Twilight Zoning

I have read with great angst the recent discussions regarding the desired development on Heins Road. My mailing address is Blythewood but I don’t live in the quaint little town and this will likely not affect me much. I do, however, feel for the people who are now confronted with developers and politicians who are all “outsiders.” They do not have the best intentions for the residents who have to live there and just suck up what will be eventually just handed them.

We went through the same thing several years ago. We tried to maintain the nature of our neighborhood which we had selected and built into. Somehow we got wind of a looming development and attended the Richland County Council meeting in force and startled everyone. We disrupted what looked like a stealth attempt by a developer and I’m sure some council officials to gain approval of a major development encroaching on us. The approval was tabled until “our council rep” could get us all together and “talk about it.” The developer made a bunch of concessions and sweet talked us. The council rep was very self-satisfied by facilitating a pleasant meeting, which headed off confrontation and restored peace. The next council meeting passed the developers plan and he went on to do exactly as he pleased. He was even further facilitated by council and government in subsequent “development” of future phases. None of our concessions were delivered. “The truth changes!”

My advice to the residents of this lovely rural area is to stand fast in rejecting the plan. Be nice, if possible, but be obstinate in your beliefs and positions. Don’t indulge for a second politicians and developers in a casual, academic discussion that will impact you in exactly the way you think. You will be the losers! Only the developer and politicians (outsiders) will benefit. If you roll over you will reap just what you anticipate and more. Construction will drone on endlessly. We are getting trash everywhere. Bad roads are being even more torn up and continue to sustain daily damage. Traffic is worse than we thought.

A 500-home development will produce at least 1,000 new cars. The single road on which the developer myopically says he is required to conduct a traffic survey is not currently underutilized and will certainly be busting at the seams when done. Speeding in and out of the neighborhood will increase and is dangerous. Crime has increased and people do not feel anywhere near as secure as before. You’ll be lucky to know any of your neighbors. Your daily existence, the personality of the town and your livelihood will change dramatically and you’ll be sitting wondering what just hit you.

BE STRONG and CLEAR!

Ron Greene

Blythewood