By a narrow margin, Fort Mill Town Council passed first reading Monday morning of an ordinance to annex more than 28 acres at North Dobys Bridge and Kimbrell roads.
Council voted 3-2 in favor of the annexation request, with members Tom Spratt and Guynn Savage against. Councilman Ronnie Helms wasn’t present. The seat formerly held by Councilman Nathan Blythe won’t be filled until a special election is held next month. The ordinance still needs a second reading to be complete.
Initial plans were to build as many as 160 townhomes on site. Council previously deferred a decision on the annexation until traffic impact studies could be updated with the completion of Fort Mill Parkway to its current end. Kent Olson with Development Solutions Group said Monday the new plan is for 100 single family homes. The project would target residents age 55 and older and homes will be priced in the mid-300s.
“This is a product that’s not more of the same,” Olson said.
The developer will donate $50,000 to the town and install turn lanes on both sides of Kimbrell Road. The age target is designed to reduce strain on local schools. The extension of Fort Mill Parkway is helping with traffic on North Dobys Bridge Road, Olson said.
“There was some relief that was realized in this area,” Olson said. “We all wish there was more.”
Savage and Spratt said they’re hopeful the age target and bypass make a difference, but they’d like to see it first. Traffic on North Dobys and South Dobys Bridge roads have been a sticking point for developments in recent months both for Council and the town planning commission.
A larger project on Pleasant Road recently gained approval based on an agreement not to develop parts of it until traffic upgrades are complete.
“Perhaps we should look at this the same way,” Spratt said.
Savage also noted the Kimbrell property isn’t limited to seniors.
“This is not an age-restricted development,” she said. “It’s an age-targeted development.”
Another subdivision, budget discussed
Also Monday, James Martin with Crescent Communities outlined plans for the Mason’s Bend subdivision. Crescent owns one property and is under contract to purchase the Kanawha property beside it in the Sutton Road area. Plans are to combine both for Mason’s Bend.
The proposal includes $150,000 to the town for parks and recreation needs, 15 acres for the Fort Mill School District and more than a mile of riverfront for a public trail.
Martin said Springfield, another Crescent community, will sell its final lots next year.
“The timing of this project couldn’t be better for us,” he said.
Crescent isn’t looking for a new approval, but the extension of previous agreements to allow for full build-out. The plan would include traffic upgrades and utilities to serve the development, a school and hospital nearby. A traffic circle would come off of Sutton Road. The project would reduce density from what was approved in 2008.
“We can at least drop it 300 units, which is significant,” Martin said.
Kanawha now allows for 715 residential units and 250,000 to 600,000 square feet of commercial space. The neighboring property already owned by Crescent allows for 650 residences, for a total of 1,365 with a combined project.
“That’s already approved,” said Joe Cronin, town planning director. “If nothing changed, they could start tomorrow.”
Council also finalized its budget Monday for the fiscal year beginning next month.