A development planned for Possum Hollow Road has residents worried about the future of their community.
Ron Olsen will ask the Lancaster County Council Monday night for final approval to rezone seven acres on Possum Hollow Road. The property on Possum Hollow Road is at the rear of property he owns on Hwy. 521, where he operates a recycling center.
Residents of Fox Ridge, a new community on Possum Hollow Road, are worried that office condominiums proposed for the site will increase traffic on the largely residential roads and lower their property values.
"It concerns me about the value of my house," said Fox Ridge resident Donna Melanson. "When we built here we looked to see what was planned. We knew the property across the street was residential. It concerns me that our development is new and it would hurt the future building in the development as well."
Olsen is requesting a change from residential to business office district, which allows more than 30 possible uses on the property, including convenience stores and restaurants. Olsen presented a site plan to the planning commission on July 15 for office condominiums, but if the property is rezoned, he would not be required to build them. He could use the property in any way that does not violate the zoning classification.
That has Fox Ridge developer Mike Hinshaw particularly concerned.
"There's nothing to say Olsen couldn't sell the property as soon as it's rezoned or develop it in any of the 30 some odd uses, most of which would be offensive," Hinshaw said. "It would be detrimental to the character of Possum Hollow Road."
The first and second readings of the ordinance rezoning Olsen's property were approved despite more than 20 residents who oppose the rezoning request attending the Lancaster County Council meetings. Indian Land's representative on the council, Bryan Vaughn, said because Olsen's property is surrounded on two sides by businesses - the EdgeWater development and Olsen's own recycling center - he should be given a chance to rezone the remainder of his adjacent property.
"That neighborhood [Fox Ridge] is pretty self-contained," Vaughn said. "Only a few houses front Possum Hollow Road. The rest are contained in the neighborhood with a berm."
At Monday's meeting, council members will hear from residents, get a report from the Planning Commission, and speak with Olsen, Vaughn said, and then make a decision based on all of the information. "If we can't come to some understanding and feel good about the process, then it's something we won't go forward with," he said.