Residents' worries about housing density, road improvements and water protection are being considered in plans for a 2,300-acre Lake Wylie area rezoning project that would replace residential areas on the water with office space.
Those issues ranked high among the concerns residents posed about the development at a recent public hearing. Planning Director Susan Britt said changes are in the works to the development agreement between the county, Crescent Resources and Allison Creek Partnership that reflect these concerns.
The plan calls for offices and houses to be built near the lake, with pockets of mixed-use, higher-density residential and commercial areas away from Lake Wylie.
The public can comment on the agreement relating to the 1,400-acre portion between S.C. 274 and S.C. 49 on Monday at the County Agricultural Building in York.
That section includes two new roads, planned to connect to those routes. A larger, 100-foot buffer would be established around most of Lake Wylie and other tributaries the project borders. Inside that buffer will be trails and other green space, proposed to tie in with Carolina Thread Trail.
Another chance for input is planned for June 16, coordinating with the final vote on this rezoning plan.
Tom Smith, a York County Councilman who represents Lake Wylie, said some residents are afraid they'll end up paying for infrastructure improvements.
Smith has been pushing for this type of development since before he got on the council in 2007. He's opposed by David McCorkle and Bill Stiles in the June 10 Republican primary.
Those who live near the planned development, including Terry Spencer of Fox Trail Road, say they want to make sure their property is protected from the project.
Spencer said he's worried that hundreds of homes or apartments could be built adjacent to his community, which has at least five acre for each house.
"I'm hoping the council people will really take a hard look at this. I don't know what they're looking to do in the future. Are they going to push multi-family all the way to York?" Spencer said.
One change to the plan limits housing density in the areas bordering the urban services boundary -- the county's border for planned growth and utilities, Britt said. The goal is to keep growth from "leap frogging" outside that boundary, Smith said, by limiting the lot sizes to at least half an acre.
Smith, who is also a developer, said he wants to emphasize that the plan shifts Allison Creek Road from having the potential of 1,200 to 1,600 more homes to around 340 homes.
"That density is shifted away from the lake to put where more applicable," Smith said.
The development agreement calls for a traffic study. Smith said that means the developer would have to pay to add a light or turn lane if the study says it is needed.
Spencer argued that a turn lane on two-laned S.C. 49 won't help all of the traffic problems created by new houses.
Officials also are working on a way to protect the Catawba River from development. Britt said supplemental water protection policies are being drafted to ensure water quality is preserved.
Phil Hayes of Crescent Resources said at a recent meeting that the county staff has done a good job of looking after the community's interest. He said rezoning these areas all at one time provides for more cohesiveness and continuity than selling it piece by piece.
"Chopping it is easy," he said. "This is the smart way. It takes time and expertise."
A presentation about these and other changes to the plan should be made by Crescent Resources before the public's chance to comment Monday.
Other sections of the 2,300-acre plan still need to go before the County Council, including 400 acres on the south side of Crowders Creek, between S.C. 49 and Bethel School Road, which could house a 50-acre recreational complex and one of two sites for Clover schools. The last site, which covers 300 acres on Allison Creek Road, will be less-dense housing.
Those who wish to review the contract between the county and the developers should request a copy from the County Planning Department, 1070 Heckle Boulevard in Rock Hill, (803) 909-7240.
WANT TO GO?
What: A public hearing on a development agreement for the largest portion of a 2,300-acre rezoning request by Allison Creek Partners and Crescent Resources
When: 6 p.m. Monday
Where: York County Council Chambers, Agricultural Building, 6 S. Congress St., York