Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Charleston native

Watson Hill neighborhood development

Recommended Posts

This is a problem here, because this has the potential to give Charleston a population boom. Granted, much of the land listed here is in Dorchester County, but this would connect Summerville to West Ashley, which is in Charleston.

The only problem I have with the development is that there is no proper infrastructure to facilitate it. And the part that drives me insane is where they say in this article that the Glenn McConnell Expressway won't be completed for 15-20 years!!!!! :angry:WHY?!??!! Why does this state basically procrastinate and not get projects done?? That highway has been in planning for 10 years already!!!

Showdown develops for Watson Hill

Planners to vote on controversial project

BY DAVE MUNDAY

Of The Post and Courier Staff

SUMMERVILLE--The proposed Watson Hill development faces a live-or-die vote today. The Dorchester County Planning Commission is scheduled for an initial vote on the developers' rezoning request for the 6,600-acre tract. The developers want to build up to 4,500 houses, condos and hotel rooms off scenic S.C. Highway 61 near historic Middleton Place plantation. Commissioners heard the plans last month but delayed the vote. The meeting is set for 3 p.m. in Dorchester County Council Chambers in Summerville.

Although it might seem from the public debate that everyone has already decided about Watson Hill, that's not actually the case, said Lynn Pahl, who lives off S.C. 61. She is still weighing arguments on both sides. "As a concerned homeowner, I want to have a good understanding of these issues," Pahl said Wednesday. "I would like to have more facts before jumping to any conclusions about what is good or bad in 'my backyard.' "

In the first phase, plans call for 700 units -- 550 houses and condos -- and a 150-room hotel beside a golf course. No more houses would be built until Watson Hill is connected with S.C. 165 to the west, developer Richard Lam said.

If the developers are able to connect Watson Hill with S.C. 165, the second phase would include another 500 houses and condominiums, for a total of 1,200 units.

The final phase depends on the completion of the Glenn McConnell Parkway, which is not expected for another 15 or 20 years. If the parkway were extended through Watson Hill, the third phase would include another 2,700 houses and condos and a commercial center, for a total of 3,900 houses, condos and hotel rooms. If the commercial center is not built, another 600 houses would be built instead, bringing the total to 4,500 units.

A key question is whether S.C. 61 can handle the traffic of another 700 units in the first phase. Opponents have argued that the two-lane road can't handle that much additional traffic. The developers commissioned a traffic study that says the road can handle the extra traffic. The state Transportation Department certified the study this week, and the commissioners will have that letter in hand today, Lam said...

Source and entire article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I think the remainder of 526 is being held up by the citizens of John's Island. It least thats what I recall hearing. The other thing is that access to that part of Charleston is not as difficult as the islands to the north were before the expressway. The need is not as strong as the need for more important projects like the Cooper River Bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the remainder of 526 is being held up by the citizens of John's Island. It least thats what I recall hearing. The other thing is that access to that part of Charleston is not as difficult as the islands to the north were before the expressway. The need is not as strong as the need for more important projects like the Cooper River Bridge.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I guess the importance of the bridge trounces the importance of this expressway. Keep in mind, this highway is NOT I-526. The Glenn Parkway is actually a spur of the original highway of SC 61. Since many people want to preserve the old SC 61 as a scenic highway, the Glenn Parkway has been built from SC 61 up to Bees Ferry Road, and is supposed to extend from there to Summerville.

IMO, they ought to consider building the parkway from Bees Ferry all the way to I-95, giving people southern access to Charleston from that highway. It could be built up to I-95 around Walterboro. That would be a much better route than taking US 17 where some parts of it have 2-lane sections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^ Wasn't there an effort to annex this land to Charleston with a agricultural zoning to prevent it's development? I thing the effort died pretty quickly, but that seem to be my recollection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^ Wasn't there an effort to annex this land to Charleston with a agricultural zoning to prevent it's development?  I thing the effort died pretty quickly, but that seem to be my recollection.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The proposed annexation you're thinking of was for the Poplar Grove development, which is the same general area as Watson Hill. A coalition of conservation groups led by Ducks Unlimited bought easements on Poplar Grove and cut the number of houses to be built there by about 90%. I think the general uproar caused by Poplar Grove and the fact that conservations put their money where their mouth is caused the Dorchester County Council to realize that their laissez-faire approach to planning wasn't to work in the long run.

The latest news on Watson Hill (as of March 17th) is that the Dorchester County Planning Commission delayed a final vote on the project until they could hold a public hearing (April 18th at 7 P.M. in St. George if anyone wants to attend). Then the vote would take place on April 21st.

