Charleston Co. seeks input for revitalizing DuWapp community

VIDEO: Charleston Co. seeks input for revitalizing DuWapp community

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County and the City of Charleston are still seeking input and suggestions for the DuPont/ Wappoo Community Plan.

The area spans East of Sam Rittenberg Boulevard to just East of Wappoo Road, and South of Ashley River Road to the West Ashley Greenway.

Charleston County Council held a public hearing on June 7, 2016 to receive public comments on the project. At that meeting, Council directed staff to hold another community meeting to discuss the community plan and overlay zoning district with the public and gather additional input.

That meeting was scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Middle School on Wappoo Road.

The plan looks to revitalize the area and highlight pride points such as West Ashley's strong sense of community, great neighborhoods, local businesses, and unique parks and public spaces.

Seed of Life Collective moved in to a building off Wappoo Road in June.

The founders say they were drawn to this area of West Ashley because of the central location.

"We love the fact there's community all over West Ashley and there's such a variety," said Co-Founder Melody Rogers. "There are so many yoga studios, so many holistic centers, and we were looking for a space."

Changes are in the works for the area and Rogers' co-founder, Andrew Dean, wants to see more local businesses thrive.

"Really just building them up as much as possible," he said. "Providing different sub-leasable spaces, providing good transportation areas, and really making sure we keep up with the community."

The plan seeks to encourage local businesses by providing incentives for redevelopment of commercial properties, and upgrade and utilize old shopping centers and the mall.

They would also like to see the uniqueness in visual appeal spread throughout the DuWapp area.

"We need to make sure people are happy, and make sure we have good places for people to work and people to build and grow their businesses as individuals," Dean said.

County and City officials looked at the building designs for Boxcar Betty's, Coastal Kids Dental & Braces, and Harvest Bible Chapel Charleston to be emulated throughout the area.

"Our business is based off balance, so it's a balance between the people, what they need, what the environment needs to actually sustain that amount of people," Rogers said. "I think there's a huge balance that has to stay in order for all of us to survive."

The plan would also change some of the zoning in the immediate area.

Under the new overlay zones, some businesses like pawn shops, superstores, fast food restaurants, and gas stations wouldn't be allowed.

Some areas would also put a limit on building heights along Savannah Highway, and major apartment complexes.

The community plan also looks at the environmental factors of the area.

Dean and Rogers would like to see a common place created.

"Like the Greenway, running track, the outside atmosphere, and the place where community events can take place," Dean said. "That should really be put together."

"[The Greenway] almost disappears into parts of West Ashley," Rogers added. "It's such an amazing area. There's no other place in Charleston that has this long amazing place you can run and do other activities."

The City of Charleston will also hold a public hearing on this plan Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

The County Council will hold its second public hearing on the plan Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m.

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