JAMES ISLAND — Developers of a proposed 284-unit apartment building on Maybank Highway received conceptual approval of their plan tonight from a City of Charleston design board, even as local residents continued to argue the effort is too large and out of character for the island.

“I just think this is going to stick out like a sore thumb,” local resident Rob Turkewitz said of the four-story apartment proposed for behind the James Island Shopping Center.

“It’s not right there,” he added, “right in our face.”

The conceptual approval, by the city’s Design Review Board, is not the last word on the site since the board suggested a number of additions. They range from simple cosmetic design changes, to landscaping additions and suggesting a better presentation of bike paths and public bus access.