York County rezonings could add more jobs, petitioner says

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comApril 15, 2014 

— In a departure from development trends, several York County property owners want to get away from residential construction.

The county recently posted three rezoning requests, all tentatively set for public hearing June 2. All three properties have some type of residential zoning now. None would if the petitions pass.

One would rezone 38 acres for light industrial use near Interstate 77 in Fort Mill. Another would preserve almost 43 acres of agricultural property off Ridge Road in Clover near Lake Wylie. The third would rezone 1.25 of more than 33 acres at Charlotte/Fort Mill KOA from medium/high residential to large-scale commercial.

“It’s a great opportunity for employment and business development in the Fort Mill area,” petitioner Bailey Patrick said of the light industrial site.

Those 38 acres are part of a 163-acre Lakemont Property Investors holding. They sit across a creek from Beacon Knoll, off Serendipity Lane. The lot is zoned within a planned development on the other side of the creek rather than the industrial zoning that surrounds it.

“It’s all industrial except for this piece,” Patrick said.

The creek creates a “huge natural barrier,” and another road parallel to the interstate would be needed to put homes on the 38 acres.

“It doesn’t make sense to extend it, to take this little residential street across the creek into the residential,” Patrick said.

A rezoning would allow a larger business site. It would be available to multiple users. There is no specific business planning to locate there, Patrick said.

“Today, we don’t have a user,” he said. “But it would be an office, warehouse type use.”

The smallest of the three rezonings requests is at 940 Gold Hill Road. There’s a KOA campground and convenience store there now, with a medium/high density residential land use. The new zoning would be for business use and would allow a wide range of uses – animal hospitals, horse stables, broadcasting stations and mining are among about 20 options listed .

The zoning only impacts the 1.25 acres, not the entire 33-acre property.

The Clover area property on the south side of Ridge Road, about halfway between Green Pond Road and U.S. 321, is also currently zoned for residential use. The vacant land would be zoned to an agricultural conservation district intended “for continued agricultural and agriculturally-oriented uses” and to “protect the business of agriculture.”

This latest batch of rezonings comes as municipalities try to balance residential growth with business and other uses that pay a higher tax rate and put less strain on public services. York County Councilman Bruce Henderson said there is need for commercial or manufacturing zoning to offset new homes.

“If you don’t have quality, controlled growth – and I’m not for stopping it altogether, by any means – but definitely having quality growth to where your expenses won’t outweigh the revenues and you build just to be building, it may pay to slow down a little bit,” he said.

John Marks •  803-517-0133

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