Councilman: Proposed apartments would 'negatively affect' West Columbia

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A proposed apartment complex has some neighbors in West Columbia ready to fight it.

A West Columbia councilman shared details of the potential development on his Facebook page over the weekend: Councilman Tem Miles said a developer wants to build a multi-story high-density government-subsidized complex near the corner of Charleston Highway and Knox Abbott Drive, which is just a short walk from the new Walmart Neighborhood Market in Cayce.

"Regardless of the neighborhood you live in, this development will negatively affect the efforts we are making to bring our whole city up," Miles wrote in a Facebook post shared more than 50 times.

Miles wrote the apartment complex wouldn't fit in with what's already in the area known as The Avenues. Mayor Bobby Horton, commenting on Miles' post, agreed.

"We don't need this," he wrote. "We have more than our share of rental properties already in our city. We need to encourage homeownership."

The city's planning commission will take up the issue in a meeting next Monday because the property will need to be rezoned to allow for apartments

"There's plenty of apartment complexes within a reasonable distance, so we'd like to preserve the family atmosphere as much as possible," said Carroll Crawford, who lives near the proposed site.

However, his feelings aren't unanimous. Ted McGee, a local realtor who has property listed near the site, said the development wouldn't decrease property values and would be a welcome addition.

"I don't know how anybody can just say, 'Look, I don't want them in my neighborhood.' Let me tell you what – your neighborhood is one that should welcome new people," he said.

On Monday afternoon, WIS spoke to a consultant for the developer who said the housing would be age-restricted to seniors.

He'll share other details during next Monday's meeting.

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