Committee approves Mt. P development despite community opposition

Cheryl Mitchum told the planning committee Monday she opposes the development. (Rebecca Lamb/WCIV)

By Natalie

MT. PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - The Mt. Pleasant planning committee voted to approve a proposed development many are not happy about. Oyster Point is expected to be built near Six Mile Road.

Dan Limata who lives in Raven's Run near the proposed plan says traffic on Rifle Range Road is already difficult to deal with.

"Rifle Range Road right now is very much akin to a NASCAR track. The difference is, you can make a left on a NASCAR track. You can't make a left on Rifle Range Road," Limata said. "The traffic density is a horror show. It can take 35-45 minutes to get out of the gates in the community's along Rifle Range."

On Monday, he and nearly a dozen others spoke at the town committee meeting, many in opposition to the plan or concerned about the traffic it may create.

According to the submitted plans to the town, a traffic study shows 4,680 weekday daily trips added to the roadways. The proposed plan would include about 593 residential units on 198 acres including single-family homes, town homes, and duplexes.

The town's planning commission recommended approval. The town committee, made up of council members, voted on the conceptual plan Monday afternoon after the annexation committee had approved Oyster Point's request.

"We don't have too many choices here. If we lose control of this property, we are in a world of hurt," committee and council member Elton Carrier said. "The chances of getting something far worse are too great for us to let that happen."

John Burn echoed his concerns about the possibility of losing the development to Charleston County.

"If we lose this developer, no matter who he or she is, we lose everything," Burn said. "I'm with you guys. I have some heartburn here but I think we're looking at the best option for the town of Mount Pleasant and that's what I have to do for 70,000 people."

Limata called it 'political maneuvering' on the committee members' parts.

"Passing the buck and saying if we don't do it the county's going to do it doesn't really wash," he said.

Peter Bernard, also a Raven's Run resident, calls traffic near his home a nightmare already and said he didn't appreciate the town committee members' move to use the county as an excuse to approve the plan.

"What the town of Mount Pleasant does is uses the county as the 'Boogey Man' saying they're the lesser of two evils," Bernard said.

Town committee members expressed concerns over a proposed development near Oyster Point within Charleston County, Palmetto Fort. County planning officials say the planned development was approved in 1988. It was slated to be built in three phases but Dan Pennick with the Charleston County Zoning and Planning Department says they've seen little movement with the proposed development, even within the last year.{}

While the committee voted to approve the development, full council must vote to finalize the plan. Town council is scheduled to meet next week.