-Lee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum lsgchas! I look forward to more local insight from the Charleston area :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ditto! Thanks for the update. Glad to hear the issue resolved in a good way. Kudos to the conservationists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fight over Watson Hill took a strange, some might say sinister, turn this week. Basically, with little chance of getting a "built-out" version of the development approved by Dorchester County, the developers are trying to be annexed into North Charleston, which is on the other side of the Ashley River. However, the developers needed at least one strip of land to be contiguous with North Charleston. They recently signed a contract to purchase the land they needed, but hid their true identities and motives from the sellers. When the sellers found out, they tried to return the deposit. The developers refused, and now the issue is heading to court.

As a side note, what really makes this seem under-handed is that North Charleston recently annexed King's Grant against the majority of the residents' wills. This neighborhood also was necessary to allow Watson Hill to touch the border of North Charleston. It seems that people are being lied to and pushed around all so the developers can get their way and North Charleston can expand its tax base.

I'll post the latest article about Watson Hill below.

-Lee

Land near Watson Hill sparks suit Published: 4/21/2005

Moderator's note: Please do not post entire articles. Read the "Article Posting Policy" posted at the top of each section if you have any questions.

Sorry, did not know. Here is a link to the article...

http://www.charleston.net/stories/?newsID=...ction=localnews

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fight over Watson Hill took a strange, some might say sinister, turn this week. Basically, with little chance of getting a "built-out" version of the development approved by Dorchester County, the developers are trying to be annexed into North Charleston, which is on the other side of the Ashley River. However, the developers needed at least one strip of land to be contiguous with North Charleston. They recently signed a contract to purchase the land they needed, but hid their true identities and motives from the sellers. When the sellers found out, they tried to return the deposit. The developers refused, and now the issue is heading to court.

http://www.charleston.net/stories/?newsID=...ction=localnews

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

And the saga gets HOTTER with Joe Riley! versus that overpaid Mayor of North Chuck... I look forward to reading Charleston Native comments...

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley said Monday he not only opposes the scope of the proposed Watson Hill development in Dorchester County, but also North Charleston's attempt to annex it.

"That is very bad public policy," Riley said of the proposed annexation. "We communities and governments need to respect the community plans and aspirations for areas affected. Dorchester County has spent a huge amount of time with great citizen engagement in coming up with a plan to protect this area. Respectfully, the city of North Charleston should respect that. We have to support a collective vision for our future."

His comments drew a stern rebuttal from North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey.

"He should have thought of that when he annexed Daniel Island after North Charleston had already had first reading on annexing it," Summey said. "Look at the traffic dumped on North Charleston because of that. He has a right to his beliefs. I have a right to mine..."

The Full Story

http://www.charleston.net/stories/?newsID=...ction=localnews

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank God for Summerville! I agree with Deborah Henson...though I moved 3,000 miles away from South Carolina & of all SC cities North Charleston is the last place on earth I would want to live...Ms Hensen's quote was in 4/28's Charleston.Net "Post & Courier regarding prob. the end to Watson Hill development...

" '...Deborah Henson, one of the property owners requesting annexation into Summerville, is a close relative to the Barrys, the family being sued. Asked why she wanted to be a part of Summerville, she said, "Because we don't want to live in North Charleston."

A public hearing on the Summerville annexation request is set for May 27 in Summerville Town Hall..." '

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, have you guys read this article in The Post and Courier:

Annexation 'barrier' in works

Summerville, Charleston fight Watson Hill plan

BY DAVID SLADE AND WARREN WISE

Of The Post and Courier Staff

Summerville and Charleston plan to annex properties west of the Ashley River until the town and city boundary lines meet, forming a barrier that's intended to squash North Charleston's expansionist aims.

The National Trust historic site Drayton Hall would become part of Charleston under the plan. A portion of Middleton Place would go into Summerville, and the town and city would extend a buffer on scenic S.C. Highway 61 until connecting at the Dorchester/Charleston county line.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said he suspected that Charleston was up to something.

"I knew something was in the making, but I didn't know what it was," he said Monday.

The town and the two cities have been jockeying for control of the Ashley River Plantation District along S.C. Highway 61, where owners of the huge Watson Hill tract have proposed a new golf course development with as many as 4,500 homes, condominiums and hotel rooms.

