Conway council passes ordinance allowing student housing development on 501

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Monday night, Conway City Council approved final reading of an ordinance to allow a student housing development on 501 and Wild Wing Boulevard.

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

Residents have voiced their frustrations about the proposed development in the past at planning commission meetings and several locals against the project showed up to the meeting Monday night.

“With the decision the council made tonight everyone is a winner,” said Patrick Zarcone with Herkshire Hathaway Home Services. “The city will win with the tax revenue. Wild Wing will win with a lower density and lower traffic count than what could be and the CCU and HGTC will be supplied with a safer and better student housing development.”

However, neighbors did not think everyone came away a winner.

“Actually the decision by the board tonight was very frustrating,” said Barbara Eisenhardt, who has been fighting the complex and doing research for months. “We feel like this has been a full time job for us for months and months. They made it sound like, in their opinion, this was in our best interest. We don’t agree with that. We think it’s based on a foundation of sand.”

Eisenhardt spoke during public comment along with four other people from the Wild Wing community. Most of them spoke about safety concerns and also say they don’t want traffic going on to the residential road and backing up at the traffic light.

Monday night’s vote changed the zoning to allow the development. The previous zoning allowed for 528 beds as well as commercial property so the council felt the change would cause less traffic for Wild Wing residents.

Charlie Vatterot, Vice President of Development with Aspen Heights, out of Austin, TX, declined an on-camera interview after Monday night’s meeting.

According to the existing plan, the homes should be built by fall 2018. You can read more about it: here.