Workforce and senior housing could be on the way to Rock Hill, in several projects the town planning commission saw on Tuesday night.
The communities of Woda Cooper have requested the rezoning of more than 18 acres at 1055 Finley Road to allow apartments there. The property is next to a former primary school site, near Cherry Road and Heckle Boulevard.
The demand called for the change to allow affordable, low-income apartments. A submitted plan shows 216 apartments in nine buildings.
Denis Blackburne with the Ohio-based developer said the $ 40 million project includes nine buildings of three stories each, with units up to three bedrooms. Woda Cooper has over 375 properties developed and owned in 16 states.
“We’re focused on workforce housing, affordable housing,” Blackburne said. ” This is what we do. We are an industry leader in this area.
If the project continues to progress, the developer will submit plans to the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority in January. The city’s plan and review would follow in late 2022. Construction would begin in January 2023, with units ready for rent a year later.
The units would be rented out to eligible individuals at 50-70% of the region’s median income. Or, said Blackburne, $ 29,000 and $ 68,000.
“The rent will be very affordable in comparison,” he said.
The not entirely unanimous approval came despite a recommendation from city staff against the rezoning. There are currently 75 apartments in the neighborhood and 236 more on offer near the new project. The new 216 units would put more than 500 in total in a tight space.
City planner Dennis Fields said an earlier apartment moratorium ended with recommendations, including one designed to stagger developments.
“This generally limits the area to 225 units or less,” he said.
A property just to the east was rezoned last year for apartments. There are already some on York Avenue and Finley Road, just to the east. There is also a neighborhood across York Avenue.
“Recently you’ve seen a request for a zoning change for multi-family housing, also limited-income collective housing, here closer to the intersection of Heckle and Cherry Road,” Fields said.
The chairman of the planning committee, Randy Graham, voted against rezoning. Like the staff, he relied on the recommendation to keep the apartment areas smaller in the city.
“I certainly agree with the need,” Graham said. “I agree, they have a good experience. This is the kind of developer that we like to see doing developments here. I’m just questioning the timing on this particular site.
If the approved developments all happen at the same time, he said, traffic and other issues are expected to arise. Several members of the commission expressed similar concerns, although they each took a stand in favor of the project.
“This will meet a serious need in our community, and that is affordable housing,” said Gladys Robinson, commissioner.
A final decision will come from Rock Hill City Council, which is expected to hear the case for the first time on August 23.
▪ The commission also recommended a change that would allow mini storage as part of a larger business plan at Cherry and Mt. Routes galantes. The latest plan is for a half acre at 1110 Burton Street. There are 10 more parcels that are part of a larger business plan at various stages of city council and zoning appeal board approvals.
A sketch shows nine one and two bay storage buildings off Cherry, between Andora Drive and Oakwood Circle. It shows two commercial buildings facing Cherry.
▪ Yet another plan in Rock Hill involves a four-story apartment building for the elderly. Wilkerson Park offers 136 units, a swimming pool, activity room, dining room and other amenities on nearly five acres. The building would be 156,000 square feet. The site is accessible by the Cel-River and Wilkerson roads.
▪ A decision by Eastwood Homes for the Rock Hill property will not be made until next month. The applicant requested and was granted a stay until then. Eastwood has applied to rezone 24 acres at 404 Rawlinson Road. The plans are for 106 townhouses on the property.