Council backs growth limits for Amicks Ferry, Corley Mill roads

Lexington County Council took steps Tuesday to limit residential growth in both the Amicks Ferry Road peninsula and the Corley Mill Road area near Lake Murray.

The actions came after residents pushed county authorities to rein in rapid development in the two areas. In both cases, county officials are looking to reduce the number of homes that can be built per acre in an effort to retain scenic areas and reduce traffic.

The Amicks Ferry Road peninsula changes are closer to being enacted. The Council gave key second approval to a plan to limit the number of homes per acre to four. Now, up 12 homes are allowed on the peninsula south of Chapin.

The council must approve the change one more time, but the final vote is usually routine.

Councilwoman Erin Long Bergeson of Chapin said the restriction for the Amicks Ferry Road area “is of vital importance to keep the road safe and scenic.”

Meanwhile, council members discussed similar restrictions for the scenic Corley Mill Road near Lexington. The Council ordered county planners to develop guidelines for that area, although no vote was taken Tuesday. The plan discussed for Corley Mill would also limit the number of homes per acre at four.

Residents in both areas are concerned about too much development destroying wooded vistas they want retained.

During the discussion about Corley Mill Road, Councilman Darrell Hudson of Lexington said the restrictions are vital to retaining the trees and landscape for which the road is known.

"We can have a booming economy that saves trees," he said. "Those trees are the reason people want to move to that area."

Many who drive on Corley Mill love the beauty and serenity created by the route’s seemingly endless trees.

But worry is increasing that the road, which stretches from the Lake Murray dam to U.S. 378, is in danger of becoming Lexington County’s lost scenic corridor.

Trees and other landscape that line the road along the south side of the lower Saluda River are starting to disappear as more homes sprout.

Tim Flach: 803-771-8483