Annexation could bring hundreds of townhomes and commercial space into Fort Mill town limits.

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comJune 2, 2014 

— Fort Mill soon could grow by almost 80 acres, and hundreds more townhomes.

The town planning commission heard two annexation requests at its May 27 meeting, both scheduled for Town Council consideration at a meeting Monday. Combined, the requests could add 385 new townhomes and up to 175,000 square feet of commercial space.

The larger of the two involves 47 acres at Springfield Parkway and U.S. Highway 21 Bypass. Two parcels sit at the southeast corner of the intersection, across from the future Springfield Town Center development. Rutledge Realty submitted the request for the property now zoned as an agricultural conservation district.

The annexation request seeks a mixed use zoning. It would include between 235 townhomes and up to 50,000 and 175,000 square feet of commercial use, said Joe Cronin, town planning director.

The town’s comprehensive plan calls for commercial and office space in the area. Land surrounding the old Knights Stadium off nearby Gold Hill Road “could support a major retail site or a large employer” with the baseball team now playing in Charlotte. The area surrounding the annexation request “will be one of a few large sites in the planning area that is ‘shovel-ready’ for redevelopment,” according to the plan.

The other petition involves three parcels of almost 29 acres at Doby’s Bridge and Kimbrell roads. The properties are under contract for sale. A sketch given to town planners shows a development accessed by one entrance across Kimbrell from Kanawha Court, and another to the property’s northeast border.

“They want to do townhomes,” Cronin said.

The proposal is for 150 units. Town planning staff recommends no more than 143 townhomes to comply with comprehensive planning. The new zoning could allow for “significantly more” townhomes, prompting staff to recommend a development agreement capping the number as part of any annexation.

According to the staff write-up presented to the planning commission, the sketch plan “is non-binding until approved as part of the subdivision platting process.”

The properties are zoned to allow single-family homes and modular homes, among other uses. The zoning requires 20 percent open space. The new zoning would allow for single-family or townhomes. It keeps the 20 percent open space, with 5,000-square-foot minimum lot sizes for single-family and 1,500-square-foot for townhomes. There’s also a 35-foot buffer required along property lines with existing residences.

Both annexation requests come to Council for first reading June 9, and for second reading with public hearing July 14.

The planning commission also heard plans for a new Walmart Neighborhood Market at its May 27 meeting. Walmart looks to open a grocery store, about the quarter size of a of the big box retailer’s Supercenter format, at 100 Fort Mill Square at the center vacated by Food Lion in 2000. Since that property is zoned for a grocery store and sits in town limits, there’s no action required by Town Council.

John Marks •  803-831-8166

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