ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms is moving forward with a lease that would revamp the marina’s restaurant and parking lots, but some who live on the island are raising questions about the area’s future green space.
This week, councilmembers passed the first reading of a lease proposed by the IOP Families Investment Group which would last until 2045. The lease included a parking plan for the marina. However, that plan does not explicitly show any area reserved for green space which has been long promised by the city.
Longtime resident Dr. Gary Nestler said the parking plan has raised more questions than answers for the future of the marina. Nestler said Thursday afternoon that he is happy to see new business coming in and a renovation planned, but says it is unclear where green space will go for residents to enjoy.
“I think what stood out to me is now the level of confusion by the citizens,” Nestler said. “If you look around, I’d like to find out what actually is green space because right now I’m looking at dirt, pavement.”
The city is also currently evicting a watersports company on the marina ahead of the area’s renovation.
The business owner, Michael Fiem said he also wants to know where the green space would be on or around his former business property.
“Their point of getting rid of us is they want to offer a green space to the residents,” Fiem said. “I’ve been contacted by quite a few residents who were for and against green space and they say ‘Hey, where’s that green space they were talking about?’”
Major Jimmy Carroll responded to that question in an email saying, “...it sounds like we will have green space along about 300′ of the outer edge of the waterway but it is still early in the process. Yes, there are some who expected us to have immediate plans but, everything has to be done correctly and by doing so, it takes time...by next summer, the 41st Street marina will be beautiful.”