Proposed West Ashley car dealership brings push back from community

Proposed West Ashley car dealership brings push back from community

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - New plans are in the works for another car dealership along Savannah Highway.

Those plans also come with concerns from people who live near that dealership at 1627 Savannah Highway. The proposed plans to the Charleston Design Review Board are for the construction of a new West Ashley car dealership, Palmetto Lincoln.

The board gave the project preliminary approval Monday night.

People who live in that area have concerns with the design. Some neighbors said there needs to be a loading and unloading area for car carriers bringing vehicles to and from the dealership.

“The problem we have is that the car dealers require space for the building, they require space for their employees, their customers and their display inside and outside,” Charlie Smith said. “If we’re not careful with how that space is used, there is no space for businesses to load and unload their vehicles form the 85-foot-long car carriers.”

Smith said the big concern he has is the car carriers that park in the middle of Savannah Highway.

“The folks driving the trucks load and unload in the center lane of Savannah Highway,” Smith said. “We’ve seen often times two times and sometimes three times the length of the 85-foot car carriers one right after the other. They take about a hundred feet each to do that when you put them in a line you have a block you can’t make a left or right hand turn on that stretch.”

Jacob Lindsey with the City of Charleston’s planning department said that is something the design review board will look at, and public safety is job number one.

“Any time any business comes to the City of Charleston for permitting we work with them about how they handle traffic and loading operations and this one is no different,” Lindsey said. “We’re continuing to work with them to make sure impacts are minimized.”

Smith said there’s been improvement to the new dealership’s design, but said it creates an unsafe intersection at Betsy Road.

“That intersection is very dangerous and to load it up more with commercial car carriers and more traffic coming in and out of that dealership is wrong,” Smith said. “This neighborhood deserves better than that.”

“The city is always concerned about loading and unloading no matter where a property is located,” Lindsey said. “We’ll be working with them to make sure the loading operations minimize any impact to traffic and safety.”

If approved by the design review board it will then have to be go through the technical review process.

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