Ford Land Trust and at least 10 percent senior housing.

Retail can’t exceed 15,000 square feet of the 50,000 square feet of commercial space.

“The bulk of it would be office (space),” Willis said. “The idea is to make this an inclusive project, to keep cars off the road.”

The land trust owns property on two sides of the development now, and would receive more as the developer nearly doubles its open space requirement at 38 percent.

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