Proposed development in rural Blythewood not welcomed by all

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. (WIS) – Planning for a new subdivision in a rural part of Blythewood is currently underway, and not all are welcoming the idea.

The development is expected to have around 400 homes on a 262-acre plot of land along Mt. Valley Road on either side of Swygert Road.

Some say this new development would bring increased traffic to a secluded area, and change the character of their neighborhood.

“The country, the trees, the nature, that’s why we’re here,” Mark Johnston, who has lived in this area for more than two decades, said.

He lives just down the road from the proposed development, and is bothered by it.

“Growth is okay if it’s good growth and responsible growth but not just dumping these large developments in the middle of the countryside,” Johnston said.

He put up signs and handed out flyers to neighbors alerting them of the plan.

“If I can’t stop it, I’d like to maybe control it and try to make it responsible,” he said.

The developer, Mungo Homes, has already completed a survey of the property, has a contract and is currently in the “due diligence phase.”

This includes studying how traffic flow could be affected by the project.

“Traffic is one thing, but also the people,” Eileen Zschoche said. “I mean we came here to be comfortable and relaxed and listen to the birds and all that other good stuff.”

If the plan is approved, Zschoche may move. She spent time in New Jersey, and didn’t like how crowded it was.

“Barely you had a driveway,” Zschoche said. “Moved down to Charlotte, North Carolina in the Ballantyne area, lived next to cows. And within the next three years, there were houses where the cows were. So we decided to come to the country, my husband’s disabled, this is the country. This is land that’s ours, neighbors that are good.”

Other say there’s no stopping progress.

Rhonda Robbins said she appreciates Blythewood’s rural areas, but welcomes the change.

“Honestly I think it’s progress,” she said. “I think the businesses need the people in Blythewood. The businesses are having trouble keeping workers and there are signs up for help all over and I think this might help.”

Mungo Homes is expected to break ground on the project in six to eight months.

The property is currently zoned for single-family housing and any zoning changes would first have to go before the Richland County Planning Commission and County Council for approval.

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