Mt. Pleasant box store proposal on hold for now

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A development battle could be over before it really began. Some people who live in Mt. Pleasant say they don't want big box stores moving into an already congested area of town.

Across from Towne Center, plans have been drawn for three large retail stores on a 40-acre plot of land. A sign at the entrance of the Wando Lakes subdivision in Mt. Pleasant calls for all residents to be there and be heard.

"They've heard our voices and know that many, many members of the Mt. Pleasant community are seriously concerned about this," said resident Amy Hardee. "I'm hoping that is why there is this delay."

Hardee banded together with her neighbors to stop big box stores from being built on the 40-acre property known as the Gregg Tract. The property borders several neighborhoods including Wando Lakes. Neighbors say there are obvious concerns to having the stores in their backyards like loss of property value, traffic congestion and loss of wildlife.

"That will be lost if this development goes in as proposed if this rezoning is allowed," said resident Dan Bell.

As neighbors continue their movement to stop the stores, the developers put off work on the project.

In a statement, Henrich Properties said "as a result of these concerns Henrich Properties has decided to defer its application to the Town of Mt. Pleasant."

"They have a huge investment in this," said Wando Lake home owner's association president Doug Wilgus. "I don't think that they are going to drop it before their first meeting, but I don't think they expected reaction from the community and they are just going to regroup."

Wilgus, like some of his other neighbors, is skeptical. He believes this deferment won't be the end of the debate.

"You can mitigate certain things like the setbacks and traffic but what you can't get rid of the fact it's not one big box but three, and three commercial restaurants," Wilgus said.

According to town by-laws, developers are asked to wait an entire year before they can come back and present the project again in front of the town council, but the developers can request a waiver, and if granted, they won't need to wait an entire year.

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