Forest Acres Says ‘No,’ & That’s OK.

SI’ve laid low regarding the wooded area sold by the Carolina Children’s Home last year, for various reasons. That said, I have an ‘up periscope’ view of what’s going on, and a bird’s eye view of what’s going to happen.

Here’s the latest as reported by WLTX. FJ

Columbia, SC (WLTX) Forest Acres, SC (WLTX) – For the second time, members of the Forest Acres Planning Commission did not approve a rezoning application by H&M Real Estate Holdings LLC, who are looking to build near the old Carolina Children’s Home

.The developers were in front of the commission initially in February.

On Monday night they presented a new plan with hopes to move forward. However, residents sitting in on the meeting were not optimistic about the proposed mixed-use development.

“I urge you to vote against this because the community doesn’t want this and the community doesn’t need it,” says Joseph M. McCulloch, Forest Acres resident.

H&M Real Estate wants to build residential property as well as a Memory Care facility on the 26-acres they purchased from the former Carolina Children’s Home.

The commission voted 4 to 1 not to approve their rezoning plans, but H & M Real Estate’s attorney says they still plan on going before the town council.

“I don’t think the reasons given for the denial of the plan are going to be sufficient to deny the plan in the last analysis,” says Robert Fuller.

Commissioner Will Dillard doesn’t think the proposed plans would not provide enough of a buffer to residents living along Sunnyside drive. Giving the commission reason to not approve the rezoning request.

There was also concern from those attending the meeting about the environmental impact.

“Today’s plan was definitely an improvement from what we’ve seen in the past, but it still lacked some key storm-water buffers or vegetated buffers around the streams that cross through the property,” says Erich Miarka, program coordinator for the Gills Creek Watershed Association.

“We know it’s going to be developed, we’re expecting that, but we want it to be done in the right way,” says Deborah Drotor, Forest Acres resident.

Drotor in not looking forward to the possibility of a commercial business in her neighborhood.

“We just simply like R-1 residential zoning, nice homes that are built within the land, not cutting it down.”

But Fuller says their planned development district was designed to be mixed-use.

“It is designed to have a mixture of residential and institutional or commercial uses, in fact it is a requirement of the plan.”

Fuller says they have heard all of the concerns from residents including possible traffic issues and they are taking those into consideration.

However, they do plan on going to the town council on June 9th with the work they presented to the commission on Monday night.

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