Congestion got Fort Mill farm owners’ goat

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comMay 31, 2013 

— The iconic goat farm on Hwy.160 West may not be a goat farm much longer.

For sale since 2011, a buyer is in place for the almost 50-acre property between Dirty Dog Depot and Villages at Palmetto. The buyer isn’t being announced, nor are plans for the property.

According to county land records, Kenneth and Barry Hucks own the farm that’s been in their family more than 50 years. Two members of that family said last week the farm has been sold, but declined to disclose any information on a buyer.

One of them referred questions on the sale to their attorney, James Honeycutt of Fort Mill, who initially confirmed the property had been sold, but then said it’s “not a done deal” and wouldn’t answer any other questions about the transaction.

As of press time Friday, online county land records didn’t have a sale listed.

Most of the farm property is zoned RD-1, a listing that gives a variety of possible uses from single- or multi-family homes to child care, churches, schools or farms, among others. There’s the possibility of rezoning, too. Signs along Hwy. 160 show the property as available for commercial development.

Tanya Hubbard owns Dirty Dog Depot just beside the farm. As for how commercial development might impact her, the property is “just land” until specifics on any new business surface, she said.

“I guess any business is good business,” Hubbard said. “It’s great as long as it’s not another big pet chain. I’d like to see some more smaller businesses come in, but that probably won’t happen.”

Often a commercial development can bring increased traffic, thus more potential customers, to businesses nearby. Hubbard isn’t sure how much more traffic a development on the site beside her could bring. She estimates there’s a fender-bender per week at the light in front of her shop already, and 18-wheelers fly by constantly.

“Rush hour traffic – it’s horrendous on this road,” Hubbard said.

Hwy. 160 West is scheduled for widening in the next year or two, depending on how long it takes officials to secure right of way agreements.

Hucks family members said upon putting the property up for sale in 2011, and reiterated last week, that a growing area all around them is the reason they’re looking to relocate. While the highway might be great for business, it doesn’t allow for the small-town feel of the farm.

“I’m done with that road,” said Sherrie Hucks, Barry’s wife. “There’s times I can’t even get out. People won’t let me out of my own driveway.”

Family members hope that new plans for the property will be in place by the fall.

Home to more than a half dozen family members in recent years, the farm also kept more than 30 goats, a few donkeys and Great Pyrenees. The animals will relocate with the family to a more rural area, the family said.

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