Written Questions Submitted at the Van Wyck Public Meeting on 13 October 2014
1. What is the difference in becoming a town?
Answer: As an incorporated area, whether it is called a city or a town,
Van Wyck would take responsibility for providing the functions of
government to its citizens rather than accepting the level of
governmental service provided by the County or other organization
designated by the State of South Carolina. As an incorporated area, Van
Wyck would have an elected Mayor and Town Council composed of citizens
of Van Wyck that would be responsible for providing the functions of
government. Citizens of Van Wyck would have complete control over who
served on the Town Council and as Mayor, and thus over the working of
the functions of government. At present the functions of government are
provided by Lancaster County, which is run by Lancaster County Council.
Because of the way Lancaster County Council is set up, rural areas such
as Van Wyck have no control at all over who serves on Lancaster County
Council or on what County Council does.
2. Does Lennar not think that there is a need for our community to have a place to invest in our youth?
Answer: This question has been referred to Mr. Jon Hardy,
President of the local Lennar Homes organization, for reply. When his
reply is received it will be posted here.
3. Does all the Van Wyck Community
understand that this incorporation is at this time a suggestion for the
future of a protected Van Wyck?
Answer: We have started calling on people who live in Van Wyck
and asking this question. We are finding that most people understand
that Van Wyck faces a large risk from County land mamagement practices
and that incorporation will protect against that risk.
4. Will this project make taxes go up in this area?
Answer: Yes, property taxes will increase some. The new city or town
have to have money in order to operate. Some money is available from
state Local Government Fund and from the Local Option Sales Tax, but we
anticipate that some property tax revenue will be necessary also. We
believe that the property tax will be 50 mils or less, and are finding
that most area residents feel that this is a reasonable price to pay
for protection from the County's arbitrary and often senseless land use
decisions. For the owner of a $100,000 house this represents a tax
increase of about $100 per year.
5. How is this project going to benefit the community that has no public venues or entry locations in the area?
Not sure who these people are, but we believe that all the residents of
Van Wyck will benefit from rational land use planning. It makes no
sense to build houses without assuring that there are roads available
that will allow the future residents to get to and from work and the
Interstate Highway system, that the roads will be maintained as needed,
that good schools are available for their children within a reasonable
distance, that parks and recreational opportunities are readily
available, that public and commercial facilities are well built and
look attractive, etc. We believe that land values will increase as it
becomes clear that Van Wyck will be an extraordinary place to be.
By contrast, Indian Land is just beginning to
become aware of the extent of the problems that ten years of
uncontrolled growth has brought. These problems, particularly those
with roads and schools, will be both difficult and expensive to fix. If
Van Wyck does not act now to protect itself if will get caught up in
the Indian Land situation and be destroyed by it.
6. How does this community benefit those of us already living here?
Answer: See the answer to Question #5 above. Everyone will benefit from rational land use planning.
7. What will this project do to our current taxes?
Answer: Initially property taxes will increase by 50 mils or less. As
time goes on residents may choose to raise taxes to receive some
governmental service that they do not now receive. If they do this it
will be because the residents of Van Wyck have voted to do it, not
because the County has imposed a decision in which the residents of Van
Wyck have no voice.
8. In what ways are you willing to admit that this development could hurt current residents financially?
Answer: Assuming that "this development" means the Lennar Treetops
development, to the extent that Lennar needs to build family
housing rather than age-restricted housing, it will accelerate the day
when all Van Wyck school children will be bussed to Lancaster for
school. More than that, the Treetops cluster development will be the
first of many, built wherever the developers can find a willing seller
with enough land available to build one. As the sewers come marching
down Van Wyck Road and Rte 521, random development Indian Land style
will follow. Compare this with a community that has taken the trouble
to preserve its farmland and its value, preserve its trees, encourage
housing appropriate to the roads and schools available to support it,
encourage appropriate industry to locate in the areas with the
specialized infrastructure available to support industry and make sure
that all development looks attractive.There is no doubt at all that the
latter community will be more attractive to potential residents whether
individuals, businesses orcommeail concerns. More attractive places
yield higher land values, particularly over the long term. Once random
development has ruined an area, it is impossible to recover without
massive investment to tear down what was done wrong. It is necessary to
do it right from the beginning.