Seven Mile Community homeowners express concern over rezoning

Concerns over rezoning near Highway 17 in the Seven Mile Community have caused strife between some residents and Charleston County Council.
Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 4:55 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2023 at 6:02 PM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Concerns over rezoning near Highway 17 in the Seven Mile Community have caused strife between some residents and Charleston County Council.

The Seven Mile Community is located along Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant. Historically, descendants from the Gullah Geechee culture have lived there for over 100 years.

As time and the area evolved and more people and businesses moved into the area, they opted to make the land a commercial light zone. Now, neighbors in the community like Fred Brown Jr. say their land isn’t protected anymore and property owners want to rezone the area to commercial.

“This is what puts most of the people out because businesses have opportunities like they’re doing now to commercialize things,” Brown says.

Brown says it hasn’t worked out at all on his favor and it’s even affecting his mental health.

“This is what puts most people out because businesses have the opportunity to do what they’re doing now, commercialize things,” Brown says, “For all the things we were accommodating in our life are out of the picture when it comes to the ordinance so now businesses can do the very things that disturb our livability rights.”

Brown says the whole area used to be residents. Now business is on both sides of Highway 17.

“We don’t have a say so on what type of businesses come in our community,” Brown says, “They put what they want here whoever buys somebody’s property and real estate then they do what they want to do.

Properties that are zoned commercial can be turned into a restaurant, convenience store or even a liquor store. Neighbors in the community say this alone will disturb their livability rights.

Charleston County Chairman Herbert Sass for District One, primarily north of Highway 17 and Johnnie Dobbs Blvd up to Ivy Hall. Sass says that area is rapidly changing into more of a commercial area and traffic has increased tremendously over the past ten years, with around 52,000 vehicles traveling per day.

Sass says it was a tough call for the county council, but they studied the area, and they want to continue to protect the Seven Mile Community regardless of the transition. Sass says he plans to keep an eye on the commercial property to make sure residents like Brown can live the way he pleases.

“The council members chipped in and talked about it, but I think that in view of what’s going on out there with the growth and everything else that was the best decision we could make,” Sass says.

Councilmember Sass says as far as property taxes go for homeowners in the area, taxes on the individual who is already in the area will at most go up 3 percent, if at all, which is limited by state law. But if they sell their property, the buyer will have to pay the new property tax.

If you live in the area, whether you support or oppose the rezoning, and you want your voice to be heard, the next meeting is set for Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at 4045 Bridge View Dr. in North Charleston.