The Van Wyck News
|Volume 5 Number 11
||A Voice for Freedom||15 September 2013|
|Fort Mill to Annex Indian Land
14 September 2013 - Melvin Threatt, President of Indian Land Voice, announced today that he had been contacted by Fort Mill Mayor Danny Funderburk and Town Manager Dennis Pieper, who expressed the intention to annex all or part of Indian Land into the Town of Fort Mill. Indian Land Voice is an organization which has been advocating creation of an incorporated form of government for Indian Land, either as a Town or as a City. The primary objection of Indian Land residents to incorporation is the additional taxes that will be required to support an additional layer of government. The primary benefit to incorporation presented by Indian Land Voice is the ability of the Indian Land area to control its own growth and destiny free of the Lancaster County bias toward maximum population and business growth anywhere, anytime without regard for infrastructure needs. Indian Land Voice believes that the tax impact on residents can be minimized through use of a business license fee.
The Indian Land area consists of the combined service areas of the Indian Land and Pleasant Valley Fire Districts; bounded by the North Carolina state line on the north and east, the York County border on the west, and roughly by an east - west line through the intersection of Rte 521 and Rte 75 east (Waxhaw Road) on the south. Approximately 18,000 people live in Indian Land.; approximately 11,000 people reside in Fort Mill. The Town of Fort Mill employs about 100 people and has a budget of about $18MM. Fort Mill taxes include a property tax, a hospitality tax of 2% on prepared food and beverages and a business license fee based on gross revenue. Fort Mill also maintains its own building and zoning department and collects fees for building permits and inspections and zoning changes.
It was not immediately clear how Fort Mill would proceed with its annexation plans. Fort Mill does not share a border with Indian Land, so annexation would normally proceed property by property down one or another of the roads connecting the two areas, either Rte 160 or Doby's Bridge Road. It is also not clear what enticements the Town of Fort Mill would offer Indian Land residents to justify the hefty tax bills that would accompany annexation.
Feeding the Hungry
Donations to Lancaster County food programs have fallen off recently. The recession increases the number of people facing hunger and the need for food. The Van Wyck Press is happy to transport food to the agencies serving the needy in Lancaster. If you have food that you would like to donate and would like us to transport it for you, let me know.
For several weeks reports have been arriving about horrific traffic jams on Rte 521 in the Van Wyck Road – Doby's Bridge Road area between 6AM and 7:15 AM. It turns out that about 1000 students are dropped off by car at the Indian Land Elementary School each morning between 6:00 and 7:15 AM. This is plenty of traffic to cause the reported jams, which apparently cause delays of 40 minutes or more for commuters using Rte 521 to get to work in the morning. The School District requests that those affected by the traffic jam call either Bryan Vaughn (803-285-6009) or David Knight (803-285-8808). At least some of you who call might also send me mail and let me know what happens.
It is easy to see that the root cause of these traffic jams is the serious overcrowding at ILES, which is in turn caused by the policy of unrestrained population growth in Indian Land pursued by County Council over the last ten years. Infrastructure needs have been completely ignored; developers have been encouraged and assisted to build what they wanted where they wanted, the more the merrier. Those chickens are starting to come home to roost now, with traffic jams, very overcrowded schools, new schools that will be overcrowded the day they open, no road maintenance and no funding for either more schools or better roads.
Ordinarily when one is digging a hole that is starting to collapse, the first thing to do is STOP DIGGING. One might expect that County Council would be responding to the present situation by slowing development and paying attention to the provision of adequate infrastructure. Instead, County Council is pedal to the metal, trying to implement a Cluster Development Overlay with no consideration given to infrastructure. Cluster Development is the Next Big Thing in development, allowing very large houses to be built on lots barely big enough to hold them and provide open areas near the groups of houses. The first application of this new ordinance would add 933 houses to the Indian Land population over the next few years on the Treetops site. Together with other development in the area which is already approved, 11,000 residents, 2600 school age children and 9000 cars will be added to Indian Land in the area around the schools over the next few years. The School District lacks the ability to build schools fast enough to support this kind of growth, yet County Council stubbornly marches on, sending the Cluster Development Proposal back to the Planning Commission for rework on 9 September. Wake up, people! The hole is collapsing! It's time to STOP DIGGING, GET OUT AND DO SOME THINKING!
Cluster DevelopmentIt is ironic that the prime proponents of the Cluster Development Ordinance are Councilman Larry McCullough and his appointee to the Planning Commission, Ron Pappas. These gentlemen represent District 1, which includes the southern Indian Land and Van Wyck areas that will be so heavily damaged by the application of this ordinance to the Treetops site should Council approve it. There are several good ideas behind Cluster Development; it would be entirely appropriate to include these ideas in the coming rewrite of the UDO. The County does not need a Cluster Development Ordinance at this time and the Planning Commission has other things to do that are far more pressing, including how to address the infrastructure needs associated with future development.
and County Council
Connect Our FutureConnect Our Future is an organization developing a regional plan for the large growth foreseen for this area in the next few years. Connect Our Future will host a local workshop on 3 October 2013 at the Carol Ray Dowling Building at USCL. The focus of the workshop will be to obtain citizen input as to where in Lancaster County different forms of growth should occur. There is no charge, but citizens must sign up to participate. Multiple times are available. Brochure.
Tuesday, October 1, 7:00 p.m. Crime Watch and Community Club Meeting
Thursday October 3, 7:00 PM Bluegrass at the Community Center
Saturday, October 26, 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (volunteers time) Halloween (times may vary) 4:30 p.m. games, 5:30 p.m. hotdogs, 6:30 p.m. candy walk
Saturday, November 30, 9:00 a.m. Put up Christmas Lighting Poles and chili
Tuesday December 3, 7:00 PM CrimeWatch and Community meeting, put up Christmas decorations
Saturday, December 7, noon, Van Wyck Christmas Parade and Candy Toss. 2:00 PM put out candles and globes for Lighting the Way.
Sunday, December 8, 4:30p.m. Lighting Of The Way