A plan to make Summerville more "family-friendly" has some residents concerned about development.
The Summerville Vision Plan was presented to the Town Council and about 80 residents Wednesday night. The plan was developed for the Council by the Lawrence Group, a Davidson, N.C. design firm, and envisions the town in the year 2040.
Town enhancements include improving pedestrian crossings on Dorchester Road, completing the Sawmill Branch Trail, retouching Hutchinson Square and elevating the town's design standards, according to presenter Monica Holmes, the project's manager.
However, the plan also includes building 880 new apartments, town houses and homes in the town's historic district.
During public comments, some Summerville residents voiced their concerns over the new development.
Birdie Crosby, who has lived off of E. Richardson Avenue for 25 years, said from the podium that more housing would mean more traffic. He also felt downtown does not have enough space for new construction.
"I missed out on everything about this plan," he said. "You do not need anymore traffic on E. Richardson Avenue."
Peter Gorman, from the East Historic District Civic Association, asked council members to slow down with the Vision Plan. He would like to give the public more time to provide input - particularly on the idea of developing so much housing in the downtown district.
"That is an enormous impact on the small-town feel of Summerville," he said. "This is going to fundamentally change Summerville."
After the meeting, Mayor Bill Collins said it is important for people to remember that this is a vision plan and many of the suggested projects will not be taking place for a while.
Collins said he, too, does not know how 880 housing units are going to fit downtown.
"I don't think people know much about it yet," Collins said. "It's a vision plan - it's giving us an opportunity to look at Summerville 25 years from now."
A public hearing on the plan is scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday at the Summerville Municipal Complex. The Council is likely to approve the vision plan at that meeting.
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