North Charleston planners say “nay” to rezoning former Trailwood mobile home park

The Trailwood mobile home park in North Charleston, when it was still home to hundreds of people in 2012. The Boeing aircraft assemble plant is seen in the background. Buy this photo

A plan to redevelop the former Trailwood mobile home park in North Charleston ran into a wall of opposition Monday night, in a replay of what happened 15 months ago.

Last year the opposition included residents of the 120-acre trailer park, who have since been required to leave as their month-to-month leases were terminated. Now, it’s residents of nearby subdivisions who are urging the city to demand more development details before rezoning the Trailwood property.

About 50 homeowners from the Glyn Terrace and Northpointe subdivisions, which abut the Trailwood property, packed a hearing at City Hall on Monday, filling every chair and spilling into the hallway.

Residents expressed concern about noise, garbage, traffic and drainage problems that redevelopment of the property could bring, but mostly said it was hard to know what to think because of the lack of details.

“Right now, we’re just in the dark,” said Steve Ayer, the Glyn Terrace neighborhood president, who received applause after speaking. “It’s just that there’s not a plan on the table.”

William Witting, representing the company buying the site, Palmetto Land and Sea LLC, said there are several options for development, and they all depend on the city changing the zoning in order to allow businesses and manufacturers to use the property.

“We’ve got this body of interested parties out there,” he said.

Some are manufacturers associated with the aerospace industry. Others want to build hotels and banks, Witting said. Either way, there can’t be a deal without changing the zoning, he said.

The city’s Planning Commission sided with the residents, in a 6-0 vote, recommending that City Council deny the land-use changes sought by the California company.

“It’s too unclear,” said Planning Commission member Joe McIntyre. “It’s too cloudy.”

Commissioner Vernon Pryor suggested to Witting that he organize a forum for residents to provide more details.

Witting indicated repeatedly that there isn’t a detailed plan, and the companies most interested in the land have non-disclosure agreements with Palmetto Land and Sea.

“We have signed a number of these,” he said.

Ayer said Glyn Terrace residents aren’t opposed to redevelopment, and in fact would like to see improvements in the area, but they want to see a plan, rather than a request to allow anything from restaurants to manufacturing plants on the large site next door to their homes.

Last year in April a similar request was rejected by the Planning Commission and later by City Council.

At the time there were more than 400 occupied mobile homes at Trailwood, but in the year that followed the trailer park was emptied of residents, all of whom were on month-to-month leases.

The property is located between Charleston International Airport, West Montague Avenue and Dorchester Road. In addition to the location, one thing that’s made the property very attractive for development is a plan Charleston County is pursuing to rebuild and relocate Michaux Parkway.

Final details have not been announced, but all versions of the county’s plan would reroute the parkway right along the Trailwood property line and connect it to West Montague Avenue.

The Planning Commission’s recommendation on the zoning application now goes to North Charleston City Council.

Reach David Slade at 937-5552 or Twitter @DSladeNews.

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