James Island incorporation may hinge on cropping neighborhood

Attorney Trent Kernodle speaks to Town Council
Attorney Trent Kernodle speaks to Town Council

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The only thing that stands in the way of James Island becoming incorporated may be one neighborhood. Tuesday, at the James Island town council meeting, that community went under the microscope and may soon be on the chopping block.

Attorney Trent Kernodle, who has been an active member of James Island's last two incorporation attempts, urged the council, "If you want another town you start now."

Kernodle says this time he sees a clear path to township but it will stir things up.

"They've given us a road map of how to form a town," says the attorney.  "It's not as large as the one that you have today. There's a certain section that's left out."

He says that section is the neighborhood of Riverland Terrace. Kernodle believes if the neighborhood is left out of incorporation plans from this point forward, there won't be a reason for the South Carolina Supreme Court to deny James Island, Township.

Kernodle says the neighborhood is the main reason the SC Supreme Court denied the incorporation the third time around. Riverland Terrace doesn't connect to the rest of James Island's land holdings and is too large to stand by itself.

The interesting thing is it's separated by one lot. A lot that was annexed by the City of Charleston.

"During the incorporation effort, the City of Charleston managed to annex this lot," says council member Leonard Blank pointing to a map, "which broke continuity and excluded it from the town."

Blank says the lot was annexed during the last incorporation attempt to make it harder on James Island to become a town. And the councilman thinks it could be happening again.

"We're afraid they're even doing this today," says Blank. "Going out and trying to annex property to block us from trying to create another town. This is one of the efforts they did and they were very successful at it. So that's why Riverland Terrace has to remain out."

The council didn't decide on the fate of the Neighborhood at Tuesday's meeting but the matter has to be addressed soon since the town has 15 days to send a petition the Supreme Court for a rehearing.

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