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Letter to the Editor: Common sense must win out in growth management near Chapin

Chapin, SC 04/01/2021 (Bob Cullum) - My name is Bob Cullum and I and my family are residents of Mallard Drive in Chapin, part of the Wessinger Road/Old Lexington Highway corridor. I'm writing to express my concerns about a proposed development of 120 residential housing units on Johns Creek Rd, which runs between Wessinger Road and Mallard Drive.

Recent activity on the part of developers from Mungo Homes, Eastwood Homes, Horton Homes and others already have built hundreds of homes within 5 miles of this proposed development, with hundreds more due to be built. Johns Creek Rd is a quiet, narrow rural road which until recently wasn't even paved.

This proposed development of 120 houses would conservatively add 300 more cars to an infrastructure already crumbling from the weight of the subdivisions that are already located here. As a visual example of what this would mean to this area, I drove along Johns Creek road today and found that it is approximately 3100 feet in length. At an average vehicle length of 14 feet, 300 cars parked bumper to bumper would take up the entire length of Johns Creek Road.

Traffic on Mallard Dr, Johns Creek, Wessinger Rd, Old Lexington, Chapin Rd & Broad River Rd (Highways 176 and 76), and beyond to I-26 and I-20 would be significantly impacted. This would compound a public safety problem in a county that is already one the states deadliest in terms of traffic accidents.

In addition, the proposed subdivision would be built with houses just 10 feet apart. A fire in any one of these houses would no doubt spread quickly to adjacent homes, especially as this area is served only by a nearby Lexington County fire station that depends heavily on volunteers.

The schools in this community are already overburdened with enrollment freezes already in place in the elementary schools. This forces parents to drive further to find open enrollment, increasing the traffic problem and the crushing burden of overcrowded schools just that much more. All these factors come together to negatively impact the quality of life of our community not just now, but forever.

The residents of this area presented a petition to Lexington County Council in January of 2020 asking for a rezoning classification to try to bring this uncontrolled growth to an end. Controlled growth with careful planning to accommodate it is one thing, but unrestrained growth that destroys the community is not what made a county a great place to live.

This assault on our community has to stop somewhere and I hope this project is where common sense wins out. I know that a request will be made by the developer to the town of Chapin for water and sewer service. I hope they will consider the factors I've laid out and refuse that request, hopefully forcing the developer to reconsider the project. I hope that this matter will be brought before both the Chapin and Lexington County councils without delay and that they will, as a body, protect the community that we all love.


Bob Cullum

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