*Click on the title of the article to view it in its entirety.*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hah, thats great! Thanks for posting that. The bickering in Charleston is quite entertaining ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Watson Hill controversy is getting even HOTTER down here! Every city in the Trident area is racing to gobble up land and grow exponentially. Now the thing is the Charleston has entered into the ring and passed the 1st reading of annexation all the way up to the Dorchester county line in West Ashley. This is in attempts to stop North Charleston from jumping the Ashley River. Summerville is being encouraged to annex to meet Charleston to block N. Charleston's annexation. It is still up in the air if Summerville will comply. The issue isn't how rapidly the cities are growing here, but how much of control Maypr Jor Riley wants of the Lowcountry. He is dictating for every city how they should grow and how much will be in it for Charleston (city). With the latest annexation attempts, it is rumored that Charleston will only use this to annex the entire Northwestern end of the county and develop it itself smilar to Daniel Island. The news tonight puts the potential of growth for this as close to Charlotte.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would like to see that kind of growth if it is done in a more orderly fasion than Charlotte. Charleston is in a great position to do an even better job than Charlotte has at controling the growth and making it positive growth rather than generic sprawl.

I think the move to block N Charleston's annexation shows that Charleston does not want N Charleston to be the big dawg (which it is well on the way to becoming). If charleston_native were around I think he would have alot to say about this :)

I also think that Summerville will comply.

Here is the City Limits map of the Charleston Area for reference:

CharlestonCities.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Spartan, oh boy, do I have alot to say about this! :lol: This is incredible...I just hate being right about the situation. This Watson Hill development has revealed what I have been constantly writing about during my time here in the forum. In , I even wrote a letter to Mayor Riley and the city of Charleston's ombudsman about the intentions of N. Charleston and how important it is for these 2 cities to merge. I still have not received a response...maybe I need to write it again with this Watson Hill fiasco becoming the hot topic! ;)

There can be no doubt now that Mayor Summey clearly wants N. Charleston to be the premier city in the metro area. I can't be jumping to conclusions about this! He talks about growth for his city, but in COMPLETE disregard for historic area that Watson Hill borders. Mayor Riley clearly wants to keep Charleston (the original city and sole reason for N. Charleston's growth) as the premier city. Riley's decision and direction is far more commendable, because his city concentrates on smart urban planning. He even says himself how disappointed he is with N. Charleston in its efforts to basically alter the ultimate development plan that these 2 cities agreed on with this annexation attempt.

Summey also complains about how Charleston concentrated on its growth efforts by annexing Daniel Island. Again, I say to all of you, he should have thought about that before incorporating into a separate city of N. Charleston, completely blocking Charleston from any growth into the north area!! N. Charleston is merely a suburban extension of DT, and it is redundant for that municipality to make development decisions that affect most of the communities in the Charleston area. Especially West Ashley!! This truly is an unbelievable situation, but the below article shows what Charleston and Summerville are doing, and I agree with their actions wholeheartedly.

Guys and gals, sometimes I hate being right! :D

Charleston council OKs plan to block expansion

Click here for the entire article

BY DAVID SLADE

Of The Post and Courier Staff

Charleston City Council voted Tuesday to block North Charleston's expansion plans west of the Ashley River. Shortly thereafter, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley headed for Columbia to lobby against a bill that could give James Islanders another chance to form a town. Both issues revolve around municipal annexation efforts.

The council vote was taken in response to plans by North Charleston to annex about 7,000 acres in Dorchester County where thousands of homes are planned on a tract called Watson Hill. But Charleston and Summerville leaders say the development would spoil the Ashley River Historic Plantation District. The city and town plan to block North Charleston by annexing properties along S.C. Highway 61 until the municipal boundaries meet, forming a virtual wall to keep North Charleston out...

