Southborough Road annexation concerns

The Florence City Council should defer or cancel the approval of the annexation and zoning request by the developers in the Southborough Road area until utility problems are reviewed and plans can be made to handle the future home subdivisions.

I watched the city planning commission video recently. A gentleman from the Traces Golf Course area mentioned the low water pressure, water flow problems and water discoloring in his area and expressed concern about the situation with the proposed new development either in the city or outside the city. I am surprised the residents have not filed legal action to get the desired water service.

We know that this Florence water system is more than 50 years old in the Ebenezer-Oakdale area without any improvements on this side of the interstate that I have seen in 25 years. The system has not been maintained, as there have been numerous pipe failures and poor service response. No water main size increases or improvements to account for urban home development.

The sewer system surely is in the same situation. No new fire hydrants per the West Florence Fire Department to account for the new developments beyond the minimum provided by developers.

If these new developments are developed, the Florence water system is going to have to spend some money to increase the size of the water mains on the main streets, such as Pine Needle Road and Southborough Road. They might have to consider a new water tower, unless there is some agreement to supplement the Florence system from Darlington County water.

I understand the newest addition to Westbrook is served by Darlington water, as this portion is located across the county line. Perhaps Florence water should sell to a regional water company the area west of I-95 if it cannot provide the water services.

The developers say they are planning a development with small lots (1/6 acre). Homes of this type do not meet the standards of adjoining properties. I cannot believe the Westbrook developers are placing this next to their beautiful golf subdivision.

So why do they want to be annexed into the city, as they did not in the original Westbrook development or also many other developer subdivisions in the community? Many current residents do not want the city in this area. Additional taxes would provide very little services. We do not want the situation of Grove Park or other areas off Hoffmeyer Road with some lots in the city and others in the county.

I understand the methods of ribbon links to get adjacent to the development, but I do not understand why the folks of the Epworth organization are participating. They are outsiders who inherited their property from an estate and are attempting to sell this property and stated they had no desire to request annexation. Well, they are letting the city annex one acre from a total of more than 200. You wonder how this would affect a future sale of this farm-type property.

THOMAS FORD

Florence

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