Landrum City Council seeks input on proposed Fairwinds Park

Published 12:19 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

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Citizens share hopes and concerns for planning


LANDRUM-On Tuesday, the Landrum City Council held a meeting to get the community’s input and ideas for the proposed Fairwinds Park.

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With roughly 25 in attendance, City Administrator Rich Caplan explained that there will be a special election on November 7 to hold a vote on buying the land for the park, which will cost the city $3.3 million. The grounds span 119 acres behind what will be the Aldi grocery store.

If the land is bought, it would be followed by a raise in property taxes that would last roughly 20 years, Caplan says. A financial advisor would be hired to counsel the city on how to structure the financing.  

“The city and the public want to come up with a plan by the summer, so when voters go to the polls they know conceptually what they’re voting for,” said Caplan. “We will have a conceptual plan to show people. There is no timetable on the property yet. The most important thing is to get it under public ownership.”

Landrum recruited design firm Studio Main of Pelzer, SC to develop a conceptual idea for the proposed park. Blake Sanders, the firm’s president, told citizens that the park is currently in the community planning and workshop phase, which includes stakeholder and public meetings along with illustrations and concept designs.

Sanders’ goals are to provide residents and visitors with a variety of active and passive recreational opportunities like sports, walking trails and picnic areas. Sports took priority for most citizens, followed closely by trails and greenways.

“We need ballfields. Without ballfields, there will be no Landrum youth sports. We don’t want this to only be for the Landrum Youth Association, we want this to be for everyone,” said Landrum’s Brandon Hyder.

“We would like to be able to play tennis, but that is very difficult around here,” added Lielle Dann. “Both of the courts we have available are on school property which makes it difficult. Having something available for the public would be nice.”

Citizens also voiced concerns regarding local wildlife, as well as overdevelopment, safety and maintenance.

“I hope we’re going to have some people involved that are naturalists and tree specialists,” said Madeline Wallace. “Once we take all the vegetation away from an old-growth forest, it destroys the forest. The forest has value, not just aesthetically, but also for our health.”

With roughly 60 to 70% of the property actually developable, the only projected construction restraints come from drainage patterns, creeks and a sewer line that runs through the area.

The next meeting on the proposed park is expected to have two or three plans for presentation, but as of yet has no firm date. Questions regarding the planning of the park can be directed to Rich Caplan at (864) 457-3000.