County council denies request for more townhouses off Hwy. 160 West

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comFebruary 24, 2014 

Michael Johnson

— A zoning change that would more than triple the units in Villages at Palmetto’s second phase didn’t get the final vote it needed.

York County Council voted down a rezoning Feb. 17 that would have allowed for 102 townhomes at 930 Stone Village Drive. The almost 14-acre property remains with its current zoning at 31 units. Councilman Michael Johnson expressed concerns at all three readings on traffic, the effect on a private road and concerns of nearby residents.

He asked Council to approve the first two readings to studying the project. He asked they vote it down at the final reading. Council’s vote to deny the rezoning was unanimous.

“I have met with homeowners of adjacent property, and I have received upwards of 40 to 50 emails on this exact subject over the past weekend,” Johnson told Council. “It, to me, does not make sense to move this land 31 units to 102.”

Brian Iagnemma applied for the rezoning. He told Council the project had county staff and zoning board approval. He also argued the change would only create what was anticipated for the property from the beginning.

“The property was initially zoned, approved and identified as phase two of Villages at Palmetto construction of 89 townhome units,” Iagnemma said.

There are 46 units in phase one. The plan was for 89 more townhomes in phase two, but with market changes the landowner rezoned the property to allow for 31 single-family units. Though 102 is a higher than 89, Iagnemma said an all-townhome community is what the property “was always intended for and approved initially” to be.

At second reading, the homeowner association president for the existing townhomes provided a petition against the change. Signatures came from all 46 units, though Iagnemma said some may have been renters and wouldn’t have legal authority to sign. Corrine Marsilio said her and her group’s main concern was the “narrow, two-lane road” that would access existing and planned townhomes. There also is “a lot of wear and tear” on the road that’s there now, she said.

Iagnemma said a traffic study on the site showed the area can handle current traffic and what would be generated by the new development. He said there’s not that great a difference between 31 single-family homes and 102 townhomes in road impact.

“It’s minimal,” he said. “It’s the difference of roughly 20 trips per day.”

Iagnemma said the new townhomes would sell at an average of $170,000 compared to the current units averaging $90,000.

“We believe it will only improve the value and marketability of townhomes in phase one,” he told Council.

John Marks •  803-547-2353

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