Laurens Co. property owners say new developments threaten farms, will create infrastructure issues

LAURENS COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Property owners in Laurens County are asking leaders to put a temporary hold on new developments.

“I just have deep roots and connections here and I want to take care of it and preserve it,” said neighbor Susan Stewart.

Signs with the slogan ‘Save Our Farmland’ are popping up across the area. Some neighbors said the new development is threatening family farms, some of which have been in the area for more than 100 years. They said the area is booming, but think county leaders need a better plan for new growth.

“We have a development that’s supposed to be coming in beside our property with 941 lots and 136 townhomes,” said neighbor Nancy Garrison.

Stewart said she’s worried the current infrastructure can’t support more homes and people.

“Our roads are too small, they’re not maintained, they’re littered. Sewer service is, at present, inadequate and not in place to support this development that’s coming in. Schools have not been properly notified, ”said Stewart.

Laurens County Councilman David Tribble said growth is happening across the area. He said limits on variances in lot sizes and conversations about zoning can help keep growth in check. Still, some neighbors believe the council needs to pause new developments.

“A moratorium, I think, is very necessary at this point so that they can give even our planning commission the tools that they need to make the right decisions,” said Garrison.

They believe it would also give the planning commission more time to make decisions that affect everyone.

“We’re concerned that actions are being taken, decisions are being made without adequate information about the impact on our communities and that we’re making too many decisions too fast, and the harm will be irreparable,” Stewart said.

Councilman Tribble said they likely won’t put a moratorium on building. He thinks the council needs to strike a balance between development and the rights of landowners to either keep or sell their properties for profit.

Laurens County Council meets Tuesday night. The agenda shows county leaders will discuss a lawsuit on another proposed subdivision, at Hunts Bridge Road and Durbin Road, which was denied. The lawsuit is between Hunts Bridge Holdings and the Laurens County Planning Commission.

7NEWS spoke with the Laurens County attorney on Tuesday who said he said he cannot comment on pending litigation.

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