E-Capital files for new zoning request

BLYTHEWOOD – Texas investment firm E-Capital has filed a second application for a zoning change of the Crickentree Golf Course. The request this time is to change the golf course’s current Traditional Residential Open Space (TROS) zoning to Low Density Residential (RS-LD) zoning.

Low Density zoning allows for 3.63 homes per acre on the 183-acre property.

Two weeks ago E-Capital withdrew a request before County Council to rezone the TROS to Medium Density Residential (RS-MD).

The new rezoning request will first go before the Richland County Planning Commission on June 3 at 3 p.m. That body’s recommendation will then be sent to County Council on June 25, for a public hearing followed by the first vote on the issue.

“That meeting will be the only time that citizens can voice their opinions in person to County Council,” Crickentree resident Michael Kosca said.  “If Council votes for RS-LD, we could end up with 600 homes in our back yard.”

Both meetings are held at the Richland County Administration Building at 2020 Hampton Street.

“Our primary concern right now is to reach out to the other golf courses who are also at risk of losing their TROS zoning and being developed – Woodcreek, Windermere and others,” resident Russell St. Marie said.

The TROS ordinance was passed by Council in 2007 when golf courses in Richland County began to struggle financially, and developers began eying them for residential development. The purpose of TROS, according to the ordinance, was to ensure “the preservation of conservation, recreation, and/or open space; and to lessen the diminution of property values from the loss of open space commonly provided for in a community; and to provide opportunities for improved public and/or private recreation activities; and to provide for a community-wide network of open space, buffer zones and recreation spaces.”

For those reasons, residents say they want Council to leave the TROS zoning in place.

Planning Commissioner Heather Cairns also clarified that TROS pertains to golf courses with a neighborhood component, not to golf courses in general.