James Island developer hosts community meeting for project

Critics of a James Island apartment development called The Lively worry that it will add to Folly Road congestion.

Plans for a large residential development on James Island called The Lively will be aired Tuesday night at a meeting sponsored by the developer.

Some residents criticize the project because they fear it will add to traffic woes and set a precedent that will lead to more large apartment communities.

The developer is considering building up to 340 dwelling units, a market for local vendors and artist studios on 10 acres at Folly and South Grimball roads. A mix of three- and four-story buildings would be constructed along Folly, according to a summary of the project posted online.

Critics say James Island is already too congested and this project will only add to that problem. A large-scale apartment complex called Broadstone Seaside recently opened near the new proposed development.

“The infrastructure just isn’t there to support these huge apartment complexes,” said islander Carolyn Sotka. “My concern is the size of the complex, but it’s also that it is going to be the beginning of many other complexes like that.”

McFaddin Blanding, president of Orange Capital Advisors, said the community members’ worries discussed at the 7 p.m. meeting at James Island Elementary School will be addressed in the final planning documents submitted to Charleston County for approval.

The developer said The Lively will have a village-like setting and at least 3 acres of open space. Most apartments will be rented at the market rate, but some will be offered as cheaper, affordable housing.

“I really do think it’s a good project,” Blanding said. “I’m excited about it.

The James Island Public Service District and Charleston Water System have indicated an ability to serve the project.

A summary of project plans is posted at thelivelyonfollyroad.com.