Fort Mill Times

Fort Mill planning requests on hold until May 26 meeting

Requests for commercial uses downtown, affordable housing and senior apartments are facing Fort Mill planners.

The town planning commission discussed rezoning requests and site plan reviews April 28. That same night, a joint meeting of councils from Fort Mill, Tega Cay and York County was held. The planning commission items were pushed to May.

“Nothing was voted on, approved or denied,” said Joe Cronin, town planning director.

Town Council voted April 27 to have the planning commission put together a recommendation on impact fees prior to its next meeting May 26.

“There may be a special called meeting depending on the timing,” Cronin said. “At the latest it’ll be at the May meeting.”

The items to be considered vary. The smallest proposal, by acreage, also could be the most visible.

Downtown Partners wants to subdivide three quarters of an acre on Main Street into six parcels. The property at Main and Confederate streets includes Dave’s Comics, Halcyon Hills Photography, The Knife Shop and a parking lot.

The six proposed lots range from .03 to .07 acres, plus the almost half-acre parking lot. Business spaces would range from 1,100 to 2,900 square feet.

The biggest effect among the proposals would be on 14 acres at River Crossing Drive and Sutton Road near Exit 83 off I-77. The owner, along with Gross Builders, wants to put a senior apartment community there with 255 age-restricted units. The plan is for Gross to purchase the property after rezoning.

The new zoning would allow for up to 403 units.

The proposed apartments would benefit schools. Apartments must pay the $2,500 per residence impact fee to the Fort Mill School District and a school operations tax that owner-occupied homes don’t pay. Apartments are taxed at 6 percent.

Town staff recommended denial. The project pits two goals of town comprehensive planning – housing diversity and economic growth centers – against each other.

“While there are many locations throughout the town that would be better suited for an age-restricted multi-family project,” the recommendation reads, “there is only one I-77, and we believe that this corridor should be protected for future commercial uses.”

Another proposal is for 2 acres at the end of Bozeman Drive. Fort Mill Housing Authority wants to put affordable housing units on vacant land between what it already operates and the Anne Springs Close Greenway. The property is zoned commercial.

The requested zoning is townhome-specific, per staff information presented to the commission. It allows up to 12 units per acre. Staff recommended denying the application, saying that it allowed to many units to mesh with the town’s comprehensive plan, and that a required 75-foot buffer would make it nearly impossible to connect the project to Bozeman Drive.

Staff also recommended denial for a residential to commercial zoning of more than 7 acres on North Dobys Bridge Road, across from Fairway Drive. The owner wants to put storage units there.

The commission will again hear plans from Ryland Homes for the almost 29-acre Kimbrell property at Kimbrell and North Dobys Bridge roads. The builder wants to put 100 homes there. The large oak tree at the intersection will be spared, but planning commission members asked a month ago if two large live oaks on the property interior could be, too.

Plans submitted for the April meeting don’t show any reconfiguration that would allow the interior trees to be saved.

John Marks •  803-547-2353