The Van Wyck News
8 Number 3
||A Voice for Freedom||2 February 2016|
Town of Indian Land Incorporation
The Town of Indian Land (TOIL) people continue to circulate incorporation petitions that include Van Wyck down to Rte 5 and the portion of North Corner down Rte 521 to North Corner Road and east to the state line. Under state law, if 3000 valid signatures on these petitions are submitted to the Secretary of State and the Committee on Incorporations of the Legislature and approved, an election will be held on the question "Should this municipality be approved?" in which all 19,000 registered voters living in the incorporation area can vote. The question will be decided by a simple majority of those voting. If the vote is favorable, the municipality will be established with the borders stated on the petition; Van Wyck will not be able to opt out. A recent Fort Mill Times article may be found here.
There are three points at which Van Wyck can get removed from this situation, first by persuading the TOIL people to change the boundaries on their petition. Second by persuading the Committee on Incorporations of the Legislature to require that Van Wyck be excluded from the proposed municipality and third by influencing the voters in the election to vote down the proposed incorporation.
We have attempted to negotiate with TOIL people over the last several months to get the southern boundary of the incorporation area moved north to the southern border of Sun City, which would exclude Van Wyck from the incorporation area. These negotiations have been unsuccessful at every turn with the TOIL people saying that they have to control development to the south in order to protect the built up areas of IL from the consequences of excessive development in Van Wyck. Unstated is the desire to make sure that the development opportunities coming to Van Wyck in the form of the Dave Lyle Extension accrue to the TOIL and not to the County.
Van Wyck is committed to residential development using large houses on large lots and has been developing successfully in this way for several years. Such development makes little impact on schools and roads and would have no impact on a TOIL with a southern border at the southern border of Sun City. Despite this history, the TOIL people say that they have no confidence that excessive development will not be forced on Van Wyck by the County as the Treetops development was.
Unfortunately, control over land use in Van Wyck gives the TOIL people the ability to force unwanted large scale development on Van Wyck with the billions of dollars in profits such development would yield. Even more unfortunately, the two individuals involved on the part of TOIL are the two Planning Commission members that had the most to do with forcing the Treetops development on Van Wyck.
Town of Van Wyck
It turns out that the only sure defense for Van Wyck against incorporation by the Town of Indian Land is the incorporation of the Town of Van Wyck. The reason for this is that the incorporation procedure being used by the Town of Indian Land is specifically permitted by state law. That means that if TOIL follows the state law exactly, their incorporation proposal will be approved as a matter of law, and Indian Land's borders will extend down to Rte. 5. There will be nothing that Van Wyck can do about this except to attempt to try to get the voters to disapprove the Incorporation Election, a chancy proposition at best, although efforts along these lines should continue.
The law also provides that one incorporated area cannot take over a different incorporated area without consent. Thus if Van Wyck were incorporated, Indian Land would have to modify its Incorporation Proposal to exclude the area of the Town of Van Wyck. About two years ago considerable effort was put into determining that it would be possible to incorporate a small area of Van Wyck, which could then be expanded via annexation. The community rejected this approach last year amid a chorus of "Nobody is telling me what to do with my land!" and the fact that a lot of property would have to be annexed into the Town of Van Wyck to form an economically viable community.
Based on the threat posed by the TOIL incorporation, I put some additional work into the incorporation of Van Wyck. It turns out that it is possible to incorporate a very small portion of Van Wyck and operate it at very low cost, expanding the incorporated area via annexation as property owners decide that they want protection from Indian Land or Lancaster County. More than that, the mere existence of such an incorporated area would throw a major obstacle in the way of the TOIL effort, since the law requires that the Incorporation Petition include the population and area of the area to be incorporated. As soon a a portion of Van Wyck becomes incorporated the population and area reported on the TOIL Incorporation petitions will be incorrect, and it would seem that the TOIL will have to begin its signature collection effort over. Because annexation of property at the request of the owner is a very quick and easy process, Van Wyck would become a moving target, not practical for inclusion in a TOIL Incorporation Petition.
I invite the residents of Van Wyck, especially residents of the Original Incorporation area, to join me for a Town Hall Meeting on 15 February 2016 at 7:00 PM in the Community Building, 5036 Old Hickory Road, to explore this and other strategies to defeat the TOIL takeover of Van Wyck.
School DistrictThe Lancaster County School District has published a detailed report that describes the school needs and the work that will be done to mitigate those needs using the proceeds of the $199MM Bond Issue that will go before the voters on 22 March. It should be clearly understood by the Indian Land community that the bond issue provides for an expansion of Indian Land student capacity of 2470 students over at least ten years. If Indian Land growth cannot be controlled to make this capacity increase last at least ten years there will be no alternative to busing Indian Land students to schools where the District does have capacity.
Alex Sims was buried in Van Wyck Cometary on 20 January 2016 at the age of 102. He was a valued member of the Van Wyck Community and a long time member of Van Wyck Presbyterian Church. Never shy about voicing his thoughts, he and his voice will be sorely missed.