BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — Those who live in the Crickentree neighborhood and around the area love their homes but are afraid of what could happen next.
The Crickentree Golf Course that sits behind these homes has been permanently closed. E-Capital, a company from Texas, who owns the property wants to rezone it from a Traditional Recreation Open Space, otherwise known as TROS, to a Residential Low Density zone. That would allow them to build homes on the property.
Members of the community came to the Richland County Planning Commission’s public meeting Monday night to give their input on the possibility of rezoning.
"Because of the trauma I suffered growing up, a huge part of feeling safe and at peace at my own home is not having houses sit behind my own," said one woman.
Others took to the mic saying they want to protect what they have now and what they’ll have in the future. Many believe adding more homes and getting rid of the golf course would hurt property values.
Some in the community say there’s not enough space for more kids in schools in the area. Others worry about potentially flooding issues.
Robert Fuller, who was speaking on E-Capital's behalf, says they’ve been working on the property longer than most people think.
"E-Capital, although it took title to the property after the foreclosure, has been involved with this property for a lengthy period of time," said Fuller.
Fuller was asked by the planning commission if anyone has approached E-Capital to buy the property.
There has been no discussion of a purchase of the entirety of the property by anybody. There have been some overtures about pieces of it from time to time.
Another man in the crowd said he has made contact saying he offered to buy the whole course. He had to stop speaking because the planning commission said it was the applicant’s turn to talk.
Another home owner believes the golf course should remain there and protected.
"Even if the residents were late to the party as this golf course failed, they still deserve the vision they have when they bought their property and promises were made by this body and county council," explained one woman.
The purpose of the TROS is to help preserve recreational and open spaces within the county.
The planning commission discussed Monday night if they would recommend changing the zoning to county council.
After voting, Heather Cairns and David Tuttle were the only two who voted to recommend the change to county council. The other six remaining commission members voted to not approve it for recommendation.
While the planning commission voted to not recommend the zoning change to county council, it's not over yet. Richland County Council will have their own public meeting on June 25th.