BP sues city and Cainhoy Plantation developers over buffer zone

Wando residents earlier this year look over maps of the proposed the Cainhoy Plantation development. On Friday, BP sued the city of Charleston and Cainhoy developers over the development's proximity to the company's Cooper River chemical plant.

BP filed a lawsuit Friday against the developers of the massive Cainhoy Plantation and the city of Charleston hoping to prevent a new residential development from being built near the company's Cooper River plant without an adequate buffer.

BP Amoco Chemical Co. filed the lawsuit in state court Friday against the city of Charleston; Tract 7 LLC; Cainhoy Land and Timber LLC; and Southern Timber LLC.

City of Charleston spokeswoman Cameron Pollard said city officials can't comment on the lawsuit because they haven't seen it yet. Representatives from the other groups could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

A BP representative in February told the city's Planning Commission that the proposed development was too close to the chemical plant, which sits about a half-mile away. The company also does controlled burns in the area.

On Friday, BP spokesman Scott Dean said in a prepared statement that "BP repeatedly has told the developers and local officials that it opposes building a new residential development next door to an established chemical plant without an adequate buffer,"

He also stated that while the company prefers to resolve the matter amicably, it is filing the lawsuit "to help ensure that any development includes an appropriate buffer zone."

The city of Charleston and developers are moving forward with plans to development 9,000-acre Cainhoy Plantation, which sits in Berkeley County, despite some objections from local residents, historians and preservationists.

Reach Diane Knich at 843-937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.