Simpsonville Approves New Gated Community

It’s a sign of the times. I grew up with gated communities just a few miles away. I lived in a rough area and the communities with gates were the last vestiges of a more prosperous and peaceful past trying hard to keep reality at bay. Sub-divisions have been building with gates because there is a demand for security in what people see as an increasingly insecure world. As the economy keeps getting worse the demand for gated communities will be the one part of the real estate market that will see an increase.

From the Tribune-Times:

The developer of the new Harrison Park subdivision on Harrison Bridge Road in Simpsonville received permission from Simpsonville City Council to add gates to three entrances into the subdivision.

The city hesitated to give permission for Harrison Park to become the city’s first gated subdivision because it has no ordinance on the books to provide oversight of gated communities and the developer didn’t have an exact request in writing.

After debate in two meetings the council unanimously approved the request, but gave city staff the duty to work out details.

Fred Hathaway wants to add gates at the front entrance and exit on Harrison Bridge Road and also to a side entrance on Hipps Road. Hathaway said he wanted to remain competitive with 17 other gated subdivisions in the greater Greenville area and wanted to add gates to the subdivision that he said offers maintenance-free living and houses from $200,000-$280,000.

He also sought to cut down on building material thefts and rampant four-wheeling that he said have caused safety concerns for builders and two residents who have already bought homes.

City staff held reservations about the proposal because the subdivision wasn’t planned as a gated community, wouldn’t have walls surrounding it and didn’t have room for a turnaround at the secondary entrance on Hipps Road.

Hathaway told the council he would limit the Hipps Road entrance to emergency vehicles and city trash trucks so it wouldn’t require a turnaround. Residents would only use the front entrance, he said.

The developer and eventually the subdivision’s homeowners association would take control of street maintenance because the gates would make them private roads, City Attorney David Holmes said.

Sounds like a win-win unless you’re a thief or vandal. Lots of people are leery of gated communities but they are the future like it or not.

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