Residents of Dupont, Wappoo area eye future

Charleston city and county officials are working on a plan to improve the Wappoo and Dupont area in West Ashley, which includes the area where this old produce market once stood.

Dozens of residents braved a rush-hour thunderstorm Tuesday for a chance to weigh in on the future of the Dupont and Wappoo area in West Ashley.

The gathering at St. Andrews Middle School was the first in a series of workshops where the public will have time to share ideas and concerns about the area, which runs roughly between Savannah Highway, Sam Rittenburg Boulevard, and Ashley River and Wappoo roads.

The region, of which 60 percent falls in Charleston County and 40 percent in the city of Charleston, could be vibrant, but needs land-use, transportation and drainage improvements, officials said.

Dale Aren, who lives in Edgewater Park, said she has concerns about traffic, especially where Savannah Highway intersects with Wappoo Road, Dupont Road and Stinson Drive. “It’s really dangerous,” she said.

She also would like to see some new restaurants in the area and not ones just those serving pizza and chicken. “And we need more unique shops,” she said, “not just auto dealerships.”

County planner Joel Evans said 38.1 percent of the land in the area is used for commercial purposes; 25.6 percent for detached, single-family homes; 12 percent is vacant; and the rest is used for multi-family housing and other purposes.

The public is invited to stop in between 4 and 7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday at St. Andrews Middle School at 721 Wappoo Road to share ideas and see the planning work in progress.

The wrapup meeting will be held at 6 p.m. June 23 in the school’s auditorium.

Results of the workshops will be presented there, along with planning recommendations and next steps.

Frances Waite, an area resident, said she is pleased the city and county are working together to develop design standards. “The area needs its own look,” she said.

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