Hwy. 160 West is headed toward a construction boom, with early approvals now in place for three area projects to bring hundreds more residences.
The York County Planning Commission gave preliminary plat approval to three new subdivisions this month, all in the Fort Mill Township. Arbors at Fort Mill had two roads approved for what will be an apartment community off of Stockbridge Drive, just off of Hwy. 160 West. Brayden had plats for 220 single family lots approved for 151 acres on Hwy. 160 West across from Dave Gibson Boulevard. Merritt Meadows was approved for 54 single family lots on 22 acres between Fieldstone and Waterstone.
Merritt Meadows is a LiveWell Homes project. Its plat submission shows minimum lot widths of 65 feet and square footage of 7,500. Open space (26 percent) and “tree save” – the minimum numbers of trees developers agree to leave standing – (22 percent) are both slightly higher than the 20 percent requirement under county zoning laws.
Merritt Meadows will have one main entrance from Hwy. 160 West, just across from Stone Village Drive.
Brayden will include five phases. The 220 single-family lots were given the preliminary approval, while the submission showed another 35 acres for 222 coming apartments. Those would have to be approved in a separate decision.
The plan also shows an almost six-acre commercial site on the main highway where it’ll intersect with Brayden Parkway. The commercial site will front Hwy. 160 West with the planned apartments behind it, the plat plan shows. The single family homes will be located from Brayden Parkway to the north.
An existing pond will remain on site, surrounded by the single family homes. The project will include 40 acres of landscape, recreational or natural area and 31 acres of tree save. The initial home phase is a Standard Pacific project.
The Arbors at Fort Mill approval was to extend both Stockbridge and Grant Farm drives, which presently end near or into the 24-acre parcel. The extensions include almost 1,200 feet of new road. The submitted plat also showed plans for 220 apartment units in nine buildings, including a clubhouse. Planned are 423 parking spaces, 21 being in three garage buildings.
After preliminary plat approval, the general process is for developers to submit construction drawings and then begin putting infrastructure in place. Brayden developers submitted their drawings last week. The other projects, as of mid-last week, hadn’t yet.
Melissa Scoggins, subdivision administrator for the county, said it generally takes “a couple of months” for developers to submit for final plat approval once preliminaries are in place. Then another two or three weeks, on average, for final approval.
“They start selling the lots the next day,” she said.
Factors can vary that process considerably. The time of year, for one, with winter weather limiting what work can be done. But developers also can use colder months to get approvals for work they’ll do when it warms up.
Countywide, there’s considerable activity at present with new subdivision approvals coming in monthly. As it did prior to the recession, building progress is steaming forward regardless the temperature.
“When it’s booming,” Scoggins said, “it’s booming all the time.”