By Stan Welch
A proposed housing project in the vicinity of Hembree Road and Welcome Road failed to receive the recommendation of the county planning commission Tuesday night.
The project, which would involve construction of more than three hundred single family homes, was opposed by a half dozen or so residents who raised a variety of concerns. Among those concerns were concerns about the possible disruption of the flow of a naturally occurring creek that runs through the site; wildlife displacement, and wetlands issues.
A separate issue that was raised was traffic. Hembree Road is a two lane road that intersects with Welcome Road just a hundred yards from the Welcome Road overpass for I-85. Welcome Road is a heavily traveled two lane road that runs from Hwy.29 to Highway 81. The Walgreen’s distribution center sits nearby, as do several other industries along the Alliance Parkway. The Parkway begins at its juncture with Welcome Road and runs to Highway 81 where it ends at a traffic light.
Alyssia Hunter, planning director, reported to the commission that all appropriate and required studies had been completed, including the traffic survey. She said that the development, proposed by Southeastern Developers, LLC, met all county criteria. She said that because of that, the planning staff recommended approval of the project, known as Stone Creek, phase one and two. If approved, Big Creek Water will be the water utility provider.
District Six commission member Jane Jones, however, made a motion to deny approval; a motion seconded by District Seven appointee Debbie Chapman. She did, however, offer a ray of hope, stating that she would reconsider her vote if the developers met with the residents and addressed some of their concerns. The commission, made up of one appointee from each county council district, as well as two at large members, then voted 6-3 to deny the project. The question now goes before the entire council for a vote, accompanied by the commission’s recommendation for denial.
By Stan Welch