Hundreds attend meeting to hear plans to revitalize the West Ashley area called 'DuWap'

VIDEO: Hundreds attend meeting to hear plans to revitalize the West Ashley area called 'DuWap'

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Hundreds filled St. Andrews Middle School Wednesday evening to hear, and brainstorm, plans to revitalize the DuPont-Wappoo area called, "DuWap."

Charleston city and county leaders presented ideas and information gathered through prior workshops. 
They explained planners are working to give the area facelift.

In a presentation that lasted about an hour, both city and county planners took to the podium and outlined ideas to beautify the area, make it safer, develop it, fix flooding issues and more.

First, there was a recap of what was learned from the summer workshops. 
Planners explained many want to see better coordination between the city and county, safer neighborhoods, more green space and park development, more community development and more.

Then, planners explained community elements like how to enhance West Ashley's image and highlight the pride points.

Next, land use, zoning and design standards were discussed. Many expressed they wanted to see height limits on buildings, fewer car dealerships and more.

"The city and the county have been coordinating to draft requirements," said one planner.

Then, economic development and revitalization was explained.

"We heard from you that we really need to make sure we are supporting local businesses," said one presenter.

Developers discussed revitalization incentives like grants and the reduction of permit processing.

Next, City of Charleston Director of Planning Christopher Morgan laid out details on traffic and transportation.

There is a comprehensive study underway right now for the DuWap area that will help direct leader in the right direction. Morgan said it's similar to the study just completed on Folly Road, called "Rethink Folly Road."

Morgan explained signal synchronization and improvements are also in the works.

"It's not the complete answer, but it can help things," said Morgan.

Morgan explained leaders are looking into improvements at the intersections of: Savannah Highway and Dupont Road, Savannah Highway and Orleans Road, and Savannah Highway and Wappoo Road.

Morgan said another key aspect of these improvement is bicycle and pedestrian safety.

He explained leaders are working to have the West Ashley greenway link to the bikeway in a more efficient and safe way.

Next, planners explained there is a study underway on stormwater and drainage in the area.

Finally, the streetscape and beautification of the DuWap was explored.

The city of Charleston urban designer Jacob Lindsey explained ideas in the works, like having palm trees line Savannah Highway.
He explained beautification ideas like having businesses put their parking lots behind their buildings.

In the end, many were hopeful.

"The county and city staff have really worked hard to put a good outline together and they've got a good direction," said Lee Gastley, who live just outside the DuWap area. "We've got to follow through on it now."

Copyright WCSC 2016. All rights reserved.