Fort Mill Times

Waterside vote in Fort Mill delayed until June public hearing

Fort Mill Town Council delayed a vote Monday night on a proposed 1,000-home development, as members and project planners await more information on the potential impact of local roads.

Two annexation ordinances came to Council at its May 13 meeting for Waterside on the Catawba, which if approved will be located on 470 acres between Whites Road, off Doby’s Bridge Road, and the Catawba River. All but four parcels within the development would need annexation into town limits. With more annexations coming than the two appearing Monday night, town planning staff requested that Council defer the issue to June 10 when all petitions could come together.

There also will be a public hearing on the annexations that night.

Lennar Homes would build the project. Kevin Granelli represented the company Monday night. Included in Waterside would be homes ranging from the low $200s to the $400s, he said. There also are a little more than five acres for public use. Shown as an option were a soccer and baseball field with parking. Pocket parks would be located throughout, Granelli said.

Also planned are a canoe launch and trails along a mile of waterfront.

The playing fields, canoe launch and trails would be open to the public.

If the project meets town approval, ground could break by year’s end.

“We would be building, selling and opening new homes by next year,” Granelli said.

The full 1,000 homes would be in place in less than a decade.

“We’re looking at roughly eight years,” Granelli said.

In deferring the issue, Council didn’t take a definitive stance on the project overall. But members did express specific concerns.

“It’s not going to handle all that traffic,” Councilman Tom Adams said of the Banks Street side of the development.

Mayor Danny Funderburk, among others, asked the developer what is being planned for roads in the area. A traffic analysis is ongoing, Granelli said, and is waiting on a similar study to be released on the Fort Mill Southern Bypass. Granelli expects more information on what developers will contribute to local roads in the next three weeks.

“We have a significant concern in that, number one, growth pays for growth,” Funderburk said.

The overall number of homes and the impact of that many new residents also drew Council concerns.

“Fifteen hundred kids, that’s a whole high school,” Adams said. “In 10 years, that’ll be another whole high school.”

Granelli said following the meeting that Council’s concerns and questions are legitimate ones that’ll need to be worked through to bring the project to life. He’s confident the developer can meet the needs and requests of Council in coming months as Waterside seeks initial and final approval.