PICKENS, S.C. (WSPA) – Concerned residents packed Pickens City Hall Thursday as city council weighed whether to annex more than 200 acres of property so it could be turned into a subdivision.
“A developer will buy any size parcel of land, small or large, and fit as many high-density housing units to maximize their profits without regard to the citizens of the community they’re building in,” Pam Winters said.
“It’s not that we want zero growth,” said Jessica Massey, a co-leader of Community Alliance for Sustainable Development. “It’s just that we want the county to really get a handle on how that growth is happening and make a plan for it.”
The property is located at Mauldin Lake Road and Wolf Creek Road. Buller River Development is reportedly interested in buying the property to potentially turn it into a subdivision. But, according to their team, they are still in the early stages.
“We were here just to talk about annexation,” John Culbertson of Buller River Development said. “We don’t have a development plan yet. We really don’t.”
One by one, residents explained why they do not want new homes being built on that property.
“Overcrowded schools, decreased city services, increased crime — just to name a few,” Winters said.
“We’re worried about our property values,” another resident added.
“I’m concerned that the proposed annexation would be more detrimental than beneficial to Pickens,” Massey said.
Before city council could vote to annex the property, council member Isaiah Scipio spoke out.
“I think we ought to listen to our citizens and wait,” Scipio said. “We don’t have to rush. I think we can table this and then include everybody.”
City council unanimously voted to table the discussion to a later date. It is unclear when they will revisit the issue.
“If we could get the annexation – it sounds like its already tabled – then I promise you that we’ll work on a plan that everybody can weigh in on,” Culbertson said.