The Greenville County Planning Commission unanimously approved a subdivision called Copperleaf on Wednesday afternoon despite opposition from about 100 residents who said it threatens their rural way of life in southern Greenville County.
“This is an urban subdivision in a rural area,” said Jim Moore, president of Citizens for Quality Rural Living. “The infrastructure is insufficient to support it, and it could really hurt surrounding farms and residents.”
Moore recruited residents and started the group, Citizens for Quality Rural Living, in November to oppose proposed developments in southern Greenville County, including Copperleaf, which features more than 90 lots on 82 acres near South Shirley, McKelvey and Woodside roads.
The developer (RMDC Inc.) is based in Tallahassee, Fla. and has proposed the subdivision multiple times. In November, RMDC Inc. presented plans for a 100-lot subdivision but had to revise it after the Subdivision Advisory Committee recommended its roads “be built to urban standards,” according to county documents.
In March, a plan for 80 lots was presented but had to be revised because it only featured one access road but needed two. It was presented but denied again in May.
Moore said the subdivision would increase traffic by 950 vehicles a day on nearby roads that were designed for low-density traffic. He also said it would create a “safety hazard” at the intersection of Fairview and Woodside roads, which reportedly has the most accidents in the Cane Brake Fire District. Moore added that ground and storm water run-off could migrate to nearby farms, contaminating water sources with chemicals.
Moore also said Copperleaf was inconsistent with the Greenville County Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map, which recommends one house per every three acres, and that it was almost four times over the recommended density with five houses per every three acres.
Despite the claims, the planning commission said the proposed development is in an area that has no zoning, which means there are no restrictions on what can be built as long as it meets all the county’s requirements. Commissioner Fred Moore said he was “troubled” by the concerns but that Copperleaf met all the county’s demands and regulations.
But the fight is far from over.
“Disappointment is the best word to describe it,” said Jim Moore. “The county has seen the same presentation multiple times and denied it. And it just didn’t happen for us this time. So now we go to the next step. We’ll be considering an appeal.”
It wouldn’t be the first appeal filed by the group. Moore and residents filed one in July when the planning commission approved The Meadows at Fair Grove, a subdivision that planned more than 80 homes on 65 acres at the intersection of Fairview and Fairview Church roads.
The appeal was set to be heard in the Greenville County 13th Judicial Circuit Court but was later dismissed in August after Spartanburg-based developer, Mark III Properties, canceled the subdivision. The group has 30 days to appeal Copperleaf.[socialpoll id=”2383647″ path=”/polls/2383647″ width=”1020″]