The Van Wyck News
8 Number 5
||A Voice for Freedom||26 March 2016|
The Cluster Development Overlay, source of so many difficulties with the Treetops project, was supposed to be gone with the new UDO, but remains as difficult as ever with its 15 foot spacing between houses and ability to count unbuildable land as open space.
Developers are pushing hard for the minimum lot size in the Rural Living zoning classification to be two houses per acre rather than one. Tis change will affect much of Van Wyck.
I strongly believe that Rte 521 needs to remain a 55 mph highway south of the intersection with Van Wyck Road, intended to carry traffic north to the area where the Dave Lyle Extension will eventually carry it over to I-77. Development must be restricted to areas well off the highway and developers must be required to provide a network of streets parallel to Rte 521 connecting the developments. This will minimize the need for traffic lights on Rte 521. It will also allow traffic that has exited Rte 521 move from one development to another. We do not need to repeat the disastrous policies that have brought Rte 521 to its present state north of the intersection with Van Wyck Road.
Citizens are encouraged to attend the one of the two Citizen Review Meetings at the Old Courthouse, second Floor, 100 N. Main St., Lancaster. On 29 March 1:00 - 8:00PM and 30 March from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM doors will be open with staff present and computers working. citizens will be able to query individual properties and find out what the zoning is now and what it will change to under the new law. The new law will be available for review and staff will be available to assist.
There is trouble ahead for Van Wyck on this front. There are thirty two square miles of empty space and several billion dollars of development money looking for a home.
Wilt for Council
J R Wilt has announced his candidacy as a Republican for the District One County Council seat being vacated by Larry McCullough. Filing has not yet closed and there are already three people running for this seat. Everything points to a difficult and expensive campaign.
County Council is much in need of an experienced, informed and effective voice of reason sitting in the District 1 seat.
Last week the voters passed a $199MM bond issue designed to put the School District on a sound major facilities path for the next ten years. Much of the problem that made this bond issue necessary was caused by County Council's reckless overbuilding of houses in Indian Land over the last ten years. The largest amount of bond issue money, $120MM, is going to create 2470 new seats in the Indian Land school system, which is supposed to last at least ten years. I expect that there will be a lot of pressure to continue the reckless building of the past.
Indian Land is facing serious transportation problems also caused by the overbuilding of the past. There is no effort going on to do anything about this serious problem. County Council is to the point where the preconstruction traffic study for a development rates the traffic as "F - expect significant delays at any time" and the post construction estimates are also "F" and County Council approves the project anyway.
School Bond Issue Passes 3 - 1
Van Wyck Incorporation Proposal FiledThe Town of Van Wyck Incorporation Proposal was delivered to the Office of the Secretary of the State of South Carolina for filing on Thursday 24 March 2016 by the Committee to Incorporate Van Wyck. The Proposal is a more complete version of the Proposal discussed in detail and overwhelmingly approved at the 15 February 2016 Town Meeting sponsored by the Committee to Incorporate Van Wyck.
In the intervening five weeks there has been a lot of talk about the new Town passing restrictive ordinances that would prevent farmers and large landowners from using their land in ways necessary to their various businesses. A mixture of large houses on large lots, agriculture and large landowner uses is what most Van Wyck residents seem to favor. Large landowners and farmers will not participate if their uses cannot be protected.
Towns do have the ability to pass restrictive use ordinances, but they also have the power to pass ordinances promoting, rather than restricting, uses such as farming and hunting.
This is a situation that has been faced and successfully addressed many times under the general title of "Right to Farm" ordinances. As an example, farmers spread manure on their fields as a necessary part of their business. Doing so makes the air stink for a period of time. City people, potentially hundreds of them, sometimes do not like the stink and sue the farmer under a nuisance law. Whether he wins or loses, the farmer has to hire an attorney to defend himself in court. This can quickly get expensive for the farmer.
The Town could pass an ordinance that says "We value our farmers and understand that they have some business practices that lead to consequences that some people find offensive. As a community we accept these practices as necessary to farming, and accept the the consequences of these practices because we want to keep our farmers. The temporary smells associated with spreading manure are not a nuisance in this Town, and the loser in a lawsuit claiming that these smells are a nuisance must pay the legal fees of both parties plus any court costs." This protects the farmer who is spreading manure, but also protects the public from the farmer who spreads something other than manure that has a truly evil or harmful smell.
The above is simply an oversimplified example. The Committee to Incorporate Van Wyck will schedule a Town Hall Meeting in the very near future to talk about the kind of town Van Wyck wants to become and the various paths to get there.