Fort Mill goat farm rezoning on pace, but not done deal

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comSeptember 2, 2013 

— A rezoning that would allow a 400-home development along Hwy. 160 West is through one approval, but still isn’t a done deal.

York County Council passed first reading on a 61-acre rezoning at 2565 Hwy. 160 last week. The property is a long-time family farm known best in recent years for the goats kept there. Pending rezoning, the property could have more than 400 single- and multi-family residences.

Councilman Michael Johnson (R-District 1) said his vote to pass first reading wasn’t necessarily an endorsement of the rezoning.

“I allow all first readings to happen,” he said. “It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, happen.”

The approval allows a public hearing to move forward. It also allows time for an ongoing traffic study to be completed.

“Depending on what that says, that will have an impact on my thoughts on how I view it,” Johnson said.

A Waterstone resident told Council that development of the property would “make a bad situation worse” with traffic, and that people already use his development as a cut-through to avoid the backed up Hwy. 160 and Gold Hill Road intersection. He also noted the meeting took place on “meet the teacher” night at local schools, and asked for a delay to a night when more neighbors could speak.

Johnson said he’s met twice with petitioner M/I Homes and “probably received 20 emails” on the property. Johnson also lives in Tega Cay and travels Hwy. 160 multiple times daily. He called the two roads meeting there easily the “worst intersection in York County.”

Johnson said it’s important for residents to understand the property already is zoned for some residential uses and that “houses could be built there anyway.” The traffic study to be completed before third reading will play a major role in Johnson’s end decision.

“If it can’t pass a traffic study, we certainly have a problem,” he said.

Council also passed the second of three needed readings on a small piece of property at the entrance to Hawk’s Creek, a new residential development on Gold Hill near Tega Cay.

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