James Island community discusses The Lively development in second public meeting

VIDEO: James Island community discusses The Lively development in second public meeting

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - On Thursday evening developers of The Lively in James Island hosted a second public meeting to get community feedback for the proposed development.

The Lively is proposed to be a mix use development project about 10 acres in size at the intersection of Grimball and Folly Road.

The developer, Orange Capital Advisers, plan to bring about 350 apartments, retail and restaurant space in addition to two parking garages.

There are also plans to bring studio space for artists.

In this meeting there were a lot of passionate people who were against this project. Some say it's not development their against, it's development that's large in size.

"The quality of life for us living here is becoming less of what we want it to be for our families," James Island Resident, Kathy Zellner said.

Residents expressed traffic concerns with bringing a large-scale of development to the James Island area. They also say it floods often in the area from high tides.

"They're not looking at the indirect effect of bringing a building called the lively in the community, it's really not going to bring any life to the community," James Island Resident,Giovanni Richardson said.

Although the land for the development sits in a location that would appear to be the Town of James Island, the land is actually unincorporated parts of Charleston County. That means Charleston County Council will have the authority to determine if they will move forward with the project or not.

If it was owned by the town they could develop it under its own regulations.

Mayor of James Island, Bill Woolsey, says the shops and art studios would be a great addition to the area. However, as the proposal stands now he believes it's too many apartments for the area.

"It's completely unreasonable, it's going to put a lot more traffic on Folly Road and all of us on James Island use Folly Road as one our main corridors," Mayor Woolsey said.

Director of Marketing for the developer, Janet Bates, says people have approached her in support of the proposals.

"They like it because they can come back to their community, currently a lot of these people aren't living in this community they want to come back for their children," Bates said.

She says their interested in paying less for housing in the area... about 50 units or 14% will be considered as affordable housing.

"We don't want to just come out and build and not have them be a part of this process," Bates said.

Bates says they've organized these public meetings to get an idea of what the community wants to see and what it doesn't

Still, people who live close by fear flooding will become worse if the plan is passed.

"Eventually what it's going to do is flood them out of their own property," Richardson said. "This is the Gullah Geechee heritage corridor and I don't think people took that into consideration as well. We have to look at the whole and this area is living history."

The engineers for the project say they are exploring a variety of solutions for storm water management. If the project is approved they will have to meet several levels of requirements concerning water and drainage plans for project.

There will be two more public meetings on the The Lively Project hosted by the developers. For more information on the project visit: www.thelivelyonfollyroad.com.

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