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Town-owned property won’t be developed – for now

Fort Mill Town Council met Monday and went into executive session to talk through a plan that could have put 133 homes on almost 90 acres and ultimately decided against it by a 4-3 vote.
Fort Mill Town Council met Monday and went into executive session to talk through a plan that could have put 133 homes on almost 90 acres and ultimately decided against it by a 4-3 vote. MCT

For now, the town-owned property eyed for a new subdivision won’t be sold and developed.

Fort Mill Town Council met Oct. 23, and went into executive session to talk through a plan that could’ve put 133 homes on almost 90 acres. About two-thirds of that property belongs to the town. Ultimately, council decided not to extend an expired contract for the plan by a 4-3 vote.

“This was a complex decision by our council,” Mayor Guynn Savage said after the meeting.

Savage voted against the contract extension when the group returned into open session, as did council members Trudie Heemsoth, Larry Huntley and Lisa McCarley. Council members Ronnie Helms, Chris Moody and Jamie Shirey voted to extend it.

The town’s piece of the property is a former landfill with limited access. The town hasn’t been able to do anything with it in years. Then, the town found a partner looking to develop it.

“The land was declared surplus nearly a year ago and council authorized the administration to sell it if possible, thinking that we could use the funding for capitol investment, a road improvement, parking – any project that would benefit our community,” Savage said. “We did have interest from a developer and we signed a contract that allowed the developer to move forward with determining the viability of their proposed use.”

The proposal came to the town planning commission Oct. 17, a typical first step for developments ahead of a final decision by council. But the contract had expired. Voting not to extend it means the land will remain with the town “at this time,” Savage said.

“The project would have cleaned and made use of the old landfill site in addition to adding funding for needed projects, but also would have added homes adjacent to the busy bypass,” she said.

The site is between the Springfield and Foxwood communities. Hopper Communities, which had a proposed development agreement in place from applicant JBH Development, LLC, would have been annexed into Fort Mill as part of the now expired plan. About 25 acres within the project lie within a 100-year floodplain. The project would have generated an estimated 96 new students for the Fort Mill School District.

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