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York County Council to look at Lake Wylie development plan Oct. 13

Lake Wylie residents have been trying to urge the York County Council to tighten restrictions on new residential growth. On Oct. 13, another group gets a chance.

The county planning commission will hear the Lake Wylie zoning overlay amendment at its Oct. 13 meeting in Rock Hill. A change to the existing overlay would prohibit high-density housing near the lake from the Buster Boyd Bridge to Three Points –where highways 274, 49 and 557 meet.

“The chairperson may elect to allow the public to provide input on the amendment, but it is not a requirement,” said Eddie Moore, county development services manager.

Joe Baird, representing Dist. 2 including Lake Wylie on the nine-member commission, is interested to see how a change in one area plays among commissioners representing other parts of the county.

“It’s not a local issue,” he said of lot sizes and development standards. “It’s a countywide issue.”

The amendment changes for residential developments include:

• must be 2,000 feet from the lake;

•  must be single-family, eliminating townhomes, patio homes, condos and apartments; and

•  can not exceed two homes per acre.

• Lots would have to be at least 10,000 square feet and at least 100 feet wide.

• Clear grading would not be allowed.

Similar restrictions were found in a failed Unified Development Ordinance proposal for the Lake Wylie area that the planning commission voted down before it went to the council.

“That one didn’t have quite the drive from Council this one has,” Baird said.

This plan is past two County Council readings, with the third and final reading Oct. 20. That meeting will include a public hearing.

Scores of residents have spoken at council meetings about the Bonum Road area, at times taking the full comment period. More than a dozen residents spoke in support of a stricter overlay on Sept. 15, the night Council passed the second reading, saying continued development practices will clog roadways, pollute the lake and decrease quality of life.

Doug Meyer-Cuno asked the council to revisit a community survey where residents asked for lower density development and use the overlay revision process to “decide how it can be the blueprint and the model for growth throughout York County.”

“This needs to come from the local citizenry, and it has,” said Councilman Bruce Henderson, who represents the Lake Wylie area.

But not all residents agree. Joe Versen and landowner Dwayne Goldberg argued for property rights.

“Everybody’s talking about somebody else’s property and not their own,” Versen said.

Attorney Al Haselden representing area landowners said the proposed buffers and densities are arbitrary, and only impact 12 property owners. He said existing developments throughout Lake Wylie would not pass the proposed overlay.

“This area has developed for 50 years, and this amendment is telling these few property owners there are going to be restrictions imposed on them that are unheard of in York County,” Haselden said.