YouTube video

Parents of children attending Doby’s Bridge Elementary School continued their protest of a planned gas station and storage facility near their school on Monday morning.

But a Fort Mill police officer soon told them to move after a complaint by development company Taylor Morrison, according to a video.

“Apparently Taylor Morrison called the cops on us for being on the sidewalk,” protest organizer Rick Hayes said. “Way to look out for the community Taylor.”

Taylor Morrison released this statement late Monday: “Being a residential homebuilder, our company has no direct involvement with this transaction. However, we do have an adjacent new home development in this area. Since safety is our number one priority, we want to take this opportunity to kindly remind our neighbors this development is an active construction job site—including a private property area for potential customers to park then tour our model homes with an authorized company representative. Thank you in advance for understanding our efforts to care for our customers in the most safe and responsible manner.”

Parents have been protesting plans to build a 7-Eleven gas station and a storage facility next to the school, and they have been protesting around the school and trying to get help from town and school officials.

The parent group is currently raising funds to hire a commercial real estate lawyer. They are hoping to find a loophole in the city zoning ordinance to stop the gas station and storage facility from going up near the elementary school. They have currently raised $2,161 and have a goal of $3,500.

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Parents and children display their protests signs outside of a school board meeting last month. (Photo by Greg Rickabaugh/Fort Mill Sun)

Several parents also plan to speak at Tuesday night’s school board meeting about their efforts and requests for help from the district.

One parent said that town and school officials have told them to work with environmental agencies including the EPA to ensure this gas station is safe next to the school. Others are trying to get the school district to move the playground to a location away from the gas station.

Hayes said Taylor Morrison should be ashamed for not going to bat for the children who will be residing in their homes.

“All of this is just extraordinarily mind boggling to me,” he said. “If you check out our website,, we have been pulling research that shows just how harmful this can and will be. The toxins that are going to be emitted will fall and settle either in the air intake, or the play yard. Once the toxins get into the school, that can’t get out, and thus contributing to higher and higher levels of the cancer causing carcinogen, benzene.”


Greg "Ricky Bobby" Rickabaugh has lived in the Fort Mill and York County community since 2006. He has covered the area while a reporter for The Charlotte Observer and a freelance writer for The Fort Mill...