We congratulate: Simpsonville for listening to residents

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Whether you think the Simpsonville Commission ultimately will make the proper decision on rezoning for an outlet mall, you have to appreciiate commissioners' taking public comment.

We are proud of the Simpsonville City Commission for its handling of the zoning change application by Horizon Properties Group, which wants to build an outlet mall on the southern side of the city.

Whether you support the zoning change for 24 acres from Agriculture  and Commerical to Interchange – making the parcel absolutely appropriate for the mall – or support construction of the mall itself, surely you must feel that due process has been well served.

In fact, we wish that every developer and government entity took such care to follow the rules and open its ears to hear what residents have to say about those plans and the applicable rules and processes against which they are measured.

Both Horizon and its across-the-road competitor, Paragon/Trio Properties, took care to hold meetings to explain their plans and take questions. They participated in the public hearings that so far have conducted. Triple S Planning Commission had its required hearing, and Simpsonville opted to do so as well.

We realize there remains acrimony about this and suspicions that it does not adhere technically to the comprehensive plan. Those issues can remain debated as long as is necessary.

But what we support here is the commissioners’ decision not only to take the recommendation by Triple S for immediate and public consideration but also to answer questions from residents about this process, this plan and how the city might view it.

The commission doubtless will return on Sept. 19 and give final approval to the ordinance that formalizes the zoning change. Horizon will then move forward toward turning dirt in the construction process next spring.

Next will be Paragon/Trio’s approach to Triple S on the same strict runway of review and public comment. We hope it will get the same full discussion, disclosure and dispersal.

Whether or not it is approved will be seen, but we are surely glad the people are being heard.