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vicupstate

Long Savannah

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3,000 acres, 4,800 Homes may come to West Ashley; Annexation likely

This could be the next Battle Royale. Will Charleston reject this on grounds it is outside the growth boundary, or will it go forward? Will a compromise be worked out?

How this turns out could set a tremendous precedent for the entire county. Will efforts to limit sprawl from rural areas have teeth or not? Could be real interesting.

Can the moderator correct my typo please!

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so after this development there won't be any development in that area of the county?

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No.

There is a boundary outside of which suburban density developement is discouraged. This project is outside of that boundary. Development INSIDE of the boundary can continue subject to the respective zoning laws.

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What's really weird about this development is that Dana Beach of the Coastal Conservation League is a strong supporter.

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Wow, that is odd for Dana Beach to actually support development, but if that is the case, the project must be less of a problem than what the newspaper is reporting it to be. I actually thought the acting city planning director, Chris Morgan, had a pathetic response for the issue. "There's been some discussions...potentially some of it could be in the city..." What the hell? It seems like the word "some" is the buzz word for his department. He obviously didn't know much about the project, or he wants to place the city in a noncommittal light before things begin to heat up.

I personally believe the urban growth boundary is too restrictive, especially when all of the other suburbs such as Summerville, Mt. P, Goose Creek, and the north city are annexing land with an astounding rate. It would be very foolish for Chas to not annex this property, which would really enhance West Ashley as the next high growth area...taking the demand away from Mt. P and Summerville. Plus, it would add to the city of Chas' population and relevance in the metro area. More restaurants and shops could be added to the West Ashley Town Center and Citadel Mall, making it a retail hub for more of the people who live in the central parts of the area.

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I personally believe the urban growth boundary is too restrictive, especially when all of the other suburbs such as Summerville, Mt. P, Goose Creek, and the north city are annexing land with an astounding rate.

This is exactly why urban growth boundaries only make sense at the regional level and not at the municipal level. What good does it do for the city of Charleston to deny a Wal-Mart when it will just get built a few miles out in any direction?

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I thought the growth boundary was for all of the Trident counties. Is it just for Charleston County?

It seems as though the opposition is to the ROAD widening, and not to the development itself. If so, I don't quite understand how it is impossible to only widen an existing road, rather than just create a new one. After all this thing is 3,000 acres. There is only ONE place a road can go to access the site?

Most environmentalists aren't opposed to development in and of itself, they merely want it to be done in a model superior to the suburban sprawl one. This development must fit their criteria to get there seal of approval.

As for the planning guy, a city employee is not going to put himself in the middle of a public controversy. That is the job of the public policymakers. Putting words in the city's mouth, will get a bureaucrat fired. The DEVELOPER says the whole thing will be annexed, so if it goes through, I would expect that.

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Good point, vic. I just would like city officials to quit b.s.-ing people, you know? They just need to tell it like it is. You're also right about the developer. If he's looking to get the whole property annexed, I don't think the city will hesitate on that one. The road situation perplexed me, as well. The P & C did not provide a map, which makes it far more difficult to see why the 4-lane road can't be built elsewhere. Look for the developer to announce another route...the Red Top section is very small, so I think it could be bypassed altogether.

The urban growth boundary was not a regional commitment, it was just an agreement set by Chas County and the city. The Council of Governments (COG) is a joint committee of all three metro area counties that does discuss growth issues, but it does not have any set policies or agreements such as this one.

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Wow, that is odd for Dana Beach to actually support development, but if that is the case, the project must be less of a problem than what the newspaper is reporting it to be.

The developers got the Coastal Conservation League involved early and the organization seems to have had a lot of influence on its design. I remember Dana Beach saying that this development could be the "downtown" for that area of West Ashley. However, I wonder if he wasn't a bit co-opted by the developers. After all, would teh developers have consulted him if they hadn't been outside of the Urban Growth Boundary? Either way, I'm keeping an open mind for now. The only thing I worry about is Hollywood and Ravenel annexing all the way up to this development and then approving a bunch of other subdivisions, pretty much making the smart growth aspect of the whole thing moot.

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its my understanding that the urban growth boundary is a services boundary for CPW. Basically, to build outside of this area, you need to find another source for water and sewer than Charleston CPW.

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I'd be willing to bet that certain political pressure will ask the CPW to expand its growth boundary to include this development. The CPW is a city-owned entity, if I'm not mistaken.

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I'm currently in the process of reading Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream by New Urbanism pioneers Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck (very good read), and instead of an urban growth boundary that tends to get pushed further and further out with time, it advocates the establishment of a permanent Countryside Preserve which sets aside multiple parcels of conservation land independent of their relationship to the center city. Unlike urban growth boundaries, the Countryside Preserve is essentially a rural boundary which is dictated according to the terrain of a particular region. There are certain areas dictated to be permanent countryside, including waterways, wetlands, marshes, wildlife refuges, scenic areas, agricultural land, current and future parks, etc. It has also been argued that such preserves have significant ties with the urban parks system. Temporary Countryside Preserves can also be established, which would be land slated for future, high-quality development which encourages density. The Charleston area is the perfect candidate for such measures, given the variety and richness of the landscape.

