Bonum Road residents renew calls for open space

jmarks@lakewyliepilot.comJune 23, 2014 

— Residents along Bonum Road want the county to save open space, but they’re running out of time.

About 70 residents there are banding together to ask York County Council for relief from what they say is pending overdevelopment of Lake Wylie. More than a half-dozen residents pleaded with council in October to rezone almost 240 acres of undeveloped land for lower densities.

They haven’t stopped asking.

“These are the last pieces of open space,” said resident Diana Miller. “There are no parks in this area. There’s no open space. If this gets developed, that’s it.”

Residents continued their lobbying last week despite wheels already turning on new residential development. County land records show Mattamy Homes purchased almost 86 acres east of Bonum, between Bucleigh Road and Baker Lane, on June 2 for $2.6 million.

The company has purchased six sites in York County since December, totaling about 170 acres. Included are 70 acres on Hands Mill Highway in the Bethelfields area and 15 acres on Pleasant Road in Fort Mill just north of its Gold Hill Road and Springfield Parkway intersection.

Plans in Lake Wylie are for single-family subdivisions. Land clearing isn’t far.

“We have several sites in the Lake Wylie area,” said Tom Kutz, vice president of land acquisition for Mattamy Homes. “We’re looking for some of them to start this fall.”

The Mattamy Homes site is one of three land parcels on Bonum concerning residents. The other two lay on the west side, making up 154 acres. Bonum Road LLC took ownership of both parcels in 2011.

Residents fear high-density residential development on that property. Their concerns are sedimentation in the lake, traffic and strain on utilities. Group member Margaret Blackwell recently again put out messages to rally protestors.

“This is not going to be corrected until the council sees force in numbers,” she emailed residents. “If two or three people could stop this, it would have already been done.”

Rezoning requests haven’t come before council, but residents plan to turn up and petition council at its meetings anyway. A recent council decision to deny a rezoning for a rock quarry is bolstering Bonum Road residents’ hopes. About 200 residents turned out in opposition to that plan and council took note.

“If a plan should come to the County Council for a vote, we have to turn out like the people who were against the rock quarry,” Blackwell said.

Group members say they understand development will occur. They’ve seen and spoken with surveyors on-site in recent weeks. They’re hopeful for larger lots similar to The Sanctuary nearby. And they’d like to see some public amenities like park space set aside.

If land isn’t preserved now, they say there won’t be an option to preserve it later.

“I’d hate to see it happen,” Miller said.

John Marks •  803-831-8166

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