Letter: County Council Should Stand With Us

I have met most of you, in my attendance at the council meeting the other night and appreciate your willingness to discuss the Luck Stone mine project that is going through DHEC approval and permitting currently through August 20th 2021. I have filed my concerns as they pertain to DHEC and my concerns as to how they will impact our property that we own next to the proposed site and now that decision is up to DHEC on whether to permit this property to be developed as a 416 acre granite mine. My brothers, father and I own approximately 163 acres on either side of 34 adjacent to the Luck Stone proposed site (to the west.)

What I am writing you about now is my concern that this project as it is is a short sighted development that is to be located in the gateway to Winnsboro and Ridgeway that will affect that intersection for 100 years and will hamper future development in that intersection. When I look at other I-77 exit areas all up and down the corridor between Columbia and Charlotte I see good development, I see car dealerships that generate taxes for their respective counties, I also see travel centers that generate taxes for their counties, I see Fast food establishments that again, generate taxes for their respective counties.

I know as well as you do that this intersection is not Killian Road, but I remember when the Killian Road intersection was an empty exit between Columbia and Blythewood and was not developed. It did not generate much in the way of taxes as it was classified as agricultural and was sitting ready to be developed. And as a real estate broker I see properties like those that people speculate on and buy and start developing as people move to the area and move in.

In the next 10-20 years, this intersection could be looked at like the Killian Road intersection was.

The main difference that I see is that with a dust producing, noise making 416 acre mine will be at this intersection and no one will put car dealerships, hotels or restaurants near a blasting site. The only traffic will be trucks and the small amount of mine workers, and the development will skip the I-77 and highway 34 exit to go to the Great Falls exit in Chester County. As a landowner in this area I am asking you to take action to protect the highest and best use for this land and this potential development area. I have heard from many of you that the zoning is permissible and that there is nothing you can do to stop this project- YOU ARE FAIRFIELD COUNTY COUNCIL- you speak for the people of the county and are the counties elected representatives- if there is a zoning issue, pass an injunction to study the project.

Several council members have seemed not to know this project is coming, nor did I see any members at the DHEC hearings other than Chairman Bell. Senator Fanning has come out against the mine, Representative McDaniel has asked more questions and asked for a slow down of this project. Now it is time for The County Council to speak up and look at this project and ask these questions. How does this immediately impact Fairfield County, what are the benefits, both in revenue and in help for the residents of Fairfield County. What does this project do to improve Fairfield County, to improve the quality of life, the environment and the area at I-77 and Highway 34 exit and how will it be a good neighbor (or not a good neighbor) to have at this intersection.

I urge Fairfield County Council to take action and write a letter to DHEC about this project. I also urge council to find out how this project can be stopped by the county as it does not meet what I would think of as progressive development at a key interchange for Fairfield County, and its implementation is a huge step backwards for the property owners nearby and surrounding this intersection.


  1. Ernest M Spong says

    Love your comments and completely agree.

  2. Pelham Lyles says

    Too bad the community does not know that there is one other similar granite crushing quarry already under construction by Vulcan industries now just 4 or 5 miles north of the proposed Luck site. Additionally, there are plans for another one by a local person with conjunction with Martin Marietta that may be situated about a mile west of the shopping center on the south entrance to the town of Winnsboro. How many of these permanent scars on the landscape are we willing to let in in order to line the pockets of others? The jobs these operations create are very minimal, as are the tax revenues. As Fairfield County’s geology encompasses a large swath of the Eastern US piedmont granite belt, we could become the poster child for the overdevelopment of industrial quarrying operations if local leadership is not willing to address the issue before the horse bolts out of the stable door. Hello to the future effects of such industrial corridors such as that of Cancer Alley, Love Canal, and the Appalachian coal mining mountaintop removal.

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