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The question is for commuters using US 17 northbound, can the 4 to 6 lane Savannah Hwy boulevard handle any more traffic between 526 and the Ashley River? When this development is completed, the I-526 missing link is going to become even more needed. Sadly, if this is not enough to get the I-526 missing link completed, I hope the county & city can come up with park & ride facilities because i do not think US 17 will be able to handle any more traffic heading into town because it is reaching near full capacity.

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No.

There is a boundary outside of which suburban density developement is discouraged. This project is outside of that boundary. Development INSIDE of the boundary can continue subject to the respective zoning laws.

The word "discouraged" is the key word here. Its not like Portland where it just doesn't happen. Its discouraged... which means that it can happen. Something of this scale is scary in a sense. You are talking about a pretty low density too, though I woudl assume that there will be other uses involved in this development.

Where is the urban growth boundary.... can anyone provide a map?

Also- if people in Charleston really don't want developments like this, then they need to push for denser developments and more redevleopment of existing areas. I know this is already happening in some palces, but it should happen more frequently. We keep hearing about large scale suburban developments, but they aren't anything impressive with the exception of their size.

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Thats probably it. You can't call it a growth boundary here, because its not one. That thing won't really be effective for anything except southern Charleston County unless they can get it all the way around the Charleston metro.

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It sounds as if an alternative to widening the Bear Swamp Rd can be found, that this could go through. It sounds as if it is a win-win as currently planned. However, the precedent that would be set is VERY important to consider. How do you make an exception now and not later on a future project? Should be an interesting story to follow.

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The biggest thing we want to look at here is when these set boundaries can become "set in stone". If you can get them expanded, then the boundary becomes nothing but a different form of zoning. And again, if you want to establish a real urban-rural boundary, it must be established by a formal pact for each governmental entity in the entire metro area.

Well, this story will be interesting. Annexation is going to happen, more than likely. Hmmm...of course, if Chas was a more unified municipality rather than a conglomeration of a core city and surrounding suburban municipalities, this boundary could really be enforced!

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^Or even if such planning were done on a regional level instead of a city/county level, that would make a huge difference.

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So-called "new urbanism" has not realized its much touted promise. Another fad that will end up in the dustbin of architectural history. Ethnic strife and the resulting demographic migrations are the cause of the collapse of America's cities, no amount of cutesy overpriced "new urbanist" developments will cure that.

I'm currently in the process of reading Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream by New Urbanism pioneers Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck (very good read), and instead of an urban growth boundary that tends to get pushed further and further out with time, it advocates the establishment of a permanent Countryside Preserve which sets aside multiple parcels of conservation land independent of their relationship to the center city. Unlike urban growth boundaries, the Countryside Preserve is essentially a rural boundary which is dictated according to the terrain of a particular region. There are certain areas dictated to be permanent countryside, including waterways, wetlands, marshes, wildlife refuges, scenic areas, agricultural land, current and future parks, etc. It has also been argued that such preserves have significant ties with the urban parks system. Temporary Countryside Preserves can also be established, which would be land slated for future, high-quality development which encourages density. The Charleston area is the perfect candidate for such measures, given the variety and richness of the landscape.

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Well, my post wasn't about New Urbanism per se, but New Urbanism is simply an old concept (urbanism) in new packaging. Whether or not one is a fan of the movement or not, the fact that it's bringing traditional urbanism back into the limelight is a good thing. But you are correct in implying that we've got to get to the root causes of suburban dispersal.

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While its true that New Urbanism is neither new, nor urban (in most cases) it has the potential to be useful. I know that I have spoken out against it before, but you must understand why. When it is done correctly, it can work. Here in SC, you typically have new urban devleopments like I'On and Baxter Village, etc. That are merely suburbs with an urban twist.

There are some examples of New Urbanism that work. The key thing that makes them work is that they are already in an urban environment, and they are just built as and extension of that. In Pittsburgh at the site of an old amusement park (I think) there is a New Urbanist development that has proven to be rather successful. More locally, there is a New Urbansit Development going into Columbia that is a fantastic example of how it can work.... the new Bull Street Campus.

You have to remember that with any new development trend, the wealthy are always the risk takers because they have the capital to do so, and the lower incomes from highest to lowest will follow in the future. If you don't believe me, then I ask that you take a moment to consider who first moved out to the first ring suburbs, and every subsequential ring afterward, of every city in America. It sure wasn't the low income people.

We have to remember that at this time we are still in the early stages of the urban development trend, so most of it is going to cater to the weatlthy. But as time passes you will see more affordable things coming on the market. Of course, I think that any new urbanist development in the suburbs will continue to cater to the wealthy

Charleston has a pretty good track record lately of mixing in low income houses that look nice with regular neighborhoods downtown. The suburbs are lacking though. That is one reason why I find Charleston to be such a fascinatin place. You have downtown which is one of the best examples of urbanity in the USA, and then its suburbs, which are about the worst examples of suburbia in the USA (well, maybe not THE worst). I will give the City of Charleston credit for making strides to fix this in West Ashley. I wish I could say the same for the other suburban municipalities.

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