Development in historic community not communicated with homeowner: ‘We’re still here’

A new development will bring homes and an inn into Beefield community, where a homeowner says they were not fully communicated with about the project.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 3:50 PM EDT|Updated: 50 minutes ago
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JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A new development will bring homes and an inn into Beefield community, where a homeowner says they were not fully communicated with about the project.

Deborah Green has lived with her family off of Battery Island Drive and Old Folly Beach Road for 50 years. When news of the new development came to the community, many of the elderly residents were confused.

“Communication between the developers have not been really well,” Green said. “The community is not getting a lot of the information and they’re not building a relationship with the community.”

Plans for the project include building about 15 single-family homes as well as an inn with 20 rooms. The neighborhood is currently very small and has one restaurant and bar.

Robert Summerfield, Charleston’s director of planning, preservation and sustainability, said communicating with the public is the developer’s job.

“A planning ethos is always, ‘Communicate with the community, communicate with the community, communicate with the community,’” Summerfield said. “So, when a project first comes to us, you’re going to tell the development team, go talk to the community, depending on the nature of what’s being proposed.”

Green’s family claims the original plans shared with the community included building affordable housing, but now the plans include three to four homes at 4,000 square feet.

Although the neighborhood includes residents who have lived in the area for decades, Green said she is not fighting development, they just want to be told what is going on.

“I think that they need to come and attend one of our association meetings so that they can sit down with the community and let us know what their plans are as a group. Not just saying one person all the time, but investors sit down and talk and tell us about your claim,” Green said. “Then, we will let them know how it affects because after all, once they developed it and leave, we’re still here.”

The developer of the project, Robinson Design Engineers, did not respond to a request for comment.

The next planning meeting for members of the Beefield community to attend will be Oct. 24.