James Island residents voice opinions against proposed development

The property for the proposed development plan is on Dills Bluff Road and backs up to the Whitehouse Plantation neighborhood.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 11:36 PM EDT

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - Neighbor after neighbor stood before James Island Town Council Thursday night expressing why they don’t want the greenspace where they live turned into businesses and additional homes.

The property for the proposed development plan is on Dills Bluff Road and backs up to the Whitehouse Plantation neighborhood.

A developer has proposed using the land to build around 20 single-family homes and over 20,000 square feet of commercial space.

“We don’t need it,” one resident said. “We don’t have the infrastructure for it, flooding is bad, the roads aren’t good over there.”

“I am strongly opposed to this for the main concern of flooding,” another concerned resident said. “Right now my ditch is full. It does not matter how many surveys or retention ponds you put in, mother nature doesn’t care.”

A third James Island resident said, “If we’re going to develop it, let’s have something that brings something to the community, not just too few individuals.”

After about 45 minutes of hearing from neighbors, when it came time for the council to make a move on the proposed zoning map, the motion died without discussion.

The mayor moved in favor of having the first reading, but no council members seconded his motion.

Councilman Dan Boles said, “If it had passed tonight, it’s still not a done deal, we would’ve had to have a second reading.”

Boles explained that the property is owned by the Public Service District, which means the town can only vote on the zoning which determines what can be built.

“Someone could build tomorrow if they bought it from the PSD and just went with the uses that are approved,” Boles said. “The applicant was asking to expand the uses a little bit and as we heard the town was not in favor of it, so we follow what our residents tell us they want.”

This means the land is still for sale and someone else can make a proposal.

The next step for neighbors looking to put a stop to any development is to voice their concerns to the public service district.