Proposed townhome development moves to Rock Hill city council

ROCK HILL, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – Nearly 100 concerned Rock Hill citizens packed a Rock Hill Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night, all to voice their concerns about a proposed rezoning that could bring more than 200 townhomes near their neighborhoods.

Halpern Properties LLC is asking city officials to rezone about 40 acres along Rawlinson Road, West Main Street and Meadowlark Drive in Rock Hill, and annex property to allow for a mixed used development which would include commercial space and just over 200 townhomes.

Planning Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday night to approve the plan. It will now head to city council for a vote as early as January 8th, 2024.

York County’s Bob Kneeland has been hitting the streets of his neighborhood in Rawlinson Acres One, collecting hundreds of signatures on a petition against the proposed development he says will be right across from the home he’s lived in for 23 years.

“Crime increase, property value decrease, there’s no advantage to anyone living here”, says Kneeland.

Officials with Halpern Properties told CN2’s Renee O’Neil by phone, after speaking with residents at a neighborhood meeting about the proposed rezoning a couple of weeks ago, they heard their concerns about traffic and are hoping to making changes to their plan.

For neighbor Chad Gerrald, his concerns are not just traffic, but safety. He adds he’s not against growth, just not this type.

“I think we are okay if they do single family homes. But to come in and put something that makes us look commercialized across the street is disgusting to me”, says Gerrald.

Halpern Properties says its been working with the City of Rock Hill for more than a year to come up with the development plan to meet the city’s goals. Adding a traffic study shows the proposed development reduces the traffic impact compared to a larger scale commercial development.

In 2016 a Neighborhood Walmart grocery store was supposed to move into that area, however Wal-Mart backed out. The townhomes will cost any where from the mid to high 300’s to 400 thousand dollars.

CN2’s Renee O’Neil did reach out to City Councilman, John Black who represents the area.

He said by email, ” The project is working its way through the process. The public process is designed to bring the City, developer, and neighbors together to help improve the project and address those concerns. Over the years there has been several projects presented that have been dead on arrival but with the owner occupied townhomes, this seems to have more merit and would have less of an impact on the surrounding neighbors. I will evaluate the project during the process and will review the final plans once its concluded. We are fortunate and unfortunate in that people want to call Rock Hill home. It is a desirable growing community that brings the challenges of growth with it. 

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