Irmo Town Council held a public meeting February 21 to consider rezoning about 40 acres on Salem Church Road near railroad tracks from Agricultural to Planned Development District (PDD) for a Housing Project.
During the second rezoning reading February 21, Mayor Hardy reluctantly invited attendees for input. Several dozen attended and everyone except the developer and seller were strongly opposed. During the closed council conversation, Mayor Hardy and councilman Walker surprisingly agreed on one statement, “The town of Irmo is either growing or dying” and the vote to rezone was approved 4-1.
If not done properly, growth can be like a Cancer which will only lead to a slow painful decline unless promptly treated. A housing project on this narrow road without traffic lights will exacerbate existing traffic safety concerns and is an absurd and irresponsible plan with questionable motives. It puts the safety of our citizens at risk. Furthermore, this housing project will exert downward pressures on existing Irmo home values.
Richland County’s impetuous growth sprawl from the Broad River Bridge continues its decade long steady western march through St. Andrews towards consuming Irmo with its lack of master planning and ethical leadership.
Irmo has better options. The highest & best use of the land being rezoned tonight is neighborhood commercial which would generate more tax revenue for the town & better preserve surrounding home values. Instead, for some reason, council has been convinced by someone Irmo needs this housing project even though better alternative sites exist with supporting infrastructures for new Irmo residential growth.
Irmo Town Council is not acting in the best interests of our community and in my opinion, the final decision to rezone this land for a housing project will confirm my diagnosis: Town council is a malignancy within our community body which needs removal and/or innovative treatments.
John J. Mitchell, III
Appraiser, Broker, Consultant
Residential & Commercial experience since 1987