Some Fort Mill residents concerned by Waterside’s impact

joverman@fortmilltimes.comJune 19, 2013 

— If Waterside on the Catawba is built and brings 1,000 more homes to Fort Mill, it could mean more congested roads in the Doby’s Bridge Road area, said three residents who spoke at a public hearing last week.

The proposed 470-acre subdivision would be developed between Whites Road and the Catawba River. The June 10 public hearing was scheduled to get comments on Fort Mill potentially annexing the property into town limits. Currently, most of it is in unincorporated York County.

“We don’t need any more development without some [new] roads. Road improvements and roads,” said Charles “Red” Adkins, who lives in the area.

David Macaulay, who recently worked on the school bond referendum committee, said he is concerned about the impact on infrastructure and the potential impact the development could have on the school district. The town should focus on building a commercial tax base, he said, not adding residential developments.

“We lack a business tax base,” Macaulay said. “I’d like to think the county and town could work together as a community to on purpose slow down the residential and try our best to emphasize the commercial tax base.”

Mayor Danny Funderburk said the development falls within “smart growth” limits and fits the town’s plan for growth. He and the council will continue to work with the developer to make “growth pay for growth,” he added. He emphasized that the development could move forward without the town annexing the property.

“The issue for us as a community is not if it’s going to happen, but if it will happen in the town limits,” Funderburk said.

Town Manager Dennis Pieper said if the development remains part of unincorporated Fort Mill Township, the town would still be affected.

“The town’s interest is to be able to control what ends up out there and have input, and make it a better development by adding amenities,” he said.

Pieper and developers for Waterside have discussed the potential for public parks and walking trails, including Catawba River access, as part of the development.

Home in Waterside would cost in the low $200,000 to $400,000 range. Just more than five acres for public use could include ball fields. Pending approval, Granelli said developer Lennar Homes would be “building, selling and opening new homes” by 2014.

Council would need to pass two readings to annex the property for Waterside. First reading is tentatively scheduled for June 24, according to Planning Director Joe Cronin.

Much of the property is currently zoned to allow less than half the density of what is proposed. The developers could opt to rezone the property through the county if it’s not annexed into Fort Mill.

If the property is approved for annexing into town limits, a zoning designation would be set at that time. If annexed into Fort Mill per the current request, the full number of homes would be allowed.

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