A planned development of 230 houses in Greenwood County lost a key battle Tuesday night.
The Joint Planning Commission of Greenwood County voted unanimously to recommend denying a rezoning request that would have changed the zoning of 86.46 acres of land off Northside Drive, Clairmont Drive and Cokesbury Road from R-1 to R-3.
The request was made by Mark III Properties Inc. of Spartanburg and met stiff opposition.
Planning Director Phil Lindler said his office received six emails in opposition to the rezoning request as well as petitions signed by residents from nearby neighborhoods: Druid Hills with 114 signatures, Belle Meade with 37, Forest Hills with 120 and Idlewood with 35.
Residents packed the room at the Veterans Auditorium at the Greenwood County Library to speak against the proposed development. Many were concerned about increased traffic.
Paul Harrison, representing Mark III, said the group would conduct a traffic study before construction began. One resident questioned why it had not already been done.
“Why rezone before a traffic study,” Steve Salisbury asked.
Jennifer Donlon appeared before the commission on behalf of her son who lives on Northside Drive adjacent to one of the proposed access points to the potential development. She said her son’s house would be 15 feet from the proposed roadway.
Steve Brodie asked who is going to pay for the extra EMS and fire protection needed to cover this development. Another resident reminded the commission of other developments that are being built on Calhoun Road.
“We have yet to see the impact of the development on Calhoun Road,” Rob Schoenberger said.
The staff recommendation, delivered by Lindler, was to rezone to R-2, providing a compromise to the plan.
Harrison said the development would contain 230 lots — less than the maximum allotment for R-1 zoning. He explained that the development would have open space that would occur outside of the individual lot lines. He said 33% of the property would be made up of open space that would be owned by the homeowners association.
One concern for the residents of Druid Hills was the potential traffic going through their neighborhood to the new development. Harrison shot that down.
“We will not be making that driveway connection,” Harrison said.
The planning commission only makes recommendations and Greenwood County Council decides on rezoning requests. Lindler did not have a date for when it will appear on council’s agenda.