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Town hall event addresses possible rezoning for Killian Road

The proposed development would turn 32 acres of land on Killian Road, near Wilson Boulevard, into a commercial district.

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — At a town hall event on Thursday, residents in Northeast Columbia learned more about a proposal for a new development on Killian Road, near Wilson Boulevard. 

The proposed development would turn 32 acres of land into a commercial district.

Some residents in the area like Donald Bailey are weary about this new change. 

“I just don't know if it would turn out to be a good thing or a bad thing. It could go either way,” said Bailey. 

Bailey lives across from the possible new development. He tells News 19 he would ideally like to see a grocery store or a high-end mall. However, he said his biggest concern is the increase in traffic. 

"We've lived there 50 years and when we moved there, there was very little traffic," said Bailey. "Now you can't hardly get out of your driveway. They widened one end of the road, but not this pat and it is a traffic problem.”

Northeast Columbia resident Michael Lavallee is also concerned about traffic, but said he welcomes the new growth. 

“It gives you better options for shopping and property values go up,” said Lavallee. 

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These different views are why Richland County Council member Gretchen Barron organized Thursday's community input meeting, so that people in the community can hear directly from the developer. 

“I've taken the stance of doing a town hall meeting for every rezoning project that comes to my district," said Barron. "So, instead of me just voting what I think is best, then we can hear from the developers as to what they're proposing.”

Barron said although it's in the early planning stages, it appears to be a phased development that includes strip malls and other projects. Barron said it's important for the community to discuss and ask questions, to ensure everyone is on board. 

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"We can't just look at where we currently are, but we've got to look at where we're growing to. And so of course, you talk about Killian Road, Killian road is growing. So as it is growing, we want to know that is this something that is going to make sense for our community,” said Barron. 

Richland County Council will do a final vote on the development in February. 

The planning commission disapproved the rezoning request in November because it wasn't a good fit for the community. 

If the council approves it, the development will move forward in the rezoning process. If it's denied, the developer will have to wait a year before they can reapply. 

For more information, contact Zoning & Development Services at 803-576-2190 or planningcommission@richlandcountysc.gov.