Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - November 19, 2007

Where were concerns when building began?

The Herald has run two articles, with pictures, about this development, Pennington Place, which is sided by Airport Road and Pennington Road Extension. Two articles in which "The Planners" slammed this neighborhood. That can't be good for the property values or morale of this neighborhood.

The first article spoke about the zoning restrictions the city of Rock Hill had allowed in this development and the changes they would make so this type of construction wouldn't be allowed again. This article was written even before all of the houses and townhouses were completed and sold. The second article spoke of mistakes in allowing this type of development in the airport vicinity, which they would discuss correcting in the future.

The city annexed this property so that it could be heavily developed. The city approved the developer's plan for this neighborhood and allowed this construction in 2003 and 2004. The plot of land was heavily wooded, and they pushed down every tree and clear cut the land. They built these houses on 10-foot lot lines; in fact, some of the houses were so close together when constructed, the builder had to trim the overhang to get the 10-foot clearance. The builder developed along an existing county road, Pennington Road Extension, and tried to get away with shared driveways, which the county put a stop to.

We live across the county road from this development. We have no ill will toward these neighbors; the houses are quite nice homes. We were sick when they clear cut this beautiful property but know you can't stop development. We were even sicker when construction started and they blocked the county road with construction vehicles as if it were the developer's road. They did not ditch the road on their side, which causes runoff, and we contacted the city and were ignored over our concerns because we are not city residents. We contacted the county with our concerns and were told there was nothing we could do.

Now, the city and the county are concerned about the development around the airport! Where were they when we neighbors were concerned several years ago?

All of the houses on our side of the county road are still York County residents, and our lots are 1-plus acres. We have lived here for over 20 years; now, we and several of our neighbors are moving to the other side of town. We are not moving because of proximity to the airport (we have never been bothered by that, although the noise is noticeable now, even where we live a block away since they cut all the trees down for the Pennington Place development).

We are moving because of the density of the development that the city of Rock Hill allowed along our county road. You should see this road on trash pickup day. With the mailboxes and the trash cans on the edge of the road, you cannot get two cars by at the same time.

Thanks, city of Rock Hill, for motivating us to look for land even farther away from your city limits.

Clare Hayes

Rock Hill

Flip the switch on energy future

Oil is nearing $100 a barrel -- a milestone previously thought impossible -- and gas prices are climbing over $3 again. Now's the time for Congress to give us an energy bill we can all be thankful for.

Between an increase in fuel economy from the Senate and the requirement for more renewable energy passed by the House, Congress has all the pieces ready to bring us a new clean energy future. If Congress flips the switch on our new energy future by passing a bill including both those things, they can save hard-working Americans billions of dollars.

The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that the fuel economy provision would save us $25 billion at the pump and that using more renewable energy will save us up to $18 billion on our energy bills at home by the year 2020. All the pieces are there, now Congress just needs to flip the switch on America's new energy future before it heads home for the year.

Frank J. Traficante

Rock Hill