Lake Wylie Area Plan could get scrapped

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comAugust 6, 2013 

— The Lake Wylie Area Plan isn’t dead, but it took a blow when it reached the York County planning commission last month.

At its July 16 meeting, the commission recommended York County Council deny the plan created by staff through community input last year. The thumbs-down vote doesn’t mean the plan won’t happen, though. Council has final say.

“It’s a recommendation,” said Steve Allen, county planning services manager. “Any decision they send out of the planning commission regarding planning issues, it’s all recommendation to Council.”

County staff held several public meetings last year, and held an online survey, asking residents what they want the future Lake Wylie area to look like. First, about 6,000 acres was added to the study area at the community’s request. Hot topics included park space, development density and even whether building color codes could be mandated along part of S.C. 49. The latter issue arose when, days before one of the meetings, a business’ paint scheme prompted dozens of comments from hundreds in attendance.

“Really the plan was based on community input,” Allen said. “We were quite surprised (by the denial).”

The planning commission was concerned the plan could be construed as a regulatory document rather than the policy document it’s designed to be. The idea behind the plan is to set guiding principles for future decisions, not mandate them.

Commission member Joe Baird, who represents Lake Wylie, cast one of two votes for the plan, against four with one abstaining. He believes there was some “misunderstanding of it, what it was and what it’s meant to accomplish.”

“It was a little strange the way it happened,” he said.

Baird himself had several questions, mainly with the enlarged area.

“I wasn’t against it, I just had questions,” he said. “I know the need for it.”

Baird questioned why, for instance, the Allison Creek area wasn’t included but all the way out to Paraham Road was. He understands changes were made because of public opinion.

“I just don’t think Lake Wylie goes that far,” he said.

The plan now is to put the item on Council’s Sept. 3 agenda for first read. A public hearing would come in October at the earliest.

The plan is available for review online at yorkcountygov.com. Click the “departments” tab, then “planning.” The “Lake Wylie Area Plan” link is located at the top left.

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