Letter: Clinton already has houses for sale

 

The editor:

I found Vic MacDonald’s editorial and Rob Hicklin’s letter to the editor disturbing because neither stated the facts about council’s decision not to rezone property on Hwy 72.

Council was led to believe there is a developer ready to build houses on property owned by Mr. Hicklin. What they weren’t told is that Mr. Hicklin has had this plan for many years, and no houses have been built. No developer wanted to take the project on. There are not people standing in line to build houses on this property. There is one person who wants to buy the backside of Mr. Hicklin’s property to build one house.

This person wants the city to rezone our property which is owned by the taxpayers of Clinton. It is not right for one person to ask the city to rezone property for their sole protection. The property is for sale and anyone can buy it and rezone it how they see fit. It is wrong for an individual to ask the city to rezone property owned by the city, so they can prosper at taxpayers’ expense. Council serves the citizens of Clinton and is there to protect the best interest of all taxpayers, not just one.

Hwy 72 is our best commercial corridor and the development that has begun with Hampton Inn, Fatz, and Zaxby’s needs to continue. People should realize that commercial growth is best suited along a 4-lane highway. Go to Greenwood, Simpsonville or any city that is growing, and you will see that is where their growth is taking place.

Commercial property is worth 5 to 10 times what agricultural property is worth. The parcel of land in question sold once before for $150,000. Dunkin Donuts went bankrupt and the city got the property back. Why would the city want to sell it for $1600 an acre which is about what the land is worth as is with an open field and an overgrown jungle on the backside. Rezoning this parcel of property would greatly devalue it. The city already owns an industrial park next to the Hampton Inn, so everyone knows this is a commercial zone.

If Mr. Hicklin believes in his project, perhaps he and his wife would like to build a big, nice house in his development to get things started. They don’t live in Clinton and never have. Mr. Hicklin lives in a million dollar house in Charleston, so he doesn’t have a problem devaluing property owned by the City of Clinton, so he can profit on his property.

There are many nice homes for sale in Clinton. Many have been on the market for over a year. We don’t need more homes to be built; we need more people who can afford to buy a nice home in our community. College officials and faculty often choose to live in Simpsonville for one reason or another. PC officials not living in Clinton has hurt our town as much as anything. Our housing market has really suffered because of their resistance to live in this community. Years ago all PC faculty and staff lived here and were an important part of the community. In those days, it was hard to find a nice house on the market. The number of houses available in Clinton is not the issue. We need new industry and new people to move to Clinton.

Clinton is a great place to live and raise a family. People in our community have good values, and we are close enough to Greenville to have all the cultural events and shopping one can hope for. Let’s market what we have and stop dreaming. The city owns a beautiful piece of property on Springdale Drive that has been marketed for industry. Perhaps we should make that a residential neighborhood which would be in close proximity to our schools. It is much better suited for housing than the property in question on Hwy 72. There is already a road into the property, and I assume utilities are there.

The Clinton Chronicle has not been fair to the City Council in their reporting. Please get the entire story before you report on what happened at a council meeting. The citizens deserve to know the whole truth. I am thankful for the council members who are looking out for the interest of the majority of citizens, not just a few.

 

David Bell,

Clinton

 

(Editor: The 450 word limit for letters to the editor was waived in this case.)

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