By Lauren Ratcliffe
Published Aug. 15, 2012
After hearing the concerns of more than a dozen residents, the Mount Pleasant Town Council voted to approve the annexation and zoning of more than 620 acres near the Six Mile community and Fort Palmetto.
The vote to annex the land was unanimous, and most residents who spoke favored the decision, but were concerned with what the fallout from annexation would be.
“I hike that tract of land many times and have been to the fort and am amazed that we have something like that that we haven’t paid any attention to in Mount Pleasant,” said resident John Ryerson. “This tract of land would be a perfect park with the fort as an attraction and the wetlands as an amenity.”
But proposals for the property go beyond a park highlighting the fort. Homebuilder D.R. Horton plans to develop the property to include 593 residential units — a mix of townhomes, single-family detached homes and large single-family homes. The housing subdivision is known as Oyster Point.
Council voted on first reading to zone the land as a Cultural Landscape District. The vote passed 7-1 with council member Thomasena Stokes-Marshall in opposition.
The proposed zoning would limit housing density to three units per acre. Twenty-five percent of the highland would have to be preserved as open space for the public to enjoy.
Outspoken residents complained that the development would create hazardous traffic situations along Six Mile Road. The impact assessment projected worsening conditions at the intersections of Rifle Range and Six Mile roads, and Rifle Range Road and the Isle of Palms Connector.
Residents argued the impact assessment does not accurately project traffic conditions with additional tourists to Fort Palmetto and other developments proposed for the area.
“It really is incredibly dangerous any time in the day,” said Janet Neil, who lives nearby. “I dread when school starts. I dread a holiday when there is no time to pull out.”
Council will vote again next month on a second, and final, reading for the annexation and zoning of the property. Council approved the impact assessment and conceptual plan, which does not require a second reading, by a 7-1 vote, with Stokes-Marshall in opposition.
Reach Lauren Ratcliffe at 843-849-3119.