Proposed development brings up flooding concerns on James Island

Proposed development brings up flooding concerns on James Island

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A development plan on James Island may add new homes to a neighborhood with a flooding problem.

A permit renewal was submitted to Charleston’s technical review board this past week to continue a project that adds 15 lots to Howle Avenue.

If the project were to be fully approved, construction would take place on Howle, Flemming, and Stephen Avenue.

Residents were concerned that the development would infill the wetlands at the end of Howle.

The neighborhood already experiences major flooding issues and old infrastructure and poor drainage could be to blame.

One James Island resident said instead of protesting the new development, she wants to encourage that the existing flooding on Howle Avenue be addressed.

April Magill has lived in that neighborhood for 10 years.

She said the drainage ditches by her house always fill up and flood around her home, and this could add to the problem.

“We’re concerned that if they infill down there, they’re going to be at a higher elevation," Magill said."So that’s even more storm water that’s going to come down here and not have anywhere to go.”

The Communities and Transportation project manager for the Coastal Conservation League said that this is something we’re seeing more of recently.

The flooding problem in neighborhoods is becoming more common, and Betsy La Force said developments could exacerbate the issues.

“The Coastal Conservation League is opposed to placing new infrastructure in harm’s way," La Force said."New developments in flood prone areas will exacerbate the flood issues that already exist.”

The director of planning for Charleston, Jacob Lindsey, said that the city is dedicated to looking at flood problems.

He assured that they would make sure that the development does not negatively impact storm water maintenance.

The plan has resulted in a “revise and resubmit” by the board, and it is currently under legal review.

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