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Land near African American historical area in Ridgeville could be rezoned

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 11:33 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2021 at 11:49 PM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - One hundred and seventy-six acres of land near Ridgeville could be rezoned from agricultural residential to commercial light-industrial.

“We’re not gonna stop. We’re gonna continue to let our voices be heard,” Tim Lewis said.

About a dozen people spoke against the possible rezoning during a public hearing.

They had three minutes to explain why 176-acres of land should not be rezoned for possible industrial use.

Just one of those speakers was in favor of the proposal. He was an engineer who said he was working with the property. He said they are listening to the community and their concerns.

Those who spoke against the rezoning included the Charleston Preservation Society and the Coastal Conservation League. But mostly, it was members of the Ridgeville and Coburn Town community.

“There’s no way in and out of that area without going through a community. And it happened to be historic African American communities,” Todd Vollertsen said.

Some of the concerns expressed by speakers included safety, pollution, property values, and the preservation of the historic African American community.

Some said they understood that growth and industry in their community is important. But they want members of county council to work directly with the community to develop a better solution.

“Every person that spoke from Coburn Town said we realize that growth is coming, we realize this is an opportunity to change,” Lewis said.

At the end of the meeting, there was a promise from a councilman.

“I promise every one of you that I will do everything in my power to make sure that I protect the communities from the negative impacts of that development,” said District 2 Councilman David Chinnis.

Council passed the second reading of the rezoning. Chinnis said it must now go through a third reading.

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