Apartment plan at Golf Masters site nearing final approval

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comOctober 15, 2013 

— The York County Council gave the second of three needed votes of approval last week to a plan for apartments at the current Golf Masters site in Lake Wylie.

Owners Eric and Lyn Harper are looking to rezone about 30 acres there. A public hearing last week didn’t include any voices of opposition, and the council unanimously approved the rezoning on the second vote.

Bryan Tuttle with The Tuttle Company, who spoke on behalf of the applicant, said issues like water and sewer system stress aren’t a problem, and that schools shouldn’t be negatively impacted as studies show no more than 15 percent of apartment residents have school-age children.

The most commonly heard concern, Tuttle said, is traffic. But with both S.C. 49 and 274 already being at five lanes a recent traffic impact analysis showed the area already can handle the load.

“It’s really come out very well, frankly, in terms of being sure we’re doing the right thing in the right place, with the right product at the right time,” Tuttle said.

Except for rush hour, he said, traffic shouldn’t be an issue.

“You can’t design for peak-period use,” Tuttle said. “You have to design to overall, average daily traffic. Other than peak periods, this development has very minimal impact.”

There wouldn’t be much land clearing because the driving range is largely open already. There’s also a retention pond already on site and wetlands are involved, meaning federal regulations would ensure the lake isn’t harmed.

Some restriping would have to be done on the highway out front, and two or three access driveways would be cut for the project.

The Harpers say the current rezoning allows a use for the property that was removed when the family created a planned development zoning to create Golf Masters in 2007.

They live on the property and their children are fourth generation residents there, Lyn Harper said. They intend to remain in the area and want to see a quality project at the site, she said.

Haven Presley, whose family owns T-Bones on the Lake, has been in the area 19 years and says her business still is a seasonal one. The project, she said, could help change that.

“The apartment complex they’re proposing would be helpful,” Presley said. “It will help move us toward a more year-round business.”

As a top five generator of county hospitality tax funds, Presley said, T-Bones bringing in more customers is in the interest of the county, she said.

“The more we make, the more the hospitality tax can make and it’s a win-win for everybody,” she said.

Tuttle said the “highly amenitized” project would be taxed at a 6 percent commercial rate, creating a $30 million investment to the county.

The rezoning still needs one final vote of approval. The council next meets Oct. 21. Ohio-based Gross Builders would build the apartments, pending needed approvals.

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