Oyster Point Gets Approval

Planning Commission clears plans for 593 homes off Six Mile Road.

A 593-unit residential development off Six Mile Road has cleared the first step in a three-part town approval process.

The 200-acre project was given the green light Wednesday by the Mount Pleasant Planning Commission in a 6-2 vote. Now the project goes to the Town Council Planning Committee and then to the full council for a vote.

If all goes to plan, work on the marsh-front development could begin by the end of 2012, according to development plans presented to the town.

Read more about the Oyster Point project.

Oyster Point will utitlize a first-of-its-kind Conservation Landscape District zoning that allows homes to be built closely together so long as developers preserve 25 percent of the property for natural and historical elements. D.R. Horton Homes will build the project.

Though commissioners gave Oyster Point approval, there were plenty of reservations from residents and the town's planning body.

"I don't think this plan is a bad plan," said Commissioner Bob Brimmer. "It's just in the wrong place."

Brimmer's view was echoed by residents who said Rifle Range and Six Mile roads are already congested. The estimated 4,000 additional daily trips in and out of Oyster Point will only increase those problems, they said.

Commissioners Nick Collins, Alice Ann Lehrman, Henry Middleton, Howard Chapman, Todd Richardson and Chairman Roy Neal voted for the project. Bob Brimmer and Phil Siegrist voted no. Cheryl Woods-Flowers was absent.

"We can't get out as it is," said Peter Bernard, who lives in neighboring Ravens Run. "I have to make all my appointments at off-peak hours, just so I can get out into traffic."

Oyster Point's developer plans to add turn lanes from Rifle Range Road onto Six Mile Road. The developer is open to the idea of funding a roundabout there, if residents want it, though previous such proposals have been rejected by residents.

The town's traffic engineer scores the intersection of Rifle Range and Six Mile roads as a "D" during peak times, which is acceptable by town guidelines. He estimates ongoing improvements to U.S. 17 will eleviate much of the congestion currently experienced.

Ultimately, the planning commission had few options besides approving the project's conceptual plan and annexing the property into the town. The development has already been approved by the county, so developers could start work in short order, even without town approval.

Though Oyster Point needs city water and sewer services, the town would likely be forced to provide those even if they chose not to annex the property. And the town stands to gain millions in fees and tax revenue from Oyster Point.

"We followed the letter of the ordinance in creating 25 percent open space and a very walkable community with greenspace that runs through it," said Kenny Seamon, president of Seamon Whitesides and Associates, the project's planner.

"The traffic, as long as it meets the level of services that the town sets its standars at, I think we've done our jobs."

Daniel C. Limata July 19, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Oyster Point is a travesty. It flies in the face of the underlying concept of the Cultural Ladscape designation. It is an insult to the Gullah community and their neighbors. It sends more traffic down Rifle Range Road than a NASCAR track. Someone is making money on raping whats left of our rural environment. The question is, WHO?
Trey Rhodes July 19, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Well said. My heart too is broken. this is going to make things out of control on Rifle Range. My house will be going up for sale soon. I don't think I have the stomach for what kind of congestion this development will bring.
grow up July 19, 2012 at 02:06 PM
You guys need to undertand that this project will likely be developed in phases, over years. There will not be an instant influx of thousands of cars overnight. Traffic lights, traffic signals, and our roadways will need to be tweaked along the way. Mount Pleasant can handle this scale of residential development again, it just needs to be monitored along the way. Is the answer not obvious whos making money here?
Lifelong Resident July 19, 2012 at 02:23 PM
If Councel approves this development, they are crazy!!!
grow up July 19, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Taxpayer July 19, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Unfortunately they have to approve it because the County already did. If Mt. P says no they will go with the county. Although, I am against this I would rather Mt. P get the money than the County. Either way this deal is happening. Blame both the County and Mount P for letting this happen. They need to work together.
Rita Conley-Pitts July 20, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I agree with Daniel Limata, and the two commissioners who voted against this project, Bob Brimmer and Phil Siegrist. The community will rue the day we allowed this kind of development to occur in Mt. P. when we see the results: more asphalt resulting in decreased marshlands, heavy pollution, increased traffic, dead trees due to pollution, wider road-ways forced on us as a result of increased traffic, and the end to any semblance of country living. The tax benefits the city is receiving now will resemble the drop of rain in the rain barrel in 10 years or less. Very poor planning for our future.
JoSCh July 20, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Which of the three bodies is county? The Mount Pleasant Planning Commission in a 6-2 vote is who just approved, are they the county? Serious question. The next thing is Town Council Planning Committee and then to the full council for a vote. Are either of them county?


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