James Island to vote on ban of new hotels, motels

VIDEO: James Island considers ban of new hotels, motels

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A new ordinance could pass Thursday night that would ban any new developments of hotels and motels in certain parts of James Island.

Hotels and motels are currently allowed in the commercial area along the Folly Road Corridor between Ellis Creek and Prescott Street. But that could change if James Island Town Council votes after a final reading to ban hotels and motels along the Folly Road Overlay Corridor.

The ordinance is being considered after council received a proposal to put a hotel near Ellis Creek on Folly Road, where hotels and motels are currently allowed.

Council members say they are in favor of the ban because of concerns residents have regarding too much traffic on Folly Road, not having the proper drainage to support an additional 80 to 100 bathrooms, and because of a 35-foot height restriction for buildings on James Island.

However, not everyone agrees with this ban.

Joe Walter, a Folly Road business owner, says he is against the ban. He says a hotel would have brought lots of additional jobs for many people in the area. He also explained that he and others saw a hotel as part of the growth on Folly Road.

“The message that’s being sent by town council is an anti-business message,” Walters said.

He added that local property owners feel this is the town chipping away at their property rights.

“At first reading, in our last meeting, it passed 4-to-1 to ban hotels. So it’s coming up for public hearing, and it seems likely to me to pass at second reading, that’s this meeting that will be the final reading,” Mayor BillWoolsey said. “So currently hotels are allowed on Folly Road, but likely, after Thursday, they would not be. And this is the central commercial corridor of the town of James Island.”

The James Island Town Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.