COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Homeowners in Blythewood says they’re in a property battle with a big out of state investor, and now they need help from County Council. Residents say an area that is zoned for green space and recreation could be at risk of major construction if the council doesn’t step in.
The golf course that many residents in Crickentree live along is zoned as a Traditional Recreation Open Space (TRO).
Homeowners who wanted to live near green space and wildlife say they did their homework and chose to purchase homes along the course, believing that the conservation and recreational zoning was locked in.
Now an out of state investor could put all of that in jeopardy. “I did 20 years in the military, and this was supposed to be my forever home,” said Natalie Mills who lives in Crickentree.
A Texas group called ECapital has purchased the golf course, and they’re asking council for permission to rezone it for residential single family medium-density homes. With that type of zoning, county officials say they would be able to build upwards of 930 homes in an area that was supposed to be preserved for open space.
“This home is everything to me,” said Michy Kelly who also lives in Crickentree. “It’s not just four walls, it isn’t just about dollar signs of equity. This is my piece of the world where I can be safe and protected.”
Residents here say that ECapital knew they were purchasing a golf course that was designated to remain an open space.
“You get what you pay for, and they bought a golf course,” said Angela Koska who lives along the golf course. “We certainly never expected to have 1000 home in our backyard.”
Residents believe that this case will decide how the county council handles any future decisions in re-zoning those open space areas. They’re asking council members to stand by residents and not investors.
“It’s what they do, they’re gamblers, and I just hope that the county council is going to push back and tell them they don’t get to win this time,” Kelly said.
Zoning officials say a TRO zone has never been flipped for the sake of housing development.
We’ve reached out to representatives from ECapital to find out their response to the concerns from these residents.