The Van Wyck News
6 Number 23
||A Voice for Freedom||23 October 2014|
On Saturday 25 October 2014 the Community Development Club will sponsor a Halloween Party for area children at the Community Building. The fun will begin at 4 PM with games for children and costume prizes for children and adults. Hotdogs will be served at 5:00 PM, costumes judged at 6:00 PM and the Candywalk will begin at 6:30 PM. With luck everyone will be on the way home happy around 7:00 PM. The event is free but donations are always welcome.
Future of Van Wyck
Right now Van Wyck stands at a fork in the road to the future. The path we are on leads to subjugation at the hands of Indian Land and the County. The other path leads to a future defined by the residents of Van Wyck. Which path will Van Wyck choose? Does Van Wyck have the political will to determine its own future, or will Van Wyck allow Indian Land and the County to define its future for it?
Van Wyck must start small, but is potentially a very large community, extending from the southern border of Sun City on the north all the way to Waxhaw Village Road and Landsford State Park on the south and from the river on the west to Rte 521 on the east, but including the area between Rte 521 and the state line bordered by E. Rebound Road on the north and Bill Sweatt Rd. on the south. This means that AJ State Park and its surrounding area would be included in Van Wyck, where it can be protected from the hyperactive development activities so favored by the County.
What kind of a community should this be? To our minds, this should be determined by the people who live here, not by people from Indian Land or by County Council. With that in mind, I would invite people with ideas to send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for publication in the Van Wyck News. Submissions should include the submitters name, email address and telephone number, but will be published anonymously if the submitter so requests.
TreeTopsThe Planning Commission passed all four proposals relating to the Lennar Treetops Cluster Development at its 21 October meeting. They voted to recommend to County Council that the Future Land Use Map be modified, that the zoning be changed from PDD6 to R30P, that the Cluster Development Overlay be used and that the Development Agreement be approved.
In each case it was pointed out to the Commission that the neighbors and the residents of Van Wyck opposed the development, in each case the District One representative to the Planning Commission, Ron Pappas, representing Van Wyck, made the motion to approve and in each case the vote was 7 - 0. These matters now go to County Council, possibly as early as Monday, 27 October at 6:30 PM in the County Administration Building, 101 N. Main St., Lancaster. The agenda for the 27 October meeting will be published on Friday 24 October and we will know for sure what will be considered at the 27 October meeting. We are planning a major protest at the County Council meeting where the Treetops matter will be heard, so be prepared.
Public MeetingA public meeting was held on 13 October 2014 at the Community Center to discuss the community's desires and field questions about the newly proposed Lennar Treetops Cluster development and the possible incorporation of Van Wyck as a city. Approximately 90 people attended the meeting and 58 people signed in. My personal thanks to all who took the trouble to come to the meeting and also to everyone who is following this discussion and thinking carefully about these situations. Van Wyck has the opportunity to take control of its own future and become a truly wonderful place, but we have to agree as a community that we want to do that and what kind of a community we want to become. Meetings such as this one are an important part of that.
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Seven people provided written questions on the sign up sheet passed around at the meeting. Those questions are answered here.
Mr. Jon Hardy, a resident of Van Wyck and President of the local Lennar Homes subsidiary, described the cluster development that Lennar proposes to build on the Treetops site. Lennar proposes about 800 - 850 homes to be priced in the $200 - $400k range in a community intended to be age restricted to 55 and above, but with the option to switch to 50% age restricted if market conditions dictate. After a brief presentation Mr. Hardy took questions from the audience.
At the conclusion of Mr. Hardy's presentation, the audience was asked for a show of hands as to whether Mr. Hardy's proposal was a good idea for the Treetops site. The response was at least 10 to 1 opposed to Mr. Hardy's proposal.
During the presentation the point was made that the Treetops Camp was founded in response to the wishes of the donor of the property, Mr. Fred Wikoff. These wishes were written right into County Ordinance 464, which established the PDD6 zoning for the Treetops site. The question was asked of the group "Do you believe that the Treetops site should be developed in accordance with the wishes of the donor, Mr. Fred Wikoff?" The (verbal) response was overwhelmingly positive.
The answer to the "Why incorporate?" question is clear. Van Wyck has been deliberately placed in a position where it is politically powerless, with its future entirely in the hands of Indian Land and the County to exploit as they see fit.
Over the last couple of years, these people have shown what kind of future they have in mind for Van Wyck. Indian Land needs another 10,000 people before the 2020 census in order to qualify for a third Council seat, and Van Wyck is the place to put these people. With a third County Council seat Indian Land will be able to control the county by voting as a block and exploiting the divisions among the southern Council members. In addition, many prominent people in Lancaster County make money from homebuilding and they need a constant supply of new homes being built to prosper. Indian Land is running out of space to put the large number of new homes needed to supply these two political needs.
The obvious way to fulfill these political needs of Indian Land and the County is to run the sewer lines down Rte. 521 and Van Wyck Road and build cluster subdivisions in Van Wyck. Whatever feelings the residents of Van Wyck may have about their own political future do not matter, because Van Wyck is politically powerless and completely unable to resist as its own elected representatives proceed to abuse it. "Relax and learn to enjoy it, Van Wyck, it's not so bad" is the mantra as the abuse proceeds.
Incorporation is the way out of this situation. Van Wyck does meet the state requirements to incorporate, although just barely. If Van Wyck incorporates, it gains complete control over its own government, Indian Land and the County lose their power, the abuse stops and recovery can begin.