...Land-use decisions are at the heart of the dispute west of the Ashley. Foes of the project say if North Charleston were to cross the river and annex the Watson Hill tract, cars from the resulting thousands of homes would clog the two-lane scenic highway between Summerville and Charleston. The property sits in unincorporated Dorchester County, outside the "urban growth boundary" designated by Charleston and Charleston County five years ago. "I never thought I would see a sister community so disregard our planning efforts," Riley said. "This is the diametric opposite of regional planning." North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey says the issue is about his city's desire to grow and Charleston's desire to control the region...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would think by now it would've "clicked" with the short-bus riders in the old building with the rusty dome facing Main Street in DT Columbia that "Hmmm, maybe we need to review these archaic annexation laws of ours." Poster children of reverse evolution, I tell ya...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You would think by now it would've "clicked" with the short-bus riders in the old building with the rusty dome facing Main Street in DT Columbia that "Hmmm, maybe we need to review these archaic annexation laws of ours." Poster children of reverse evolution, I tell ya...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What can you do? The leaders of this state STILL function off of the good ol' boy network, and still have a rural, backwards mindset when it comes to cities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, this article really shows how some of the residents of my hometown seem to lack alot of common sense, especially when it comes to urban development issues. They see this as nothing but a turf war, but the newspaper interviewed residents that Watson Hill WON'T EVEN EFFECT! The first guy on this article is basically a bitter James Island man who probably sees Mayor Riley as the antiChrist. The others that are against N. Charleston don't even acknowledge the more important arguments against the North city's annexation attempt, such as allowing a huge development without sufficient infrastructure, or seeing a power and money-hungry mayor trying to suck power and prestige from the mother city of Charleston.

Sometimes, I am just embarrassed of my hometown's residents. What is so perplexing is how everybody rails against Charleston's expansion onto Daniel Island, but its OK for any other city to expand anywhere, even if it means that the suburb could become bigger than Charleston. It's like these people STILL see Charleston as a quaint little town by the sea...people can't stand Charleston expanding to James Island or Daniel Island, but it's just FINE for Mt. Pleasant to annex land all the way up to Georgetown! :blink:

Residents give Watson Hill mixed reviews

Some want North Charleston to expand, others worry about potential traffic woes

Deleted. Dont post copyrighted material

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, these folks really don't have a clue. It's too bad they don't think of what these issues mean for the entire metro area, as well as the entire state of South Carolina, in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's like these people STILL see Charleston as a quaint little town by the sea...

that sir is the nail on the head. Try to tell someone around here that Charleston is NOT a quaint LITTLE town and you will have an argument on your hands. God forbid you suggest that Charleston is comparable in size to some BIG city...say Columbia, then you might have a fight on your hands....LOL

In all seriousness....there are serious anti-growth sentiments in the entire area (maybe except parts of N. Charleston) that I think are ultimately going to dampen the tremendous growth the area is seeing. I don't necessarily think that Watson Hill is the answer, but it seems that when any development is proposed anywhere, the citizenry is up in arms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that sir is the nail on the head.  Try to tell someone around here that Charleston is NOT a quaint LITTLE town and you will have an argument on your hands.  God forbid you suggest that Charleston is comparable in size to some BIG city...say Columbia, then you  might have a fight on your hands....LOL

In all seriousness....there are serious anti-growth sentiments in the entire area (maybe except parts of N. Charleston) that I think are ultimately going to dampen the tremendous growth the area is seeing.  I don't necessarily think that Watson Hill is the answer, but it seems that when any development is proposed anywhere, the citizenry is up in arms.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

This is mostly happening with those older generationsthat don't like to see their control being lost. The older Charlestonians, located on the penisula city still believe that they call the shots. But inevitably they will lose out. The city is growing much too fast and spreading out for it to stop now. Especially with Charleston (county) allowing so much development in the rural areas. Ravenel, Hollywood and Meggett are aiming at some growth down 17south. A new waterline tis going to establish that. Awendaw is poised for growth too as Mount Pleasant spreads further north. I don't agree with the statement that the growth is going to dampen anytime soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is mostly happening with those older generationsthat don't like to see their control being lost.  The older Charlestonians, located on the penisula city still believe that they call the shots.  But inevitably they will lose out.  The city is growing much too fast and spreading out for it to stop now.  Especially with Charleston (county) allowing so much development in the rural areas.  Ravenel, Hollywood and Meggett are aiming at some growth down 17 south.  A new waterline tis going to establish that.  Awendaw is poised for growth too as Mount Pleasant spreads further north.  I don't agree with the statement that the growth is going to dampen anytime soon.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The new waterline on Johns Island is far from a sure thing, and there are number of developments being stalled right now due to the lack of adequate services. I think the local officials (most of them) understand that the area is on the verge of being a boom town and that development must occur. But the residents seem to have the attitude that the area should be closed for development. I think this attitude will ultimately (i have no idea what timeframe "ultimately" implies) cause the area to appear to be hostile to development and alot of developers will shy away. Plus prices in the area are rapidly becoming out of reach for the average Joe. This is a great area,and people want to come here, but they need places to live, shop, etc when they arrive....where are those places going to be, since noone wants anyone to build anything anywhere anymore???.... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.