Chapin seeks public input on potential development projects

Posted 1/12/24

The town of Chapin is seeking ideas for how to use a piece of land being surveyed. 

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Chapin seeks public input on potential development projects


The town of Chapin is seeking ideas for how to use a piece of land being surveyed. 

A public meeting, dubbed Chapin Next was held on Dec. 12 and featured discussion of the land that includes more than 40 acres located at 157 Columbia Ave., behind Chapin Town Hall.

The town’s public feedback survey is ongoing, and anyone interested in providing feedback can do so at

Residents from in and out of town attended the event to share their concerns and hopes for the land if the town were to acquire the property. 

As of now, the property is owned by both public and private entities according to Chapin Town Administrator, Nicholle Burroughs.

“Several entities own the land and it's a mix of private and public,” Burroughs said. “Every property that we have identified as a potential participant in this study has all given me permission to work with them. The study does not obligate them to anything.”

According to Burroughs, the land could be used for anything, from town services to residential or business development.

“We’re considering what the market analysis shows us as far as what we can support and what the community is asking for and then what the public needs are as far as infrastructure and additional resources,” Burroughs told the Chronicle. “It's all about taking inventory of all those things and then trying to put together a plan that makes sense for the public.”

The town is working with Arnett Muldrow & Associates, a consulting firm from Greenville.

The firm is helping the town complete a market analysis to determine what type of development will be best for the area. 

Chapin Next requested attendees to vote on ideas by applying red or green stickers to images that depicted possible development ideas. Many voted heavily on retail and entertainment projects while the most negative opinions were steered towards residential development.

“I'm not fond of having apartments or condos,” said Saundra Campa, a Chapin resident. “We have an influx of developments that have already been here and our school district is already taxed out as far as space in the classroom.”

Campa moved to Chapin three years ago seeking an escape from the hustle of her hometown of New York. 

“I moved here for a purpose because it was rural,” Campa said. “That's the lifestyle I was looking for so to see it being developed the way it has been in just the past three years … it’s frustrating.”

“We are a small town and we like being a small town,” she added.

Another concern mentioned at the forum is the possible loss of Chapin’s small-town aesthetic.

“I'm a southerner, I don't want to lose our southern charm,” said Andrea Christiansen, a Chapin resident. “As long as people embrace it when they come here and don't want to make it something different … you know we have a slower pace of life, we don't want a hectic life.”

Attendees expressed concern over the possibility of residential development, citing overpopulation as a cause of several town problems.

“The town is going to have to figure out traffic, a lot of people from all over the country have moved here in the last few years and roads get blocked up easily,” Christiansen said. “If they want more development, they’re going to have to figure that out.”

According to the market analysis being completed by the consulting firm, the 29036 zip code has seen a population increase of 36.7% since 2020.

Several attendees expressed the hope for more green spaces and a town amphitheater similar to the Icehouse Ampitheater in the Town of Lexington. 

“I think more of a green space like walking trails would be good for the town,” Campa said. “A lot of us want a performing arts center and that would also be a good but green space should be prioritized.”

Financial backing for the project has not been explored yet, said Burroughs. 

“It'll really just depend on what we end up planning and what the final product looks like,” the town administrator explained. “Then we'll determine what the best funding mechanisms will be at that time.”

Town officials and residents urge more people to attend input meetings in the future.

“I can't wait to hear more and see more detailed plans and see what the outcome is of the survey,” said Erin Wessinger, a Chapin business owner. “I hate that more people didn't show up, it's very important. I hope more people will keep their eyes and ears open and come to the next meeting.

“The town is working in partnership with the library as far as what their needs are and they have indicated that they have a need to expand. Ours is one of the most utilized branches in the Lexington County Library system but it is also one of the smaller branches in the system.”

Burroughs said she’s uncertain if this property could lead to a potential upgrade of Chapin's library system.

“We know and they know that there will be a need to expand eventually but we don't know the timetable on that,” she said.

chapin development, lexington county land


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