Conway residents “very frustrated” with proposed student housing development

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Members of the Wild Wing Community are not happy with a proposed student development on Highway 501.

“I’m very frustrated,” said Barbara Eisenhardt, who lives in the community.

The development, called Aspen Heights, would consist of nearly 150 cottage-style homes with 514 total beds.

“We’re concerned now because we’re talking about 500-something students plus their guests are now going to be entering and exiting on Wild Wing Boulevard 24 hours a day,” said Eisenhardt.

Around two dozen residents expressed similar concerns at Thursday night’s Conway Planning Commission meeting.

“Safety is always number one in our minds and we have already witnessed way too many accidents on Wild Wing Boulevard,” added Eisenhardt.

Residents don’t want traffic going on to the residential road and backing up at the traffic light. They’ve suggested another route be put in to bring traffic to a different traffic signal.

“They’re going to cut through our neighborhood so it’s going to disturb what’s always been a residential corridor,” added Eisenhardt.

Conway Planning Director, Adam Emrick, said the residents brought good concerns but believes traffic needs to go on Wild Wing Boulevard.

“We could make them all go out of Highway 501 and cross 501 with left turns but that would be irresponsible of us at a city and it would be dangerous, of course, for students to be doing that,” he added.

Emrick also said he could think of 10 worse developments that could be going into the vacant lot and hopes Aspen Heights can be a positive thing for the community.

“People who have driven on 501 have seem the remnants of a failed student housing project, that was the Coastal Estate student housing project,” he said. “This is a project that will get rid of that terrible eyesore.”

After hours of debate, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the development. There will be a public hearing on June 19 at the City Council meeting.

If the new development is approved, the plan is for the homes to be built by fall 2018.

This battle with the city comes a few months after Wild Wing residents fought about a new Aldi going in on Wild Wing Boulevard.

That project passed and a car wash will also be going in next door.