November 5, 2015 Minutes

John’s Island Council
Post Office Box 208
John’s Island, SC 29457

Minutes of November 5, 2015 Meeting

Members attending: Sam Brownlee, Chris Cannon, Rich Jenkins, Jean Townsend, Thomas Legare, James Owens, Tim Squire, Monica Smith, Gary Marino, Rich Thomas, Mike Leatherwood, John Kozma, Catherine Poag, Henry Chavis

Upon a motion duly made and seconded, the minutes of October 1, 2015 Meeting were approved.

Presentation on Fenwick Village by Mitch Laplante and John Laplante
Mitch Laplante, who is a partner in Pennycreek Associates and the developer of The Preserve spoke about the plans for developing Fenwick Village. It is a 58 acre area behind the Food Lion on Maybank Road. They are asking for rezoning from Mixed Use to a PUD. Current zoning is for 830 units. Under the PUD, they will have 620 units—Some single story and some multi story family. There will be 200 units on 25 acres and 375 units multi use. There will be architectural review of all designs. They have owned the property for 16 years. They are giving an easement to the County (for $1) so that a pitchfork can be built from Maybank to River Road. The pitchfork will have a bike path on one side. The planned build out time is 5-10 years with single family homes built in phases. There will be a community building that could be used for a Farmer’s Market. Also, will have a dog park. The roads will all be gravel. All of the utilities are available there and most of the site is above flood elevation. They understand that traffic on Maybank is an issue now and this project will just add more traffic. Most houses will be priced from $350,000-$700,000. With the PUD 15-20% of land must be park land. Not sure what kind of businesses in multi use area—perhaps medical office building.

After some questions, the Laplantes left. Chris opened the floor for discussions. It was pointed out that this developer has been very responsible in the past and seems to care about John’s Island. The proposed project seems to be well thought out and much better than many others. Rich Jenkins moved that JI Council not oppose the PUD and Tim Squire seconded. All voted in favor of the motion with Thomas Legare “sustaining”

Chairman’s Report
Chair Chris Cannon reported that there were 2 County items from last month—3876 Humbert Road and 3850 River Road that were both voted on Monday and he did not know results. In the City there is Fenwick Village and a variance request for Cane Slash Road and removal of Grand trees. Chris had called the City to get more information and had not heard back.

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Sam Brownlee reported that the bank balance remained at $632.06. The Scholarship Fund is at $373,572 which is down $7000 from first quarter but the market has been down overall.

There has been no CHATS meeting.

Wadmalaw Island
Firefly Distillery has moved to N. Charleston but the Vineyard has been sold to a couple who wants to keep the operations the same. Many Wadmalaw residents feel here are too many events so that may continue to be an issue. There is a property on Brigham Hill Road—16 acres where someone plans to have a religious retreat. There are 4 structures there now.

Old Business

Monica expressed concern for what John’s Island will look like in 10 years. Chris said it was important to control growth of City and keep it down. Thomas suggested a moratorium on development. The idea of impact fees was discussed again. James Island is asking for a moratorium on building. In order to try for a moratorium, Chris pointed out that it is important to get people to come to County and City meetings. Having numbers of people who show up does show support for a request such as a moratorium. Monica mentioned that on Wadmalaw, the churches announce when people should show up at public meetings. Thomas suggested that it would be a good idea to have Wagner, Qualey ,Johnson and new Planning Mgr for City come to a meeting. Colin suggested that it is helpful to have a revenue source and someone who is part-time to help research and implement. Sam said that Colin had made an excellent presentation at a recent County Council meeting. Sam suggested that we speak to the new City Planning Director and ask that JI Council be kept in the loop—Perhaps invite her to a meeting next year. We need to be sure nothing slips through with so much going on now.
No one was sure what the current status of the Buckland Plantation project is.
Gary Marino said that DHEC had voted to approve the redundant water line for Kiawah Utility.

New Business
Rich Thomas said that Monday, November 16 is the date for the meeting at St. John’s High School on John’s Island Roads and Public Safety. SCDOT, County Transportation, St. John’s Fire, EMS, St. John’s Water Co., Charleston Sheriff have all been invited to speak. Main topics will be Main Road, Burden’s Creek Bridge, Hoopstick Creek Bridge, and Maybank Road projects. John’s Island and Concerned Citizens of Sea Islands are co sponsoring. Flyers will be printed and all JI Council members were asked to send out emails and/or distribute flyers. Rich Thomas was thanked for all of the great work he did to get this organized.

There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 9:00PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Catherine Poag, Secretary