Another zoning request coming

As most know, when it comes to development and zoning, Richland and Lexington County Council decide those matters. Not me at the State House. Our area is represented in council district 1, represented by Bill Malinowski.

That being said, I was informed by many of you about a proposal on Johnson Marina Road that would greatly impact our area (to include the already overcrowded Lake Murray Elementary School). I contacted our local Richland County Councilman last week, Bill Malinowski, and informed him of the meeting that was to be held last Friday at Lake Murray Elementary School. He is aware of my concerns; however, he needs to know your concerns as well.

Looks like the October 2nd Planning Commission meeting will NOT have this proposal on their agenda. Instead, I’ve been told it will appear on the November agenda.

It’s my understanding the developer plans to attend the October 2nd meeting of the Ballentine Dutch Fork Civic Association (6:30pm at Ballentine Park). I would obviously encourage you to attend if your schedule permits; but know I will be there as well as I try to visit with the association at their meetings as much as possible.

Please email me directly at any feedback/concerns you have about the proposal so that I can share those with our councilman. Obviously you can email him directly; but I’m happy to print every email and deliver to him so that I will also know of your concerns in this local matter (and be sure he does as well)


  1. Christie Causey says:

    Ok so what is the price point of these homes? Besides the fact that we are already overcrowded at the elementary school, the value of the homes in this area could be in jeopardy. If the developer wants to build homes, why can’t our council force them to build larger homes or force them to have large lots and build nicer homes. We don’t want our area to become another Irmo. I feel like the council’s don’t care what the residents want, it’s all about the money and that’s not right, since they were elected to make decisions that are best for us…right?
    Frustrated! Love seeing all the nature and deer everyday on Johnson marina…so where will this force the animals and what will this do to their habitat. We are destroying our little town with all these cookie cutter housing project…in 10 years we will be left with rundown neighborhoods and crime ridden areas…lets force DR Horton out!

    • Janice Decker says:

      there are 2 price points, lowest at $190,000 which is on a 40ft across lot. The mid I believe is $240,000 and the high is $282,000. I saw the drawings of the models available. They don’t look good. The land will be stripped of trees and the houses will be on slabs The lot sizes are only 40ft, 50ft, or 60 ft across. I even think I saw a couple that were 30ft across…don’t know what they will put on those. I wouldn’t pay $282,000 to live in the proposed subdivision with houses on top of each other. When you look at Eagles Rest Express, its D R Horton…that’s what it will be….more of the same God awful mess

  2. Cheryl Wolfe says:

    Nathan, I live on Johnson Marina Road. The houses that are being built I feel is lowering the value of the homes out here. There is only one way out unless you cross over to Three Dog Road. It too is filled with developments. Instead of a four way stop, we should have a circle so you can get off where you need to go instead of deciding whose turn is next at the four way stop. It is dangerous. we have too many developments out here. Please, do not let people come in and build multiple house developments. On Broadriver zrosd Essex homes built houses over springs and yards are mushy and water seeping out going down the road. Home owners were not told. Why didn’t Richland County know that. It seems the big builders have no rules. I think it is a shame. And I am asking you to please look into theses things. Thanks for listening. Cheryl Wolfe

  3. I am living at Lakeside at Ballentie, and I will reject this proposal before I see any actual improvement of the traffic congestion on I-76, intersection of Johnson Marina road and I-76, and Exit 97. I usually spent 15 minutes even more from home to drive on I-26. I heard so many plans of I76 widening, but none has fixed this issue. My daughter is in Chapin Intermediate School, which is overcrowded, too. My friend’s kids had to study in the mobile classroom at Lake Murray Elementary School. This is shame for our education system. I greatly disagree any new development plan under the current situation.

  4. Barbara S Anderson says:

    Dutch Fork Road is still only 2 lanes and another 280 houses are going in? It was two lanes 25 years ago and you cannot tell me that there hasn’t been growth and increased traffic enough to justify doing something about it? Try moving down the road when all the parents are taking kids to school and going to work or all the teens are headed to the Adv. Tech. Studies school or high school? Makes no sense whatsoever with a plan to increase the lanes.

  5. Thanks for posting, Nathan. I was able to speak with Councilman Malinowski the afternoon of the last Friday’s meeting and was so glad to hear that he had insisted the developers have a meeting with the community. (He was rather insistent and said that before having any substantive conversation with the developers, he wanted to hear input from the community, as well as from the County’s planning staff.) In spite of the developers’ short and hard-o-find notice, we had a great turnout and were able to convince them to differ the mtg with the Planning Commission. Like me, many people did know about it until the day of the meeting. It seemed a little on the shady side listening to the developers represent they had been negotiating with our council representative. After the meeting, the one developers essentially admitted there had not been any considerable dialog — only that they emailed a packet of information. It was also discouraging when the developer said the school district had informed them that the additional students could be accommodated. (How? Lake Murray El. has 11 portables!) They went into detail about what District 5 said: After a new school was built on Amicks Ferry Rd., the District would rezone Lake Murray El. children to Chapin El. But, that’s inconsistent with what District 5 told the Amicks Ferry Rd. folks, who are upset (legitimately) about the proposed school’s poor location and lack of candor, that there would be no rezoning. Which is it? Seems unfair too. Kicking existing LMES kids out so the developers’ kids can attend. (Since Ballentine El. has 379 fewer students than LMES and empty classrooms, maybe they should go there?)

