Charleston backs plan for Folly apartments

Brad Nettles/Staff The former garage-junk yard business, just past Grimball Road on James Island. Buy this photo

Charleston City Council’s approval of a new apartment complex and commercial site on Folly Road headed toward Folly Beach is not sitting well with some of the neighbors. They say it will eventually mean hundreds of more cars added to an area that’s regularly clogged with summertime traffic.

Council this week unanimously approved the annexation and zoning of about nine lots covering some 30 acres of land in the southern portion of James Island.

The site is known to locals as anchored by a former car junk yard business near Grimball Road.

It is also near what residents say is a dangerous bend on Folly Road.

But more concerning to some is that the zoning will allow for 294 apartments in the area, along with the cars that will go with them.

“It’s too many units,” said Jacque Vance, incoming president of the homeowners association of the nearby Oceanneighbors neighborhood.

By her count, that means the possibility of close to 600 cars will be added to the road daily, moving in and out once the area is developed.

Vance was among a half-dozen people who asked City Council to delay consideration of the project this week until more study can be done.

Councilwoman Kathleen Wilson, who represents James Island, supported the measure in part because, she said, the area is presently a dump site that’s overrun with vermin, trash, debris and standing water that will be cleaned up.

“I don’t think we expect it to remain undeveloped forever,” she also said.

Charleston Mayor Joe Riley supported the project. But as part of council’s approval, he said the city will increase its efforts to get a stop light added to the nearby stretch of Folly Road, something the state Department of Transportation has so far resisted, officials said.

Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.

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