Lowman Home moves forward with road abandonment

Earlier this afternoon, I was notified that the Lowman Home is moving forward with their road abandonment request. I have never experienced something like this before but SCDOT tells me that it is a legal process that the court rules upon. For months, I’ve kept everyone updated about this possibility and was able to prepare for any closure by getting the SCDOT to commit to installing a traffic signal at the end of Johnson Marina road (so we can all turn left if the roads thru Lowman Home are closed). The SCDOT informs me should the courts rule in favor of the Lowman Home request, they would have everything completed with traffic light within 6 weeks.

If you missed any of those articles, here are some .

I’ve asked SCDOT and Lowman Home to keep me informed of next steps. Apparently the notice below starts the “notification period” (3 weeks?) required before the court can hear any cases. I imagine public can speak at any court hearings and will work to find out that/those date(s) when they are decided by the courts.

Comments

  1. Seems backwards to me that SCDOT would rule on closing Reformation and Lowman Home Barn road and THEN take 6 weeks to get traffic light approved. Has anyone thought about the increased traffic driving past the elementary school if they close these two roads?

  2. Jimmy, if the roads do not get closed, SCDOT’s studies say we wouldn’t need a light (makes sense, I guess since nothing would have changed except the intersection being a “T” instead of a “Y” (like before). That’s the reason SCDOT told me they changed the intersection..safety. Y intersections are more hazardous.

    The Lowman Home tells me that if the courts rule in their favor to have SCDOT “abandon those roads” (ie, close them and Lowman Home maintain them), they would not close them until the traffic light was installed.

    I’m also sharing additional concerns to SCDOT about the length of the “left turn lane from Johnson Marina onto 76”. Mind you, they didn’t even have that in their designs two years ago when I first noticed and brought to their attention. Feedback is good to give to SCDOT in hopes of alleviating any concerns we have over possible changes we are looking at with road closures.

    • This is not a safety issue and the “this could have been me ” photo article is outrageously insulting to everyone’s intelligence. Research the accidents on this road over the past 10 years–can’t think of any.This closing will inconvenience 100’s/thousands? We need a counter laid so we can determine the true count and an objective impact analysis. This is totally self serving to Lowman at the costly expense(Time,Fuel, higher main road #76 traffic) of people who bought houses on land sold previously by lowman to developers.Now they want to change the venue.

  3. Hi everyone. The Heritage at Lowman will have to post signs which will indicate the court date. If you’re opposed to this closure, showing up at the court and expressing your opinion is the best way to stop it. The judge will be the decision maker, not SCDOT.

    • As a nearby resident near Johnson Marina Rd.,I am concerned that closing this PULIC road will divert even more traffic to Johnson Marina Road as the only viable exit. The Lowman Home access road to highway 76 is critical to mitigate the traffic flow problem on Johnson Marina Rd. that is already apparent and getting worse by the day.
      Our area is growing by leaps and bounds and the traffic problem is only going to get worse. When traffic is at a standstill on highway 76, at least people in this area now have an option of getting to Chapin or the interstate by the Lowman Home Rd.
      I have left a message at Lowman Home to please provide specific information about the safety problems that they have experienced in the last 10 years: ie. injuries, accidents, or fatalities on this road.
      I have not as of yet received a response.
      Nancy

  4. Jennifer Youngs says

    In looking at the state abandonment statutes, and what I think MAY be the most recent Richland County roads ordinance (2003), it looks like Lowman names the county as respondent in the petition, and then the county attorney, after considering DOT recommendations, etc., responds favorably or unfavorably. The judge then rules on the petition. So it seems like the county attorney is the one that needs to hear all the concerns.

    There is still so much land that will be developed on this peninsula – the only question is the density thereof upon development. How can anyone seriously consider closing 1 of only 3 methods of ingress/egress when we know the 3 roads, even if widened, even if lights are installed, will not be sufficient over the next 10-20 years. And when 1 of the remaining 2 is anchored by an elementary school?! Should the road be abandoned, it would be nearly impossible, and huge $$, to get it back from Lowman.

    This is from the county ordinance that I found online: “
    Sec. 21-14. Abandonment of public roads and right-of-ways.
    (a) Any person or organization wishing to close an existing public street, road, or highway in Richland County to public traffic shall petition a court of competent jurisdiction in accordance with Section 57-9-10, et seq. of the South Carolina Code of Laws. The petition shall name Richland County as a respondent (unless the County is the petitioner). The County Attorney shall advise the court with regard to the County’s concurrence or opposition after consultation with the County’s planning, public works, and emergency services departments, and after consideration by County Council. It shall be the responsibility of the petitioner to physically close the roadway if a petition is successful. The County Attorney may submit such petition on behalf of Richland County if so directed by County Council.

    • Chuck McDonald says

      Jennifer, thank you so much for this information. Your research in to the SC Code of laws explains a lot, and helps us focus our opposition at the right place and the right time. I guess since the county has to be involved we need to contact Bill Malinowski on the council (He is our district 1 representative on council, I can make initial contact) and see if he can guide us in the right direction as far as hearings and who the county attorney is etc. His email, if interested is malinowski.bill@richlandcountysc.gov.

      Thanks again for the info,

      Chuck

  5. Jennifer Youngs says

    By my count, there are currently only 15 “Lowman” houses that face Lowman Home/Reformation road. Lowman completely controls how it develops its own property in the future. Which means if the road was left open and public, they can continue to create side roads so no additional houses face Lowman Home. They also control building sidewalks for pedestrian safety, and can build golf cart paths as well, if they are trying to build something of a campus. With simple planning, Lowman could minimize substantially how much their residents need to access Lowman Home Rd if they choose. The easy route for them certainly is to request the abandonment. But the detriment to the surrounding community seems to me to substantially outweigh any burden imposed on Lowman in having some traffic use this road. This is even before considering the fact that there remains a significant amount of undeveloped property that will require ingress/egress on this peninsula, unrelated to Lowman. It is not a matter of whether or not more houses and businesses are coming. It is simply a matter of when, and the density. We cannot think only of now – we have to think of 10-20 years from now. Once this road is abandoned, it will be impossible, or incredibly costly and disruptive, to get it back.

  6. Chuck McDonald says

    This road closure will further make the morning commute a nightmare for all residents in the greater Johnson Marina road area. I cannot fathom how after so much development in the last fifteen years the thought of limiting access to the streets commuters use to get their kids to school and then to work makes any sense. The modification to the JM and US76 intersection accomplished very little in mitigating the increased traffic flow that closing Reformation and Lowman Home Barn road will entail. Even if a traffic light is added to this intersection, the current snarl that is US76 will be even worse for those individuals commuting south. Now throw in the northerly commuters that use Mt. Vernon church road to go to Springhill schools or to Chapin and now one will experience a snarl in that direction. This road is, unfortunately for the Lowman Home, necessary for the high quality of life of all of the residents in the greater White Rock area and should be preserved as a state road as it has been for at least the 23 years I have been here. Please let us (neighbors of the Richard Franklin road area) know of any public hearings that might be scheduled and we will be sure to be there in force.

  7. I cear that what is good for the many people who live down in this part of Chapin will be the least important aspect of the issues facing any court. What will be most important and is always most important will be what is best for the developers, corporations and the rest of the monied interests. Nathan, you have been helping the community for years as a pragmatic political representative and we all appreciate it but, but you should consider stepping up and taking the side of the people on this issue. An emphatic and clear voicing of your support for the larger interests of this community would help this cause along. Please consider taking a firm stand against this lunacy.