March 3, 2016 Minutes

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


Members attending: Sam Brownlee, Chris Cannon, Rich Jenkins, Henry Chavis, Thomas Legare, Rich Thomas, Catherine Poag, Monica Smith, John Kozma

Following the pledge of allegiance, the meeting was called to order.

Upon a motion duly made and seconded, the minutes of the February 4, 2016 meeting were approved.

Chairman’s Report
Chair Chris Cannon reported that it has been relatively quiet with zoning requests. Nothing has come up in the City area. In Charleston County, a setback on Old Pond Road was approved with conditions and at another property a request for landscape special exception was approved with conditions. There are 2 new items: First, the Town of Kiawah Island wants to rezone the property it purchased for a new town center from “community development” to PUD. Second, there is a request to remove 8 grand trees within a power line easement to run a line from Wadmalaw to John’s Island. It will come onto John’s Island at 3304 Habitat Blvd. Monica Smith said that Wadmalaw Planning
was aware of this.

Treasurer’s Report
Treasurer Sam Brownlee reported that the February bank balance remained at $637.07. The Scholar’s Fund is at $377,391.31 as of January 29, 2016.
Sam also reported that there was no CHATS meeting. With regard to a tree on River Road that Henry Chavis had asked about, Sam sent a photo to Mr. Clark at SCDOT and an arborist will be sent to look at the tree.

Wadmalaw Island
Monica Smith reported on the continuing concerns/issues with well water quality on parts of Wadmalaw. Monica has had problems at her home and two other Wadmalaw residents who came also spoke. Charleston County has been talking with residents and is looking at solutions and is currently providing water tankers at the Liberia Road Fire Station on Wadmalaw location each day for residents to get water for domestic use. DHEC has tested wells in the past and can do so again if samples are provided. Thomas Legare, JI Council member who is on St. John’s Water Company Board, said that no one has ever approached the St. John’s Water Company about a possible water line but that the County will be meeting with the water company. With only 1100 or so residents on Wadmalaw, it was suggested that Wadmalaw could possibly form a Public Service District to manage the water and other needs, if Charleston County will not fund a water line. Chris Cannon said that the JI Council understood the concerns and frustration of residents but that Charleston County Council is where decisions are made and that Wadmalaw resident groups need to attend and speak at County Council meetings and also continue to work with Anna Johnson and other County Council members.

Old Business
The road/traffic issues are of ongoing concerned and Henry Chavis spoke to the need to have more regular maintenance work done on the roads. Maybank Highway is in the City and as new subdivisions are built some turn off lanes are being added but more needs to be done. The “pitchfork” is supposed to be started in July. Rich Thomas mentioned that there is a perception about John’s Island schools and young families who send their children to other schools off island account for some of the early morning and late afternoon traffic.

New Business
Catherine Poag attended a recent County meeting about the Charleston County Planning Department Historical Site Survey Update for the unincorporated county areas that will be going on this spring and summer. County has hired a firm to do the research and has received federal funding. The project will focus on 1947-1975 and sites, structures, movements of that period—post war and military, mid-century modern, civil rights, etc. will be of interest. Residents are encouraged to make suggestions for what should be included to County Planning.
Rich Thomas introduced Brad DeVos, who along with several other residents in the City of Charleston area of John’s Island, came to the meeting. Brad lives in Barberry Woods and another in the group lives in St. John’s Woods. They are starting an organization of individuals and HOA’s to encourage “Grow Well” as a goal for the City here. They are interested in promoting and working for better schools and better roads and infrastructure. And overall ”Smart Growth” for the Urban Growth area of John’s Island. They were interested in learning more about the John’s Island Council and seeing if there are ways in which we might work together. Brad and the others were invited to come to our meetings and keep us posted on their group’s activities. Certainly, more groups working together and speaking as one will have a greater impact at City and County Council meetings and in dealing with issues that affect all residents. John Kozma spoke about telecommuting and said he can put more information about issues/ideas on the JI Council website. Brad mentioned a need for more office space on John’s Island so that residents might be able to work closer to home. Catherine suggested that perhaps a “workshop” could be planned to bring groups and ideas together to talk and plan.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.
Respectfully submitted,
Catherine Poag, Secretary