The Van Wyck News

Volume 6 Number 17
A Voice for Freedom       23 August 2014
Van Wyck's
Comprehensive Plan

     One of the objectives of the County Comprehensive Plan is to preserve the identities of local communities such as Van Wyck, Buford and Elgin. Accordingly, Van Wyck would like to recommend its own Future Land Use Plan to the group working on the new County Comprehensive Plan as follows:
     The northern portion of Van Wyck  consists of 825 properties bounded by Rte 5 on the south, the southern border of Sun City on the north, the river on the west and Rte 521 on the east. 790 properties report a size in the Assessor database. The average parcel size is 17.51 acres; the median size is 4.4 acres, the smallest is 0.2 acres; the largest is 1209 acres. There are 39 parcels 0.5 acres and smaller (5%), 144 between 0.5 and 1.0 acre (18%), 193 between 1.0 and 2.0 acres (24%), 162 between 2.0 and 5.0 acres (21%), 83 between 5 and 10 acres (10%), 111 between 10.0 and 50.0 acres (14%), and 55 between 50 and 1209 acres (7%).
     With a most probable parcel size between 1 and 2 acres, nearly 50% of the parcels between 1 and 5 acres and nearly 1/3 of the parcels larger than 5 acres, this is not the land use profile of a community that should be zoned at one or another of the flavors of R30 (1.5 DU/acre), yet that is the zoning that County Council applied to this area some years ago.
     The portion of Van Wyck south of Route 5 is bounded by Rte 5 on the north, Rte 521 on the east, the river on the west and Waxhaw Village Road, Old Hickory Road and Industrial Park Road on the south. This section contains about 200 parcels that have not yet been cataloged in the detail that the northern portion has been cataloged, but are generally larger than those in the northern portion of Van Wyck.
     At least several thousand acres of this land is farmed, mostly in cotton, yet is still zoned R30X.
     We believe that the representation of Van Wyck on the Future Land Use Map for Lancaster County should reflect the current use of the land for farming and the pattern of recent growth, which is large houses on parcels generally at least 2 acres in size using septic systems. The County does not presently have zoning classifications that describe this situation; R45 comes perhaps closest of the currently available selections. We would propose that the Van Wyck area be described as an area of farms and large houses on multi-acre lots using septic systems and zoned R45 pending the development of more suitable
zoning classifications when the UDO is rewritten next year. We believe that Cluster Development has no place in Van Wyck. We do not have and are unlikely to be able to obtain the roads, schools and other infrastructure required to support “low density” (1.5 DU/acre) development, which is not low density at all by Van Wyck standards (0.5 DU/acre or less). We believe that we should face the future continuing to do what we do well and not succumb to or be forced to yield to pressure from outside developers and the County homebuilding profit machine into something for which there is no way to prepare.  
     We do understand the critical need for the Dave Lyle Extension, which will cross the northern part of Van Wyck to connect a new bridge over the Catawba and I-77 with Rte. 521 and Rte 75 east, and believe that there should be room for a commercial corridor on both sides of this road.
     We also believe that the areas around Andrew Jackson State Park and the undeveloped eastern portion of Landsford Canal State Park need to be protected from further development, perhaps with R45 zoning for the moment but with a better classification to be developed in conjunction with the rewrite of the UDO next year. This area includes  AJ State Park  itself and the area bounded by Bill Sweatt Road on the south, Rte 521 on the west, the North Carolina State Line in the east and E. Rebound Road on the north. 
     The Treetops property is presently zoned as a camp, which we believe is the highest and best use of the property, and that this zoning should not be changed. The zoning of the property surrounding the Treetops site and all other property which is zoned R30X should be changed to R45 as above.
     There is a large area zoned industrial (I2) at the corner of Riverside Road and Rte 5 where the water treatment plant is now and extending across Rte 5 down to the end of Old Hickory Road where the brick factory used to be. This area needs to be left alone; there is very good rail service, heavy electrical and natural gas service there and it may be that this area will be useful in the future as it has been in the past. The deer processing facility has recently relocated there.
     The people of Van Wyck have been caring for this land and building this community since before the Revolutionary War and believe that we have done a good job preserving our land and building our community. We look forward to the future with confidence in our ability to grow our community intelligently and manage our land productively.

Privacy Policy

County Comprehensive Plan
Community Workshop
     There will be a community workshop on the new Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan on 28 August from 4 - 5 :30 PM and again from 6:00 to 7:30 PM at the City of Lancaster Public Works Department, 916 15th St., Lancaster. The Workshop will be led by Robby Moody, the Senior Planner at the Catawba Regional Council of Governments who is writing the plan. This will be a chance to see if our version of the Van Wyck Comprehensive Plan (see left) is being incorporated into the County plan. Participants in the meetings will have an opportunity to discuss what is important to them, leave comments, make notes on the maps, etc. Now is the time to make your voice heard.        

Planning Commission Approves 600 New Houses in Indian Land
      At its meeting on 19 August the Planning Commission gave preliminary  plat approval to developments totaling 600 new houses already approved by County Council despite letters in the file from the School District questioning whether or not there would be capacity in the Indian Land School System for the students expected to move into these homes beginning in late 2015. The School District has made it clear that when Indian Land schools run out of capacity, students will be bused to other schools in the district with spare capacity. The District has not made clear which students would be bused. Possibilities include simply moving attendance zone lines north or adopting a policy that students new to the system get bused. Since these new homes are in the northern portion of Indian Land, the former policy would allow these new students to displace students from the southern portion of Indian Land, while the latter policy would require the new students to be bused.     
County Council to Kill Treetops Development
     At its meeting on 25 August County Council is expected to kill the ordinances pending approval for the Treetops subdivision of 933 homes. The developer, Mattamy Homes, announced that it would not build the project several weeks ago.  Van Wyck residents had strenuously opposed the development, which was to have been built on the Treetops property in northern Van Wyck.   
Age Restricted Housing In Northern Van Wyck
     Real estate agents continue to prowl northern Van Wyck playing hardball, talking about a 2000 unit age restricted community that "is going to be built" and threatening dire consequences, e.g., "your property will be surrounded and worth nothing," for those who don't play ball. Residents of northern Van Wyck should be aware that the Dave Lyle Extension and its associated commercial corridor will provide many opportunities in addition to those already available for large homes on large lots and the business opportunities that will arise as the area expands in a well controlled fashion.  
LCEDC Strategic Plan
     Josh Langen, Project Manager with the Lancaster County Economic Development Corporation, presided over an an interactive group meeting on the LCEDC Strategic Plan on 13 August at the City of Lights Dining Hall in Indian Land. At this meeting the discussed Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats concerning Lancaster County. A summary of the points made at the meeting may be found here. Additional meetings on the same topic will be held in Heath Springs at the Historic Train Depot on 26 August at 6:30 PM and in the County Administration Building, 101 N. Main St., Lancaster on 28 August also at 6:30 PM.

CDC Meeting
     The Community Development Club will meet on Tuesday, 2 September 2014 with CrimeWatch at 7:00 PM and the CDC meeting at 7:30 PM in the Community Building. Emphasis at this meeting will be final arrangements for the Celebrate Van Wyck Fall Festival on 6 September.
Celebrate Van Wyck Fall Festival
and Car Show - 6 September 2014

J.R. Wilt, Editor