Just seven miles from the retail center of Lake Wylie, a new development is being carved out along babbling brooks, nearby horse pastures and local farms. Henry’s Glen offers thirty-six homesites ranging from just over an acre up to almost nine acres in size. Crowders Creek runs through the neighborhood, with swimming holes and rocky creek beds for wading and fishing.
May Green Properties, owned and operated by father-son team Tim and Tom Smith of Lake Wylie, began development on this property earlier this year. It is located on Brandon Road, off of Ridge Road in Lake Wylie. The first phase includes seven of the larger lots, and four have already been sold. Covenants for these lots allow horses, barns and second residences for extended families.
Tom Smith is excited about offering this property. “Its location is so serene,” he described. “It’s close enough to Lake Wylie, but far enough away that all you can hear is the wind blowing.”
One of the first lots was purchased by Lake Wylie’s very own Dr. Alan and Elizabeth Hartley. “Our plan has always been to build a home on several acres in Lake Wylie,” said Elizabeth. “We’ve kept our eyes open for something for several years. With so much development in the area recently, we knew our options were becoming more and more limited.”
The Hartleys currently live on the same street as Elizabeth’s mother and sister Nancy, who has special needs. “With the care required for my family, it just makes sense for us to live under the same roof. So we’re planning to build a home in Henry’s Glen to accommodate everyone.”
The Hartleys knew Tom Smith and were aware of his strong reputation within the community, both as an individual and as a developer. When they heard that he was starting work on a new large tract development, they were intrigued.
“It was absolutely what we’ve been looking for,” said Elizabeth. “Nancy will love watching the birds and wildlife, and listening to the creek in the back of the property.”
Elizabeth and Alan chose the lot that had remnants of a stone fireplace from the original home on the property. “That’s really cool,” said Elizabeth, “to have a piece of history on our land.”
The Smiths love the opportunity to honor history within their developments. Patrick Place, for instance, incorporates a historic cabin at the entrance of the neighborhood. Several of May Green communities, including Henry’s Glen, are named after original owners of the land. “It is our way of honoring the heritage and keeping the area’s history alive,” remarked Tom.
Tom Smith sees his company as “The Last of the Mohicans” when it comes to large tract developers in Lake Wylie. May Green Properties is known in the area for its low density, environmentally-friendly neighborhoods such as The Coves on River Oaks, Patrick Place, Vanderlakes and Carolina Coves. These neighborhoods share a winning formula: homesites that are an acre or more in size, plenty of green space and wooded areas, rural settings and custom homes by local builders.
“We’ve met a need in this area for many years. There has been and still is a big demand for natural settings for building homes,” said Tom. “But it is getting harder and harder to do what we do.”
“Building regulations are written for mass grade development,” Smith explained. “But we don’t develop in the same style. Trying to adhere to specific tree counts, stormwater plans and requirements written for high-density development becomes cost-prohibitive and impractical when you try to translate that to a development like ours.”
“It isn’t that we fall below county standards,” Smith continued. “In fact, it’s the exact opposite. We have tree buffers, storm control, and much more green space than any developments in the county. We are vigilant about conservation and erosion control during development, and incorporate maintenance of these in our lot restrictions. But trying to follow development regulations such as tree surveys in buffers around tracts that are eight acres in size is extremely costly. The perimeter buffer shouldn’t even be a requirement in low density developments. We buffer all of the streams and sensitive areas anyhow, above and beyond the requirements.”
Tom has long been an activist in improving county development and planning, and hopes to encourage changes that will make development of large tract homesites easier to navigate. “York County is a beautiful area and has so much to offer our residents,” Smith concluded. “We need to offer a mix of development styles that accommodate all of the different needs and desires of our residents.”