York County lies southwest of Charlotte at the northern edge of South Carolina. York County grew by nearly 38% in the first decade of this century, and residential developments such as Tega Cay on Lake Wylie and Baxter near Fort Mill came to symbolize the Charlotte region’s growing prosperity. To prepare for this growth, York County became a regional leader in adopting growth management strategies. One of the earliest was a one-cent sales tax for transportation which over the years has supported a number of local road projects, such as the multi-lane widening of SC Highway 5 in western York and the new US Highway 21 bridge over the Catawba River.
Another significant initiative was launched in 1998 to identify and protect some of the county’s most important remaining open space. The York County Culture & History Commission was established not only to oversee the management of an array of county-owned museums and cultural facilities, but also to promote awareness about York’s rich cultural heritage. Successes by some of York’s municipalities have also added to the county’s growing reputation for smart growth. These include the development of the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill and its adjoining Baxter Village (one of the region’s premier examples of “new urbanism”), and ongoing revitalization efforts in Rock Hill, such as the redevelopment of Main Street and the old “textile corridor” between downtown and Winthrop University.