Awendaw sand mine project denied after large community response

The proposed sand mine would be around three acres of land on Lofton Road and North Highway 17.
Published: Aug. 7, 2023 at 10:57 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 8, 2023 at 4:06 AM EDT
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AWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County Board of Zoning Appeals denied a sand mine in Awendaw Monday night after dozens of community members shared their concerns.

Twenty-nine letters of opposition were given to the board ahead of the meeting, with dozens of community members attending the meeting, bringing up concerns about nature, roadways, noise and pollution in the rural area.

The proposed sand mine would be around three acres of land on Lofton Road and North Highway 17, just 900 feet away from Saint James-Santee Elementary and Middle School.

One major concern expressed was the safety of the 215 children who attend the nearby school if the mine was approved.

“Our children are this important as anybody else; they closed the only high school we have,” community member Cynthia Gabbice says. “Our children have so many miles to get to Wando back and forth every day, and if this destroys our children, we don’t know what the side effect of them digging holes now.”

Monday night was the second time the board heard the proposal after deferring it.

The proposed sand mine would be a temporary build and would operate 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday with seven residential lots 100 feet away from the mine.

“I understand the concern from the school, but the school will not see anything will not hear anything will not smell anything.; and while we’re on smell, let me remind you, this is going to be a wet dig, there’s going to be zero discharge from this operation,” Developers Lawyer, Tommy Goldstein, says.

Being located right by Highway 17, the mine would have brought 40 trucks in and outside of the mine each day.

“Turning lanes in and out right across the street from Saint James-Santee are very short, and there’s a lot of traffic,” nearby resident Teresa Danner, says. “If there are trucks coming and going from any direction in any vicinity, whether it’s another access road or not, that’s a severe danger in my opinion.”

The developers could still appeal the decision made by the Charleston County Board of Zoning Appeals.