North Charleston planning panel sides with Trailwood on zoning change
About 200 residents of the Trailwood Mobile Home Park and the adjoining Glyn Terrace neighborhood turned out Monday to speak against rezoning the park to light industrial, and they were heard.
Monday’s vote by the North Charleston Planning Commission was just a recommendation, not the final say. Here are key dates in the rezoning going forward:
May 10 — North Charleston City Council will hold its own public hearing and consider the request.
May 17 —City Council committee will review the request and make its recommendtion.
May 24 — City Council expected to make a final decision.
The North Charleston Planning Commission voted overwhelmingly to recommend against the zoning change, and City Council will make a final decision next month. Mayor Keith Summey already has said he’s against it.
Many of the residents who spoke during the hour-long hearing talked less about land use than about how they wanted to continue living in one of the few remaining large mobile home parks so central to the metro area. Others resented being forced to move to make way for more industrial development and jobs that would go to others.
Trailwood — wedged between Charleston International Airport, West Montague Avenue and Dorchester Road — has room for more than 700 mobile homes, and about 420 families currently call it home.
Harris Capps of Evanston Estates said most neighbors he has talked to want to see it rejected.
“When Boeing moved in, the citizens of North Charleston had absolutely no say,” he said, noting that few who live in the immediate area currently work for Boeing.
Trailwood residents have monthly leases, which means the property owner could force them to move within 30 days.
Maria Washington, a disabled veteran and Trailwood resident, said she couldn’t move her mobile home, and it would be unfair to make her. “They have no right to do that to us. That’s like when we got back from Vietnam, how we got treated,” she said.
Planning Commissioner Coakley Hilton encouraged residents not to celebrate Monday’s vote.
“Don’t just go home and pray,” he told the crowd. “You need to organize. You need a plan. The developers have a plan.”
A woman in the audience spoke up to Hilton, saying, “Thanks for keeping it real.”
A California investment group with a contract on the property is seeking the zoning change, but its representative didn’t speak at Monday’s hearing.
North Charleston Planning Director Bill Gore got a big cheer when he stated that the proposed zoning is not compatible with the city’s long-range plan so the staff recommended against it.
Residents also expressed concern about a related matter: a plan to realign Michaux Parkway and connect it to West Montague Avenue through part of Trailwood.