Emotions run high in fight over proposed townhouse development

Updated: May. 29, 2020 at 3:54 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Emotions ran high Friday during a meeting over a proposed townhouse development on James Island.

Homeowners worried about more flooding are trying to stop the project from happening.

Developers want to build 145 townhomes on 28 acres behind the Charleston Pour House along Woodland Shores Road.

They agreed to meet with homeowners who live nearby.

The homeowners fear the project will bring more flooding to their neighborhoods.

There were several exchanges of words.

Until we are one, consolidated, we’re putting up with two damn different governments,” one woman said.

“Hear me out guys, if we start yelling at each other we’re not getting anywhere, alright?” developer Andy Dreyfus told the crowd.

The folks who packed the Pour House had a lot of questions.

Their biggest question, how will the development handle stormwater to prevent flooding that has plagued the island for years?

Dreyfus says the plan is to have an off-site retention pond to help alleviate flooding.

“I know you’re skeptical, very skeptical but we’re actually going to improve the stormwater situation,” Dreyfus said.

Those who attended the meeting were not convinced.

“It doesn’t make sense to add more development to such a fragile water table, it just doesn’t make sense,” resident Franny Henty said.

“First things first, fix what’s not working first, then let’s do more development,” another woman told the developers.

Flooding is not their only concern. One man told the developers the road that’s supposed to lead out of the development to Maybank Highway will cause more accidents, some of them deadly. He said it will be a tragedy waiting to happen.

City officials say the developers will have to go through a long process to get approval to build the townhomes, and most likely several more meetings like the one on Friday.

The City of Charleston’s director of stormwater says if the townhome project is approved, the developers will be required to follow the new stricter stormwater guidelines that go into effect on July first.

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