AIKEN - Aiken City Council members approved annexing 20 acres of property into the city Monday night, but they agreed to safeguards requested by residents of a nearby subdivision who sought to protect their neighborhood from new development.
Those safety measures will come in the form of speed bumps, sidewalks, a small park and road improvements, officials said.
In a 5-2 vote, council members voted to annex the 20-acre property behind Hidden Haven, a small community of manufactured homes. The tract will become the site of 40 single-family houses.
Council members Jane Vaughters and Lessie Price voted against the motion because it will increase traffic within Hidden Haven, which is the only entrance to the new community.
Most of the 72 Hidden Haven homeowners opposed the development and petitioned several months ago to halt the annexation.
The new homes would produce 400 additional car trips per day on a road running through Hidden Haven.
"Our roads are just not wide enough. We don't have sidewalks; we all have to walk to our mailbox," said John Kyle, the treasurer of the Hidden Haven Homeowners Association.
Realizing they couldn't stop a development from rising behind their neighborhood, many of the residents decided the only alternative was to rely on the city to put strict regulations on developer Joe Scire.
Before Mr. Scire can begin constructing homes on the 20-acre parcel of land, the city will require him to install sidewalks, resurface and straighten a dangerous curve in the road that runs through Hidden Haven and leads to his parcel of land. The city and Mr. Scire will split the cost of improving the road, which could cost as much as $20,000.
Council members also will require Mr. Scire to reduce the number of homes he would build on the 20-acre tract of property from 44 to 40.
A left-hand turn lane will be constructed at Silver Bluff Road leading into the community. The city will pay two-thirds of the $40,000 construction costs, and Mr. Scire will pay the remainder.
Reach Krista Zilizi at (803) 648-1395, ext. 106, or firstname.lastname@example.org.