One of the longest agendas in recent memory had Fort Mill Town Council annexing land, bringing in land for future road widening and setting up payment options for town facilities Monday night.
Here’s a breakdown of what they decided:
▪ Council annexed two acres at the corner of Springfield Parkway and U.S. 21 Bypass. C4 Investments LLC asked for a mixed use zoning. The plan is to add the site to Rutledge, a 49-acre site approved in 2014 for up to 235 apartments and between 50,000 and 175,000 of commercial space. The addition would allow better access and another 10 apartments, which Council approved in a separate vote.
“If we’re talking about apartments versus nothing, that’s one thing,” Councilman Larry Huntley said. “But 10 more, that’s irrelevant.”
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Joe Cronin, town planning director, doesn’t expect the apartment project to be the last of its kind.
“Right now there’s a deficit of multifamily units in Fort Mill,” he said, “which is why you’re seeing more of it.”
The decisions come with a 25-foot setback along the main highways to speed up potential widening projects as they come due. Cronin said there’s a “pretty good opportunity” a widening of U.S. 21 Bypass could make the next Pennies for Progress list of projects funded by a cent sales tax approved by county voters.
The setbacks are a major part of the recent Council decisions.
“We’ve all seen what can happen when we don’t look ahead,” said Mayor Guynn Savage.
▪ Council finalized three moves involving redevelopment of the former Fort Mill High School site on Banks Street ndear downtown. Council changed the zoning of more than six acres, including the Banks Street gymnasium, remove it from a previous development agreement between the town and Leroy Springs & Co. and adopting a new concept plan for the redevelopment project.
The former school was demolished three winters ago. It sits beside Fort Mill Golf Club. The gym is leased to the town and used for parks and recreation office space and recreation play.
“The lease will continue for a period of time,” Cronin said.
The larger redevelopment plan involves 51 new age-targeted, single-family homes.
▪ Council approved $376,265 from impact fee funds to go toward the purchase of 200 Tom Hall Street, which the town bought from Comporium to use as a new town hall. The town actually has more money in its municipal impact fee account now, but went with the year’s end figure.
“That’s what we had at the end of December,” said Chantay Bouler, town finance director.
Impact fees, charged on new development, can pay upfront costs for eligible projects or repay recent investments in them. New impact fee revenue, as it arrives, eventually can pay off the entire purchase.
“You can keep rolling in and reimbursing yourself,” said Dennis Pieper, town manager.
Councilman Chris Moody said it makes sence to use impact fee revenue for the new town hall project.
“It essentially makes the payment,” he said.
In a separate vote, Council approved $75,800 for a new roof on the future town hall site.
▪ Council annexed just more than an acre at 1836 N. Dobys Bridge Road, where it’s expected a residence will transition to commercial use. Pro Ventures LLC is behind the plan. The property sits across from Glenrock Baptist Church, and abuts almost 14 acres pending annexation as a mixed use development. That larger property is likely to be sold and developed into an age-restricted senior living facility.
▪ Council wrapped up an amendment to the development agreement with Pace Development Group for the Nims Village project. The almost 45-acre site along Fort Mill Parkway sits near the coming Catawba Ridge High School. It will bring 65 new homes.
▪ Council approved a memorandum of understanding with Catawba Regional Council of Governments for planning and GIS services.
“This is basically an on-call professional services agreement,” Cronin said.
A separate $70,000 contract with Catawba Regional was approved for help with the town’s 10-year comprehensive plan update, which is coming due.
“It is a very large and comprehensive effort on our part, and will take us the better part of the year,” Savage said.
▪ Council, following state protocol and federal requirements, gave first reading to an updated flood ordinance. Recent changes were made due to historic flooding the last several years. It shouldn’t impact homeowners.
“Generally speaking, there should not be any residential structures in the flood plain,” said Greg Rushing, town engineer.
▪ Council passed first reading on a zoning ordinance change to allow tool and equipment rental facilities as a possible use in the highway commercial zoning district.
▪ In other decisions, Council approved an agreement allowing for a new covered trash receptacle at Hobo’s Restaurant, and $5,000 facade improvement grants for The Cutting Room and the Old Center Theater project, both on Main Street.