Community raises concerns over Summerville development: ‘It’s everywhere you go’

The Dorchester County Planning Commission approved more development for the town of Summerville Thursday evening.
Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 10:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2023 at 11:25 PM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Dorchester County Planning Commission approved more development for the town of Summerville Thursday evening.

Located at 1315 Orangeburg Rd., the development near the Mallard Road intersection will include 75 single-family homes in an area some Summerville residents say is already becoming too developed.

The over 40-acre project has been in the works for a few years with approval from the county and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control back in March.

One major concern with the project that the planning commission discussed at June’s meeting revolved around traffic flow in the area if the development was approved.

A representative for the developers during Thursday’s meeting said a traffic impact analysis conducted back in 2021 on the Orangeburg and Mallard Road intersection showed the approved development would increase traffic by 3%.

“More traffic means more people, and that means more people having to look out for each other, which a lot of people are not always looking out for each other,” Summerville homeowner Barbra Herbruck said. “What’s going to be an issue is how it affects the community.”

The representative added that during the traffic impact analysis, it was shown that the intersection currently operates at an undesirable service to drivers even before the development.

“We need to limit the development until the infrastructure can catch up,” another nearby homeowner Glenn Stephens said. “It’s everywhere you go; that’s the problem.”

As areas of the Lowcountry continue to grow, Herbruck and Stephens said they are not against growth, but there must be a smart way of doing it.

“We’re not spending enough money on the roads, the electric system, the water systems, the school system, to support this,” Stephens said. “We just don’t have the money; our roads are falling apart, and we just can’t really support what’s going on.”

Land near the approved Orangeburg Road development also includes newly constructed townhomes and homes.

“You have to add on to accommodate that growth,” Herbruck said

Members of the Dorchester County Planning Commission have not yet responded to requests for comments.