Fort Mill Times

Committee starts planning growth along Fort Mill bypass

The process of planning along the Fort Mill Southern Bypass is well on its way.

It gained a little steam last week.

On Wednesday the Fort Mill Southern Bypass Advisory Committee held its first meeting. Fort Mill Town Council set up guidelines and roles for the group in the spring, designed to promote the type of growth and land use the town wants along the roadway effectively stretching from Hwy. 21 to Hwy.160.

Councilman Tom Adams joins two homeowners, landowners and planning commission members. Joe Cronin, assistant town manager and planning director, told Council last week the group will look at everything from possible zoning overlay districts to parks and recreation impacts of projected growth along the bypass.

“You don’t get many opportunities to build something new from the ground up,” he said.

The bypass corridor has been of considerable interest to inquiring developers and current residents alike, according to town officials. Several more people applied than the seven-seat advisory group allowed. Several groups, from county planners to Fort Mill school leaders, can participate as non-voting members.

Public input meetings are planned for 7 p.m. July 11 and Sept. 5. Both will be at the Spratt Building on lower Main Street.

“We hope to have the recommendation to the planning commission in October, and then to Council in late October or early November,” Cronin said.

The town’s going to start growing a lot,” Adams said, “and we want people to give us guidance in our growth.

Council also authorized borrowing $5.2 million to expand the town’s water lines last week. The 20-year loan will finance a line along the Southern Bypass. It’s through the South Carolina Water Quality Revolving Fund Authority, which provides low-interest loans for such projects.

One bypass phase runs from Doby’s Bridge and Holbrook roads to Fort Mill Parkway and should open late next year. Another phase, to open in late 2015, picks up at Doby’s Bridge and Holbrook, and runs to Springfield Parkway.

Fort Mill Times intern David Thackham contributed.