Fort Mill Times

Editorial: Let compromise be good for business

By Lake Wylie Pilot editorial board

Lake Wylie could use more business, and one landowner’s plan could be the right fit with an eye on what could be possible in the future. Especially if a compromise can be reached between residents and the business owner.

Russell Davey of Pak-Tec Inc. has run his industrial distribution business from Heritage Park offices at 4381 Charlotte Highway for 30 years. Now, he needs to expand. He owns residential property nearby, about 500 feet south, at 4581 Charlotte Highway and wants to rezone it for commercial use. On that 5 acres, he’d like to build a business center for about a dozen other small businesses like his own.

York County Council approved a second reading of the plan Aug. 15, but not without opposition.

The property backs up to River Hills Plantation. So does his current 6,500-square-foot building with four office condos and warehouse space, he says is 30 feet from the neighborhood’s fence.

Residents submitted an eight-page petition to Council opposing the rezoning. Eight residents asked Council to deny the plan, or impose restrictions.

It’s fair for residents to worry a commercial space could bring uses unfit for land so close to their back yards. Lake Wylie residents have been airing their frustrations for a few years now about over development, mostly with more housing, to York County representatives asking for stricter development standards, even to create an overlay near the lake.

But this time it’s not a corporate giant or large land developer seeking a rezoning request. It’s a longtime businessman who happens to own residential property. Davey says he has met extra requests from county staff or nearby residents, beyond what restrictions the new zoning would put on his property. Residents also said he’s been receptive to their concerns.

This could be the right climate to show what a compromise can do and set an example for all future dealings.

We don’t want to see Davey have to relocate outside of Lake Wylie. We don’t want to see something less suitable fill that residential space.

An office center brings limited noise, traffic and other issues. A good example of this is the Lake Wylie Business Center, also home to Lake Wylie Pilot’s office, which backs up to residences of The Landing. A walking path and large tree line separate the spaces, so both entities have no difficulty coexisting.

We hope by third reading, a compromise is reached to satisfy both parties. We agree with Davey, it’s a great location. It’s good for business, and it’s good for York County.