Fort Mill planning commission sees more town growth ahead

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comOctober 28, 2013 

— Planning for properties along the southern reaches of Fort Mill continues to take shape, highlighted last week by new property for a fire station and rezoning for almost 200 more homes.

The town planning commission met Oct. 22 with a full agenda of items to recommend for final decision by Fort Mill Town Council. Included were annexation for a new fire station, rezoning for Doby’s Bridge Park and a new subdivision, the creation of a Fort Mill Southern Bypass overlay and plat approvals for existing neighborhoods.

One item recommended for approval was on condition that a development agreement state how many residential units will go there. Almost 75 acres on the north end of Whites Road is under contract for sale from Clearview Development to Trinity Capital Advisors, where a single-family home subdivision called Pecan Ridge is planned. The property already is in town limits. About a third of the property isn’t able to be developed due to a power line easement.

Current indications from the developer, according to a staff recommendation to the planning commission, show there would be 198 lots. The figure could change, particularly if the developer opts for townhomes which are an included use in a rezoning it seeks.

Unanimously recommended for approval last week were two items on Doby’s Bridge Road. The commission saw an annexation for 1841 Doby’s Bridge Road, adjacent to Doby’s Bridge Park. The town purchased the former private residence on Oct. 15.

“The intent of the town is to convert the residence into a fire substation for the purpose of providing better fire coverage and response times to the Doby’s Bridge and Fort Mill Southern Bypass corridors,” read a staff assessment provided to the commission.

The property, along with the 14.7-acre Doby’s Bridge Park itself, would be rezoned to a general residential use accommodating both a fire station and park. The park rezoning “would have no adverse impact on the property’s current use as a public park,” but would allow for homes or commercial uses surrounding it rather than warehouses or manufacturing.

The group also considered adding a zoning overlay for properties within 500 feet of the Fort Mill Southern Bypass right-of-way. Fort Mill Town Council established a committee in February to examine the areas surrounding the coming road and propose guidelines for how it should be developed. Following a second public input meeting early this month, the committee endorsed a plan on Oct. 16 that includes requirements for building setbacks, construction materials, sidewalks, landscaping and other development issues.

The recommendations include an extension of the overlay not just to the Fort Mill Parkway to Springfield Parkway route, but also from Fort Mill Parkway to I-77. It only would apply to properties in town limits, though the committee is working to with the York County planners to see if it could be adopted in unincorporated areas, too.

Joe Cronin, town planning director, said some amendments were recommended by the planning commission which should take a formal vote next week.

“No action was taken on the overlay ordinance,” Cronin said last week. “The commission will be scheduling a special called meeting to review the revised draft sometime between now and Nov. 7, at which time they will take a formal vote.”

In addition to those decisions, the commission took up final plat approval for 53 of a total 129 lots with a third phase of development in Springfield. Another 43 of those lots are in the books already, with 33 more receiving preliminary plat approval.

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