By Stan Welch
In a move that may lead to legal action, the Anderson County Planning Commission denied approval for two residential developments in the Powdersville area, ignoring the planning department’s recommendation of approval.
The vote, last Thursday, came weeks after the issue was originally tabled without a vote, when more than a hundred fifty irate residents appeared before the commission. The commission was clearly surprised and intimidated by both the numbers and the vehemence of the crowd. The crowd at the second meeting was much smaller, with approximately thirty people on hand.
The eventual decision to deny approval will clearly have serious ramifications for Beeson Development, Inc., the company that planned to build two hundred and six units in three phases, in the area of Barr Circle and Old Anderson Road. That development would be known as Chimney Hill. Another smaller project, Yorkshire Farms, would involve ninety nine homes on a twenty eight acre tract on Circle Road.
The first meeting of the commission sparked a subsequent town hall meeting at Powdersville High School on August 31, sponsored by County Councilman Ken Waters. Again well over three hundred residents appeared. The stated purpose of the meeting was to consider possible action to give local residents more control over the runaway growth that characterizes the area, but most of the speakers opposed either zoning or incorporation, or the forming of a town. An additional meeting is proposed for later this month, but no date has been set.
School District One superintendent David Havird subsequently met with county administrator Rusty Burns to present a plan by the district to construct a road from the back of Powdersville Middle School to Roe Road; a project that would reportedly remove from four hundred to four hundred fifty cars per day from the current traffic stream. The school district purchased the fifteen acre tract that is proposed for the site of the road some fifteen years ago.
The purchase cost two hundred thousand dollars at the time; estimates for the construction of the road itself is estimated at five hundred to six hundred thousand dollars. The district has requested assistance from the county roads and bridges department in relation to engineering and project management. The proposed route will cross a local stream, thereby involving both SCDHEC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The length of the shortest route is estimated at just under a quarter of a mile.
By Stan Welch