Controversial James Island projects discussed between state, local leaders

Controversial James Island projects discussed between state, local leaders

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina state leaders, Charleston County council members, Charleston city council members and other local leaders filled James Island Town Hall Monday night to discuss several hot button projects on James Island.

The agenda included discussion about: Dills Bluff Road sidewalk, The Lively development, Rethink Folly Road, traffic signal at Secessionville Road and Fort Johnson Road, proposed traffic signal at Central Park Road and Riverland Drive, Mikell Drive and Harbor View Road traffic signal, Passive Park, update on the Gathering Place and MUSC property at Fort Johnson Road.

Many James Islanders raised concerns about the amount of development on the island.

"We are barrier island," Lifelong James Island resident Elizabeth Singleton said. "The infrastructure does not allow us to do that, develop like we've been developing."

Singleton was among the many who spoke about concerns with the planned Lively development.

"I found out attending the planning commission meeting and boom there it was and it had been in the works for a number of months," Singleton said.

"We are concerned about the density, how many units this development will bring to the site," Planning commissioner chair for Folly Beach Beth Saunders said.

James Island Mayor Bill Woolsey explained developers want to put more than 300 apartments, retail and restaurant space at the corner of Folly and Grimball Roads to create "The Lively."

In order to do that, the property will need to be rezoned.

That rezoning has to be approved by Charleston County.

"I think it's of great concern to all of us," Woolsey said.

The intergovernmental group passed a resolution to oppose the rezoning.

Charleston City Council member Kathleen Wilson is the chair of the intergovernmental group and headed the conversation. She is also over district 12, covering some of James Island.

There was a conversation about James Island's future.

Among the discussion was putting in a traffic signal where Secessionville Road meets Fort Johnson Road, a place where Promad Chopade walks with his son daily.

"When the traffic gets really bad, people try to cut in and out at this corner especially," Chopade said.

He says the intersection can be dangerous.

"You'll see kids, school buses coming in, people weaving in and out of traffic," Chopade said.

For some, like Chopade, a stroll highlights concerns on the island. Those concerns have many hoping leaders in the intergovernmental group will take steps toward change.

The Intergovernmental meeting is held twice a year.

The next meeting will be in October.

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