New development in Ravenel passes unanimously in first reading

A 350-unit housing development in the Town of Ravenel is one step closer to being built.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 10:30 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2023 at 11:39 PM EDT
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RAVENEL, S.C. (WCSC) - A 350-unit housing development in the Town of Ravenel is one step closer to being built.

For some background, the proposed 350-unit development sits on 755 acres of land on Davidson Road, right across the street from Poplar Grove Equestrian Center.

According to the developer’s plans, 131 acres will be preserved as wetlands, 145 acres will be dedicated to green space and park and 25 acres will be for commercial use.

On Tuesday night, the town’s council unanimously approved the development during its first reading with contingencies, including adding a 100-foot buffer for residential areas and restricting gasoline sales, big box stores and boat stacking in the development’s commercial portion.

Some residents who attended Tuesday’s meeting said they are concerned about the impacts the development will have on the town’s infrastructure.

Angela Brown said she has lived in Ravenel her entire life. Brown said she’s not entirely against development in the town, but thinks 350 units will disturb the community.

“I’ve always known it as a rural area-- country. Walking bare feet on a dirt road, watching the birds in the trees, we used to play in the woods,” Brown said. “You’re coming through our village, this is our village, and you’re wanting to force something down our throats”

David Baird lives on Davidson Street-- the same street where the 350-unit development is proposed. He said people live and move to Ravenel for a reason, because it is rural.

“We’re not ready for that. It’s a rural area. It’s meant to be that way,” Baird said. “The road is small, there’s not really a way to expand the road without covering up current sewer lines.”

Mayor Stephen Tumbleston said the development will benefit the community financially and believes it will be noninvasive to the surrounding community.

“The entire Tri-County area is changing, and I don’t particularly like it. I grew up right down the road. I’ve seen the changes; we’re trying to manage that with the developments that we have approved,” Tumbleston said. “All the traffic that you see on Savannah Highway and all of our secondary roads, aren’t from anything that we’ve done in the last couple of years. It’s just the natural progression of the traffic that’s flowing through our town.”

The Costal Conservation League provided one of the comment letters that they sent to Mayor Tumbleston regarding the proposed development.

Although Tuesday’s approval was unanimous, it was just the first reading. The second reading will be held at next week’s town council meeting.

We’ve reached out to the developer for comment and have not heard back at this time.