New developments could be coming to East Side of peninsula

New developments could be coming to East Side of peninsula
Ten years after homes were torn down to make way for the Ravenel Bridge, the east side of downtown Charleston could be seeing some redevelopment.
Wednesday evening the Charleston Planning Commission approved to change the area left vacant by the removal of the Grace and Pearman Bridges to a zoning that new developments could be built on, work force housing.

As part of the zoning description, The City intends to redevelop most of the area into housing that will knit the neighborhood back together.

The new zoning isnt what some people living near the area hoped for, after they were told the community would be rebuilt after being torn down and forcing those who lived there to leave.

Laina Adams was in the community for all of it, and remembers it well.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - "They told them they had to move but they had no idea of what was going on," Adams said.

The city said the goal is re-knit the community ten years after the homes were torn down, but Adams is worried that won't be the case, "I know taxes will be going up higher and they say they was gonna build affordable housing for the people who lost their homes when they rebuilt the bridge and I don't believe it's going to happen."

Jacob Lindsey is the Director of Charleston Planning, Preservation and Sustainability and said taxes would have a limit on how much they could go up.

"One of the great things about our state is the state of South Carolina protects individual property owners for tax increases so they have a limit on the amount of the increase their taxes will see over a period of time," Lindsey said.

Adams still worries that this new development will be too high for the people who were forced to leave the area, to come back to, "the prices will be so high the people will not be able to afford to live in that area," Adams said.

"We are working with our partners with our housing authority as well as our city's own department of housing to deliver high quality housing to this area at all levels. Both the lowest income and the work force income. Which is 80-120 percent of the median," Lindsey said. "Meaning low income levels as well as average income levels will be able to live in this housing where the old cooper river bridges once stood," Lindsey said.

However the long-time resident who has witnessed so many changes over the year said this isn't at all what she was hoping the city could to bring back the community.

"They haven't fulfilled the promise, no they hasn't," Adams said.

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