Crickentree homeowners meet to fight rezoning
About 70 residents of the Crickentree neighborhood packed Doko Manor in Blythewood Wednesday evening to hear plans to fight a rezoning proposal that could result in homes built in the middle of golf course property.
Concerned Citizens of Crickentree organized recently to lead an effort to maintain the area’s current Traditional Recreational Open Space zoning. TROS zoning has been in effect since 2011 to protect open green spaces from development and applies to the Richland County’s numerous golf courses.
Crickentree’s golf course closed in July after investment company ECapital bought the mortgage on the financially struggling course. That loan was foreclosed in August and the course property is scheduled to be sold at auction on Oct. 1. ECapital is proposing the property be rezoned to allow construction of approximately 470 homes to make the property more attractive to developers, Crickentree residents say.
Residents say eliminating the open green space will severely reduce their home values, while the volume of new homes will tax roadways and schools that haven’t planned for a population increase of that size.
“We’re not opposed to growth, we just want it to be responsible growth,” Crickentree resident Traci Cooper told the crowd. “There’s too much growth, too soon and too fast. We need to hold county council accountable for protecting our homes and our futures.”
Meeting leaders urged area residents to sign a petition opposing the rezoning, to contact Richland County Council members and planning commission members to voice their concerns, and to attend council, planning commission and zoning board meetings to demonstrate the size of opposition.
Resident Larry Ellis said the group is also evaluating options for alternative uses for the golf course property, including creating a public golf course operated by the county, a county or Blythewood park, or open spaces managed by the homeowners association.
The rezoning proposal could go before the county’s planning commission at its Dec. 3 meeting and then to a zoning board public hearing Dec. 18.