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Charleston County Planning Commission Votes Against Application by Johns Islanders to Restore Urban Boundary

Tom Wise. who covers Johns Island issues

It was no real surprise to concerned Johns Island residents that the Charleston County Planning Commission voted 3 to 2 last night against recommending the Urban Boundary line on Johns Island be restored to its original position. The recommendation will go to the to County Council for consideration next month. Supporters of keeping Johns Island rural were noticeably absent at the meeting, as they expected this outcome and will show their full support when County Council is scheduled to here the application at 5:00, August 17, 2004.

The applicant, who lives in the affected area on Old Pond Road, was the sole speaker on this issue before the Commission, and related that a proposed rezoning of land adjacent to hers was going to allow for increased density from 1 house per 3 acres, to 2.75 houses per acre (Case 3255-C, scheduled for Second Reading by County Council July 27, 2004.) She reminded the Commission members that Old Pond Road was extremely rural, with houses spaced fairly evenly on large tracts of land, and this proposed rezoning would allow for the subdivision of 44.6 acres into small lots that would not be consistent with the surrounding area. Commission members did not discuss the application, and voted without hesitation.

Present at the meeting were members: Mr. Joey Douan, Mr. Preston
Hipp, Mr. Robert Miller, Ms. Michelle Sinkler, and Mr. Rickman Jackson.

Voting in favor of the application to amend the Comprehensive Plan and reinstate the original Urban Boundary were: Ms. Sinkler and Mr. Jackson. Voting against the application were: Mr. Douan, Mr. Miller, and Mr. Hipp.

In order to keep our electorate informed, I am including below a list of the complete Planning Commission membership, the County Council member who appointed them, and the date their term expires.

Members/Appointing Council/Term Ending (coterminous)

Joey Douan/Fran Roberts/12-31-04
Ruth Glover/Carolyn Conlon/12-31-04
Tracy Hatchel/A. D. Jordan/12-31-04
Preston Hipp/Ed Fava/12-31-06
Rickman Jackson/Curtis Bostic/12-31-04
Robert Miller/Charles Wallace/12-31-06
Jerome Murray/Tim Scott/12-31-04
Michelle Sinkler/Leon Stavrinakis/12-31-06
John Walpole/Barrett Lawrimore/12-31-04

It is truly astounding that not only does the Planning Commission and County Council not get the fact that the majority of Johns Island residents want their island to remain rural, but the Planning Department doesn't get it as well. (The Planning Dept. staff approved the above-mentioned request to rezone 44.6 cares on Old Pond Road.)

So the question remains: If the members of these organizations are not representing the interests of the majority of Johns Island residents, whose interests are they representing?

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