Fort Mill Times

Apartments could rise soon atop Fort Mill’s Main Street; Planning commission to rule after June meeting

A four-story apartment building could soon overlook Main Street.

Kuester Development Group is looking to add a 64-unit apartment facility at the top of Main Street, on 2.86 acres bordered by Tom Hall, Springs and East Elliott streets. The four-story building would have one, two and three-bedroom units. It would be mainly brick with some decorative metal.

The development plan was presented to the town planning commission at its May 28 meeting for an appearance review. The group voted unanimously to wait until a special called meeting in June to make a decision.

The public may or may not have an opportunity to comment on the record at that meeting. A town spokesperson said the commission will likely decide at the meeting whether or not it will accept public comments.

“The planning commission deferred consideration of the request and asked for some modifications to the building’s design,” said Joe Cronin, assistant town manager and planning director.

Design approval is the only remaining step for the project. Because it fits with the current zoning, it won’t require Town Council approval.

“The apartment project will be allowed by right, with some restrictions,” said Dennis Pieper, town manager.

“While no subsequent approval from the Town Council will be required, the Urban Development Zoning District does require appearance review and approval by the planning commission before any permits may be issued.”

Council rezoned the property in April to the urban development zoning. During that process, town staff said a specific project hadn’t been submitted, but that there had been discussions of 64 units. The zoning would’ve allowed for up to 80.

In the zoning that allowed for the new plan, Council members said a new land use plan adopted in January called for similar types of development downtown or in other urban areas of town. Residential units within walking distance of downtown business is a goal, they said.

A concern shared by many members of Council was the potential traffic impact.

“We need the developer to know up front that we’re going to be very concerned with what goes on,” Councilman Tom Adams said at first reading for the rezoning, March 11.

The current plan includes 104 off-street parking spaces, adjacent to and behind the building. The developer is working to create a shared driveway with the state Department of Transportation and Hardee’s.

Since the development is within a quarter mile of a public park, there’s no open space requirement. The current building plan puts it 45-feet tall with a flat roof.

A town staff recommendation to approve the appearance review notes that the project “complies with all requirements for usage, density, parking, landscaping, lighting, open space, setbacks and building height.”

Planning commission members asked that changes be made on the East Elliott frontage and the building’s roofline. Also that adjustments be made to the shed roof overhangs.