Rock Hill City Council to reconsider Celanese Road Walmart Monday

Posted May 9, 2014 4:27 pm | Filed under Local News

Rock Hill City Council will reconsider a previously failed proposal to annex 14.25 acres of land along S.C. 161 / Celanese Road making way for a future Walmart grocery store.

The 42,000-square foot store would be considerably smaller than a Walmart Super Center and is a new venture for the Arkansas-based company that calls the smaller stores “Neighborhood Markets.”

Rock Hill City Council denied the developer’s request January 27 to annex and rezone property that would make way for the store, citing traffic congestion concerns.

Neighbors in the adjoining Swan Meadows neighborhood had previously spoken out against the store, saying it would cause storm water issues, noise pollution and contribute to the decline of their property values.

Two other Walmart neighborhood stores are planned for Rock Hill — along S.C. 5 near Northwestern High School and on Cherry Road across from the Winthrop Coliseum. Walmart also has plans to build a third Super Center in Rock Hill at S.C. 901 and Albright Road.

Rock Hill City Councilman John Black requested council reconsider the Celanese Road Walmart plan during the April 28 meeting.

“Some new information has come,” Black said to council that night, “and it might be worthy of us to consider.”

That new information, Black said Friday,was that the developer was interested in moving forward with the project with York County, where development standards are less stringent.

Black said the developer has also responded to some of council and citizens’ complaints, adding an additional ten-foot buffer to the rear of the store and restricting deliveries to business hours only.

City spokeswoman Katie Quinn said that under normal circumstances, developers must wait a year before coming back to council with a previously denied request. But this, Quinn said, was different in that Black requested the item be put back on the agenda.

Should the council move forward with the request, the council’s January 27 decision would be rescinded, making way for a new motion that would not require a public hearing, Quinn said.

A citizens’ hearing precedes Monday’s meeting at 5:30 before the council’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. at Rock Hill City Council chambers.