Neighbors win re-zone overdevelopment fight in Mt. Pleasant

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 9:41 PM EDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 11:51 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - The Shemwood One neighborhood in Mt. Pleasant is celebrating a re-zoning win against overdevelopment. Their motto is keeping the Lowcountry land low-density.

The group showed up with dozens of people wearing red to a planning commission meeting to stop a re-zone that would change land next to theirs from low density to medium density.

Those neighbors say they aren’t against a developer building a few more homes next to their homes over on Russell Drive off of Coleman Boulevard, but they don’t want the land re-zoned to allow too many houses.

They say they live in Mt. Pleasant because it’s different and want to protect the feel of the town.

“In order for Mt. Pleasant to remain different growth has got to be controlled. We don’t want to continue changing low-density to turn our town into a big city. I think our collection of 10 to 15 pages of signatures against this rezoning speaks volumes to how we all feel,” says Angela Bridgefield, a Shemwood One Resident.

Neighbors cited traffic, a nearby school where kids walk and ride bikes, drainage, and the natural land as reasons to stop the re-zone.

The city did note at least three historic trees on the property that would have to be protected.

“That’s part of our scenery. I sit out on my back porch at night, I listen to the frogs, I listen to the crickets, I sit under those oak trees, and to do this rezoning would change the dynamic of my entire backyard,” says Karen Campbell, a Shemwood One Resident.

Despite developers saying they would work around trees, neighbors say there’s no need to re-zone the land.

The current low-density would allow for 17 houses to be built. The re-zone to medium-density could allow between 20 and 24. The commission agreed with the people in Shemwood One neighborhood.

Commissioner Kathy Smith initiated a motion to deny saying in terms of development, she wants to listen to the people already in the area.

“I think we have an obligation to existing homeowners whenever we’re dealing with a project to do it in a way that’s really sensitive to the people that are already living there, to protect their property values, to protect their quality of life,” says Smith.

Commission Member Gary Davis seconded her motion.

“Mt. Pleasant is getting overdeveloped right now. I think if the owner of this property wants to come back with an alternate plan… more acceptable to the people who live in the area that will not infringe on the quality of life, then they can come back to the board again,” says Davis.

The entire board voted to deny the re-zone. Neighbors left the meeting feeling relieved and open to the idea of developing some houses on the land with the zoning as is.

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