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krazeeboi

The downside of growth

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The growth in the Mt. Pleasant area has really been negatively affecting the basket-weaving residents, even causing some to abandon roadside stands where they display their craft (which has been designated as the state's official craft). For this purpose, a special task force has been formed to attempt to place the basket weavers on the National Register for Historic Places. The highway 17 corridor has been mentioned as a candidate to receive the designation.

This article also reminded me of an earlier one in which I read about a lifelong resident of one of the sea islands in the Charleston area (was it St. Thomas island?) whose property taxes have increased ten-fold since the opening of the Clark Expressway, which has made the island readily accessible. The land has been in her family for many generations, and at one point she was offered $1 million for her property, which she refused.

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Actually, this situation from Hungry Neck has been the main catalyst for one town council member to consider seceeding from Chas County and either being added to Berkeley County or creating a new county called Wando.

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I was just in that area this past weekend for a wedding. And honestly, and even more than that ironically, Mount Pleasant is the only place in Charleston where you can drive through and see the Gullah culturally being naturally lived.

Downtown, you go on the Market and see people out there selling baskets. Thats something purposely done. But in Mount Pleasant, EVEN WITH all that growth. Even with the constant roaring traffic (we witnessed this first hand as my girlfriend who is from Edisto Island made a comment about how bad the traffic is. Which made me explain to her about these articles that have been in the Post & Courier the past few days), yet and still the few houses that do remain on 17 North the people are still living authentic Gullah culture. Of course you can go on Johns Island, James Island, Wadmalaw and Edisto, or parts of Daniel Island, etc...and see the inhabitants. You might see something. But in Mount Pleasant, its right there for the masses to see it up close and personal, yet lived so naturally. The islands are secluded and far away from everything. Hopefully we can preserve and keep as much of this part of Charlestons culture and history alive. Regretfully from the looks of it that battle is already lost.

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Good news: Dozens of sweetgrass basketmakers whose stands dot U.S. Highway 17 east of the Cooper River will receive special consideration from the town under a proposal approved by the planning commission. The sweetgrass basketmaker measure was part of a package of land-use recommendations in the just-released Highway 17 Task Force report that was presented to the commission Wednesday night. The report called for the town and Charleston County to work together to recognize and protect sweetgrass basketmakers by establishing an "overlay" zoning district for a 1 1/2-mile stretch of U.S. 17 from Long Point Road to Porchers Bluff Road.

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Good news: Dozens of sweetgrass basketmakers whose stands dot U.S. Highway 17 east of the Cooper River will receive special consideration from the town under a proposal approved by the planning commission. The sweetgrass basketmaker measure was part of a package of land-use recommendations in the just-released Highway 17 Task Force report that was presented to the commission Wednesday night. The report called for the town and Charleston County to work together to recognize and protect sweetgrass basketmakers by establishing an "overlay" zoning district for a 1 1/2-mile stretch of U.S. 17 from Long Point Road to Porchers Bluff Road.

This is indeed good news but will it be enough? If you look at the long term, how long will these people and their families be able to afford the cost of life in Mt. Pleasant? There's a good chance they could be priced and taxed off their property like what's happening in downtown Charleston and the southern barrier islands. If they are forced to move and scatter to find affordable housing, than this unique culture could be lost.

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Good points, but at least this is a start. I wonder how this would tie into a possible historic landmark designation?

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Good points, but at least this is a start. I wonder how this would tie into a possible historic landmark designation?

It looks like there is a possibility for federal funding assistance if they can receive a National Historic Landmark designation. This appears to often be a prerequisite for receiving state and local funding for historic landmarks. Maybe this would help to reduce the possibility of astronomical taxes forcing the basket weavers and their families to leave the area.

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Good news: Dozens of sweetgrass basketmakers whose stands dot U.S. Highway 17 east of the Cooper River will receive special consideration from the town under a proposal approved by the planning commission. The sweetgrass basketmaker measure was part of a package of land-use recommendations in the just-released Highway 17 Task Force report that was presented to the commission Wednesday night. The report called for the town and Charleston County to work together to recognize and protect sweetgrass basketmakers by establishing an "overlay" zoning district for a 1 1/2-mile stretch of U.S. 17 from Long Point Road to Porchers Bluff Road.

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Great news! The Lowcountry and the state risked losing one its greatest cultural assets if proactive measures weren't taken to protect this unique craft. Awesome! :yahoo:

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This is good news. Still, the culture of the city dissapearing oh so quickly. Downtown Charleston might as well be a mall Anyplace, USA and a ton of houses downtown are now vacation or second homes for folks from above the Mason-Dixon.

I know that growth is good, but I do wonder what the the local culture will look like even 20 years from now? Will downtown simply become a museum for tourists? If my visit home back in November is any indication, there won't be a Charleston brouge heard anywhere but in an audio file (waitress at Rue de Jean was from Boston, bartender at the Sandollar was from Chicago, bank teller at BofA in Mt Pleasant was from Florida).

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It seems as though the growth in Mt. Pleasant is negatively affecting the basket-weaving culture in yet another way--the actual sweetgrass doesn't grow in abundance like it once did. Basket weavers have had to go as far away as Kiawah Island and Savannah to gather sufficient amount of the plant in order to make baskets. I saw the article in either The State or the P&C but can't find it.

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