Homeowners living near the 43-acre Tulifinny property annexed into the town in July came out in force Wednesday at a Bluffton Planning Commission meetingto defend their neighborhood from development they fear will erode its character and property values.
The public workshop was scheduled to gather residents' feedback before the developer submits an application outlining land use and density to the commission at its next meeting Oct. 27.
With the annexation of theproperty, located southeast of the S.C. 46-S.C. 170 roundabout, its zoning changed from community preservation to planned unit development. The change allowed the property manager to open the Tulifinny Recovery Management Center for Women, intended to treat teenage girls struggling with drug abuse and eating disorders.
But the center has since closed, and the property's neighbors are concerned about what will occupy the property next.
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"It just seem like there's a lot of questions that haven't been answered," Tom Trout, who lives on Trotters Lane near the property, told the committee. "We're not anti-business...but we don't want a commercial interest in our backyard."
The homeowners also wondered what security measures would be in place if a new rehab center replaces the former one. Several said they had already installed security systems and cameras on their property after residents of the recovery center came on to their properties.
Others cited drainage issues and asked whether the county or the town would be responsible for maintaining the lone road, Meadow Drive, that leads to the property.
Members of the planning commission assured residents their worries and ideas would be taken in to consideration when developer Michael Kronimus's submits his plan for land use next month.
Chairman Andrew Colvin said the commission would try to put restrictions on how many residential or commercial buildings are allowed per acre in keeping with the pastoral nature of Pritchardville.
Kronimus, who helped organized a meeting with the property's neighbors on Sept. 15, said any decisions on what willbe built on the land won't be made until he has approval from the planning commission andtown council on land use and density.