    • Kim Murphy says:

      District 5 should do what other districts do…Until Lake Murray has room, students from the new development (if it gets approved) should go to neighboring schools with room — like Ballentine El. Either that or build on the designed classrooms to Lake Murray El. Options such a using existing schools with room and/or adding on already designed classrooms would prevent existing children from being rezoned out of their home school as well as alleviate a manufactured need for a costly new school (which would also require a student rezoning).

  6. Janice Decker says:

    I have recently contacted Bill Malinowski and others my concerns. I to attended the LME meeting with the developer and did find out last minute. The list of concerns are many, LME is already over crowded. With the current high density neighborhoods that have been in the last couple of years added the infrastructure can not handle 280 more homes. The traffic on Johnson’s Marina and Hwy 76. Also, this community just had many of its people lose jobs at the power plant so many homes are going up for sale or may be foreclosed on. Why do we need another subdivision now? But besides those things I have several other questions and concerns that have come to light.

    Homeowners have so far not been notified of the zoning request. The RC Website says we should be given 15 days notice. I realize this has now been deferred, but a notice should have been posted before the deferment. Since there are written rules posted, you can find them on the Richland County Zoning section of the website. I have realized a few things and have some questions for our County Council. When D R Horton bought the Eagles Rest Subdivision project from Shumaker Homes, they changed what was started, and probably what it was zoned for. You can see in the first phase nice brick homes were started, the buffer from Richard Franklin is full and nice. But when was it that D R Horton got it zoned PDD…how did that happen? I live in Lakeside, and being a subdivision so close, the rules say we should have been given written notice to the change. Surely the homeowners in the first phase of Eagles Rest should also have been given written notice. Yet none of us received that, and there was no posted sign of notice either. I would like to know what D R Horton promised in order to get that PDD zoning. Did they come through on whatever is was? Please understand everyone, we do not want PDD zoning as this gives the developer too much power. They promise a little something and then PDD zoning gives them the power to do whatever they want. As high density as they want. Strip the land do whatever. How about Osprey? or Foxport? Was everyone notified that should have been?

    Next, At the meeting the developer explained that they had a contract on the land purchase but were not the owners yet. They said a Mrs. Josey owned it, however we know that Mrs. Dorthy C. Gascinski who is in a nursing home is the owner. Who is making this zoning request? Only the owner can make the request. In checking we see that a Jordan Hammond has made the request. Who is he? Is he the developer? or were they lying and they do already own it? They have to have a deed to make a zoning request. Does this person have a power of attorney for the elderly lady? We are depending on our county council, zoning and planning to watch out for us, to make sure that the rules are being followed. Is this zoning request even valid? Because it doesn’t need to be heard if the owner is not requesting it. And we for sure do not need to give D R Horton the power. If you Google this company you will see many controversial issues that have come up. They have been run out of Augusta Ga for example. Maybe we need to do that same. Let stop D R Horton from ruining what we moved out here for and our very expensive home investments.
    The 2010 census states that homes were an average cost of $318,000.00. I bet they aren’t now. Our home values are already suffering do to plant closure and these already being developed neighborhoods like Eagles Rest Express and Ospey. We don’t need any more of those kinds of homes around here. There are many over developed towns nearby, look at Spring Valley for example. We don’t want to be them.
    We can’t stop them from buying it or building there, but we can stop the zoning so they can’t build so many little ones on top of each other. We welcome nice well built brick homes, on lots greater than 70 across x 120ft deep or more. And home buyers out there, stop letting them sell you these cheaply built homes on slabs, they are ugly and you are paying too much for them. County Council needs to protect the homeowners already invested here and stop this crazy growth and make these developers and themselves follow the rules.

  7. H.W. Harter says:

    Hi Mr. Ballentine,

    I was at the meeting last night and one of the proposed entrances to the new development is on Forest Shealy Road. I highly suggest Mr. Malinowski and yourself come and view the congestion on Forest Shealy, Three Dog, And Johnson Marina Road around 7:00 am and 2:00 – 2:30 pm when Lake Murray Elementary is letting in and out. Unless you have seen it for yourself, I think it will surprise you. Also, there are already 10-11 each of the K-2nd grade classes which is way more than the school can support. this is evident based on the continuous installation of portable classs rooms every summer. Also, I would like to point out that the new development will sit on top of some the last bit of vegetated watershed left on this hill. This will mean even more run-off into Lake Murray than what is already occurring. Sedimentation of the coves in this area is already a major issue and with no land left to soak up run-off, it will get worse. Thanks for posting!

  8. Jesse Bray says:

    I would like to address anyone’s concerns as best I can. My name is Jesse Bray and I am a project manager for D.R. Horton and can be reached at Regarding Eagles Rest, D.R. Horton bought that development from Schumacher with the PDD zoning. It was designed such that phase 1 were larger lots than subsequent phases. No matter who built the subsequent phases they would’ve been under the same PDD that stated specific lot sizes, which were not changed from the original zoning from Schumacher. With Johnson Marina Rd, there is a POA signed for Horton to request a rezoning.

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