Fort Mill Times

New Fort Mill development will have fewer homes

The developer of a residential project at Pleasant and Vista roads committed Tuesday to building fewer units than planned.

Fort Mill’s planning commission recommended approval July 22 of a plan for 931 new residences, down from 982 as first submitted. Although the 54 single-family homes initially planned more than doubled to 123, the subdivision’s 146 townhomes are 120 fewer than the developer originally sought.

The plan still includes 662 apartments and 10,000-50,000 square feet of commercial space.

Fort Mill Town Council still needs to give final approval for the plan to move forward.

As part of planning commission approval, developer Atlantic Beach Inc. will commit to holding off on the densest development until the Pleasant and Gold Hill Road intersection improvement, the I-77 and Gold Hill interchange improvements and Pleasant Road improvements are complete. Plans for a middle school and road upgrades at school district-owned property on site must be finalized, too.

“These are conditions that I could be living with for many years,” said Cooper Willis, with Atlantic Beach.

Building permits won’t be issued for the densest phases until the conditions are met. The developer could do site work but not start on homes, townhomes or apartments.

“It’s the actual coming and going that’s impacting traffic,” said Joe Cronin, town planning director.

The developer previously agreed not to start construction until those conditions are underway, but agreed to completion when planning commissioners pointed out projects like the Fort Mill Southern Bypass, which has multiple extensions.

“History has shown us that just because they start it, it doesn’t mean it’s going to get done (on time),” Commission Chairman James Traynor said.

Cronin said the agreement between the developer and the town, should Council approve it, would be a 10-year vested interest. That means if those outside conditions aren’t met, the developer and town could be in this same spot a decade from now working out a new plan.

Commissioner Chris Wolfe wasn’t bothered by that idea.

“The thing is to do the right thing, not the expedient thing,” he said.

The plan includes almost 60 acres of protected land for the Nation Ford Land Trust and at least 10 percent senior housing. Retail can’t exceed 15,000 square feet of the 50,000 square feet of commercial space.

“The bulk of it would be office (space),” Willis said. “The idea is to make this an inclusive project, to keep cars off the road.”

The land trust owns property on two sides of the development now, and would receive more as the developer nearly doubles its open space requirement at 38 percent.

“We actually will donate most of the open space,” Willis said.

Small park features and public parking could be added near current and donated land trust property for the community to use trails there.

“It’s beautiful, but you can’t get to it,” Willis said.

County action

Two more area projects received key approvals July 21. York County Council gave final readings to two plans. One rezones more than 31 acres near Lakemont Boulevard from planned development residential to light industrial. The site is surrounded by uses similar to the new zoning, and is across from existing residences.

Owners of the site hope to create an office project there.

The other rezoning is for 940 Gold Hill Road, current site of a KOA campground convenience store. Owners there want to do something different with the site since a QuikTrip opened across Gold Hill. The new zoning allows for a variety of business uses.