Disturbing quiet lives? Mt. Pleasant considers large development

Cheryl Mitchum lives on a dirt road in Mt. Pleasant where she says life is quiet. She says she worries a proposed development will change that. (Joe O'Neill/WCIV)

By Natalie

Update: Mount Pleasant Senior Planner Kelly Cousino says on Wednesday afternoon the planning commission deferred consideration of the impact assessment/conceptual plan.

"That particular item will appear on the Commission's agenda next month and by law, the Commission must make a recommendation at that time (they cannot defer again). The purpose of the deferral is so that the Commission can have additional public input and so that the developer can make some changes to the conceptual site plan," Cousino said.

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Tucked away off Six Mile Road Cheryl Mitchum lives a quiet life, one she fears will be disturbed by a new proposed housing development.

"I hate it. I hate it." she said as she wiped away tears. "It's emotional. I'm sorry. I lived here for 47 years."

Mitchum calls her home her "little piece of heaven." Not too far from her private haven, near Six Mile Road and North Palmetto Fort Drive, the landscape may soon transform.

A development, Oyster Point, could go up on 198 acres of land, a proposed 593 houses, townhomes and duplexes. According to documents submitted to the Town of Mount Pleasant, projections show the building could create nearly 5,000 two-way car trips on a weekday basis on nearby roads.

"The kids ride their bikes. They play here. They grew up doing that. Now, the issue is the traffic," Mitchum said.

The developer, D.R. Horton, has a proposal that shows the development will include bike and walk trails as well as more than 52 acres of open space and access to more than half of the site's marsh area.

The proposal reads:

"Emphasis on the historic and natural features of the site is evident from both vehicular and pedestrian entrances into the site."

But, neighbors like Mitchum don't believe that's enough. Even thinking about the changes she's already witnessed in Mount Pleasant get her choked up.

"When does Mount Pleasant know when to stop? When is enough?" she said. "When does this town say 'you know what? We've done a good job. Mt. Pleasant is an 'A' list town to live in.'"

Mitchum says the passion comes from 47 years of a certain way of life. It's a way of life her father, Lamar Phillips, who lives next door to her, holds on to.

"I don't like it, but then again, I have to think of other people's feelings too. You know what I mean?" he said. "You can't stop progress."

Mitchum hopes progress will at least slow down, but there's no telling if that could happen. The town's planning commission was expected to vote on the proposal Wednesday afternoon. If approved by the commission, the planning committee and the town's council must also consider and vote on the proposal before it's finalized.

If approved, construction of the development is proposed to begin later this year for the first phase of the project.

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