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Council approves Lennar rezoning

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Developer to build 387 homes on 172 acres

By Chris Sardelli

A brand-new residential development in Indian Land is back on track following a series of pledges from its developer and approval from Lancaster County Council. 

Council members unanimously approved final reading of an ordinance to rezone property owned by developer Lennar Carolinas, LLC during council’s June 24 meeting. 

Lennar had requested rezoning property nestled along U.S. 521 and Whitesides Drive from R-30P low density residential agricultural Panhandle district to R-15 moderate density residential/agricultural district. 

The developer’s plan is to create a 172-acre neighborhood of 387 single-family homes.

As part of the process, Lennar also committed to two additional items, said Lennar representative Jon Hardy, who was present for the vote. 

First, Hardy said Lennar pledges to beautify the property along the same standards as the nearby Sun City Carolina Lakes neighborhood. 

Second, the company would also commit to giving the county $116,100 in the form of $300 fees over the building permit fee as permits are acquired for each new house. 

He said 50 percent of this funding could be used to fund emergency responders, particularly police.

County Planning Director Penelope G. Karagounis reminded council the additional pledges are not part of a formal document and the company cannot be required to provide them. 

“This is just a voluntary decision of Lennar and there is no contract,” Karagounis said. “We can’t compel them to commit the $300.”

Stepping to the microphone, Hardy clarified the company’s proposal for providing additional fees. 

“We would like 50 percent to go to the (county’s) general fund and 50 percent to go to the police for all that they do,” Hardy said. 

Councilman Jack Estridge expressed appreciation for Lennar’s offer, but still had some reservations about the proposed neighborhood project.

Estridge asked Hardy about possibly building a sheriff’s office substation in the neighborhood. 

“It’s a lot of homes. We’re looking at four new deputies (in the county’s 2013-14 fiscal year budget), so is there any way to build them a place in there?” Estridge asked. 

“I considered that, but as its zoned residential there’s no way without designing another entry way down (U.S.) 521 to get into the substation, that we would meet buffer requirements and not lose the number of homes,” Hardy said. 

“Also, from the standpoint of DOT (S.C. Department of Transportation)  I don’t think you’ll get a driveway permit for another curb cut there.”

Estridge asked if a substation could be built across the road from the neighborhood.

“We’ve mentioned that a substation would be nice to have and they’ll commit to it, but we need the development agreement to be reinstated,” Hardy said. 

Councilman Brian Carnes suggested approval the rezoning to keep the project moving forward.

“Maybe we take the money he’s so generously donated and put that toward building a substation,” Carnes said. 

Council then unanimously approved the rezoning, though there was no further discussion about plans for building a sheriff’s office substation or other uses for the extra fees from Lennar. 

 

 Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416