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Senior living campus in Rock Hill? What neighbors have to say about that

RFATS on closing Celanese Road intersection

A Rock Hill, South Carolina intersection on Celanese Road could close if traffic doesn't improve. RFATS could recommend taking a light out.
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A Rock Hill, South Carolina intersection on Celanese Road could close if traffic doesn't improve. RFATS could recommend taking a light out.

Almost 140 new senior residences are planned for Celanese Road near Rock Hill, pending approval by York County leaders.

York County Council held a public hearing Feb. 4 for a rezoning required by the project at Celanese and Twin Lakes roads.

Drawings show an 83-unit main building, along with a three-story building of 24 residences, plus a two-story building with 32 units.

“We’re creating a senior living campus,” said Ken Sheesley with Nashville, Tenn.-based Hampshire Realty Advisors. “We’re not trying to do anything else, other than have a park-like setting with this particular campus.”

The entire site would be more than 13 acres. It’s a smaller portion up for rezoning. The site has a creek crossing, two driveways and will align roads to help traffic flow to alleviate resident concerns.

Project leaders met with residents a couple weeks back to discuss plans. More than a dozen residents turned out to the public hearing Monday night.

“I’m not opposed to the development,” said neighbor Linda Shaffer. “I just have concerns.”

She lives in the Hampshire subdivision, which has no connection to the Tennessee development group. Shaffer’s subdivision is about 30 homes, many inhabited by older residents.

“It’s a quiet neighborhood,” she said. “We like it that way and we want to try to keep it that way.”

Buffering between the properties and cut-through traffic off of Celanese concern Shaffer. As does Celanese traffic in general.

Parts of Celanese have been discussed for years by regional road planners as a problem area for traffic.

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Like Shaffer, neighbor Gene Knight isn’t so much opposed to the senior development as he is cautious. In some ways he is glad there isn’t more dense development planned for the site. Knight points to another property nearby that’s undeveloped despite having trees cut down and a traffic signal put in.

“That’s the kind of thing we don’t want to see,” he said.

A utility easement on the back side of the property will mandate a larger than average buffer, Sheesley said.

He said it’s in his company’s best interest to create a quality development for its new residents and for neighbors.

The project still needs a county planning commission recommendation and council approval, which takes three separate votes.

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