Want to weigh in on the Beach Co.’s controversial financing proposal for Kiawah River Plantation? You may be in for a wait.
The public won’t be allowed to comment Thursday about the presentation to Charleston County Council on the development.
Council Chairman Teddie Pryor said the meeting is for county staffers and the Beach Co. to make a presentation on the impact of forming a special tax district for improvements to the company’s 2,000-acre property on the southern end of Johns Island.
It doesn’t make sense for people to comment on a plan before they know what it is, Pryor said. “They don’t even know what the Beach Co. is going to present or what we’re going to present,” he said.
But, Pryor said, if an opposition group requests it, he would allow that group to make a presentation to council’s Finance Committee at its May 2 meeting. A vote could come at that meeting.
Jake Libaire, a project manager for the Coastal Conservation League, a group opposed to the company’s plan, said he’s sure a citizens group will take Pryor up on his offer.
But he also thinks it’s essential that council hold a public comment session either on Thursday or at the start of the May 2 Finance Committee meeting. Taxpayers should be able to weigh in on the proposal, known as a tax-increment finance district or TIF, he said, before the committee votes on it, Libaire said.
The committee’s vote marks the first in a series of votes required to allow the plan to move forward.
If it does, it would use $84.5 million in future tax revenue for improvements to the Beach Co.’s property.
“There’s no reason to alienate all the taxpayers whose money you’re giving away,” Libaire said.
The company plans to build an upscale development on the property, which would include 1,200 homes, a hotel and golf course.
Councilman Dickie Schweers, who also is opposed to the plan, said many of his constituents have commented to him about the plan, but so far “not one single person has told me they support it.”
Schweers also said those comments came from diverse members of the community, not only residents of Johns Island.
Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491