James Island subdivision gets preliminary approval in flood prone area
JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Forty homes could be going up in a James Island Neighborhood with a history of flooding. The cluster subdivision would be off of Central Park Road.
"It's not just our home that floods but we go down Central Park Road daily to get our children to school and the road floods even just at high tide," said community member Lauren Dasher.
Dasher and her family live in the Laurel Park neighborhood and over the last few years are one of many families that have witnessed their neighborhood go under water.
With forty new homes potentially going up in their community, neighbors say it could make a reoccurring problem worse.
"The reason we all came out and spoke tonight is because these decisions affect our everyday lives," Dasher said.
The Charleston Design Review Board did give the preliminary approval of the cluster subdivision but it came with some deep thinking about the people it could impact.
"Just because they met the criteria, I don't feel like that's right, I can't sleep at night and do that," one Design Review Board member said.
Another member said he felt like the project had to be approved.
"We have to approve this. I don't want to approve it, but legally I think we have to," another DRB board member said.
Charleston City Council member William Dudley Gregorie said the property owner needs to be respected, but so do the people who live there.
"Under no circumstances do I feel that we should do anything to affect property rights, but I also think it's very important that we be good neighbors," the council member said. "Anything we develop does not have a negative effect on an existing neighborhood."
Gregorie also said previous cluster subdivisions have a history of causing more flooding on James Island.
"Based upon experiences we've had with other cluster developments in that area, it does have an issue with regard to drainage and flooding in the old original neighborhoods," he said."I don't see this cluster neighborhood will be any different."
Dasher who lives in the neighborhood these homes could be going up says something just needs to be done on how these homes got approved in the first place.
"Changes need to be made to the ordinances," she said."These cluster homes with the low lot line, it's concerning because over and over we see it being passed and there's nothing that the planning commission can do about it. But as they said tonight they see the detrimental effects it can cause."
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