Potential for 1,600 new homes concerns Dorchester County residents
DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Several Dorchester County residents say they are concerned by a developer’s request to rezone around 600 acres to build over 1,600 single-family residential units.
The Dorchester County Council will give a first reading to the request at Monday’s County Council Meeting. The request is to “downzone” over 600 acres off Yerby Road from a Mixed-Use Community District to a Single-Family Residential District to build over 1,600 homes David Chinnis, the Chairman of the Planning, Development and Building Committee and County Council member said.
Despite the “downzoning” several Dorchester County residents said they worry about the effects the development could have on their community. Dorchester County resident Adriaan Kwist said the county is already overdeveloped and that 1,600 new homes will make traffic woes worse.
“The housing issue is more overburdening than the infrastructure there and it creates a lot of traffic gridlock,” Kwist said.
Chinnis said the development agreement outlines around $10 million that developers will put toward improving the intersection of Mallard and Orangeburg Road, and a 50-acre land donation that could be used for a new Dorchester District Two school.
He added that the new zoning would only permit five units per acre compared to the 13 per acre that is allotted currently.
“The traffic, the schools, the crime, all of that is going to be brought to us,” another Dorchester County resident, Arlene Wheeler, said.
She said she shares Kwist’s concerns about traffic impacts but also worries about the filling of wetlands and removal of trees.
“I’d rather see a mobile home park be put there at least they don’t have permanent foundations,” Wheeler said. “And all the trees that would be cut down will cause the wildlife to move in this direction.”
Any wetland-filling would go through the Army Corps of Engineers or DHEC’s Office of Ocean and Resource Management, Chinnis said. He added that Dorchester County has strict guidelines around the removal of grand trees.
“The homes that they are living in probably removed those habitats for the very same animals, it might have been 20 years earlier, but anytime a human being goes in and cuts down a forest to make a house they are taking habitat from an animal,” Chinnis said.
The request will undergo three readings and a public hearing before being finalized. Monday’s county council meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Dorchester County Human Services Building.
The developers listed on the agenda, BRD Land Development, have not yet responded to a request for comment.
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