Seeing Double: Lush, amenities-filled neighborhoods flank expanding thoroughfare in lower Summerville

Gently rolling hills in Ashborough East give a skateboarder and biker a nice place to ride (Photo by Laura Olsen/Olsen Imagery).

By JIM PARKER The Post and Courier

To be honest, there were “lots of things” in 1994 that convinced Cathy and Daniel Parker to move to Ashborough East in Dorchester County.

“Well, the neighborhood,” she says, remarking on the shady streets, landscaped lawns, slew of community attractions.

Also, “we originally lived in Mount Pleasant,” and the couple wanted to move further inland.

The Parkers liked what they saw from the outside looking in. But that doesn’t really explain why they’ve stayed in the community 18 years, raising their daughter who is headed to the College of Charleston in the fall.

Actually, they found out what it’s like to live in the 372-home village. Homeowners are sociable, active, civic minded. “Oh yeah, we have a lot of volunteer involvement,” says Parker, who is Ashborough East’s community manager.

The subdivision is proud of its neighborhood Crime Watch program, she says. “We have a deputy who lives in the neighborhood.” Off-duty deputies also monitor traffic and watch for crime. “We have busted people who were wanted in other states and locally,” she says.

If that all sounds good, then also consider what’s on the opposite side of Dorchester Road: Ashborough.

Confused? The two neighborhoods have the same developer: Ashborough just came along before Ashborough East and hence the different name.

Ashborough, which has 400 homes, dates to the early 1970s. It is close to the Ashley River in places and has a small lake. There are also trails that ring the neighborhood. Most houses are brick, and those on the market are priced in the $250,000 to $350,000 range.

To this day, the communities remain distinct. Each has its own set of attractions and separate homeowners associations.

But they’re similar in certain ways, such as volunteerism. Consider Ashborough HOA president Mike Hobson’s comments in a recent newsletter.

Association dues, he says, pay for maintaining common areas, and a management company handles the group’s day-to-day administrative needs. But he notes, “Pretty much everything else in the neighborhood that gets maintained or built or added or fixed or planted or inspected or approved is all done by volunteers.”

One effort of the community association is to make “WelcomeBaskets” for neighborhood newcomers. Ashborough also has a youth team, the Alligators, that competes in the Charleston area’s summer swim league.

In the newsletter, Hobson singles out several residents for their volunteerism and urges more to take part. “Neighbors helping neighbors enjoy where they live more,” he says.

Both Ashborough and Ashborough East have their share of amenities that attract families. Each has a swimming pool and walking trail and Ashborough East sports tennis courts, playground and a community building.

“I love it there,” says Brenda Jaicks, who with husband Ron and daughter Sydney, then 4, moved into Ashborough East 12 years ago. “I wanted a family-friendly neighborhood,” she says. “The neighbors are great.”

Ashborough East’s natural surroundings also are a draw. “It’s just a beautiful place, all the old (oak) trees,” Jaicks says.

An ongoing transportation project that will help both communities is the widening of Dorchester Road to four lanes. Construction crews are making progress, and the widened thoroughfare is set to open in November 2013.

Traffic “backs up in the afternoon,” Parker says. Will the extra lanes help? “Yes, absolutely,” she says.

To get to the two neighborhoods from downtown Charleston, head west on Interstate 26. Travel about 13 miles to Ashley Phosphate Road, which is exit 209B. Make a left on Ashley Phosphate and follow the road for five miles to Dorchester Road. Steer right on Dorchester and proceed close to six miles. The first right is Brandywine Drive, which is an entrance (along with Middleton Boulevard) to Ashborough East. On the left is Tabby Lane, which is a route (along with Nantucket Drive, Endicott Street and Ashborough Avenue) to Ashborough.

For more information and photos, visit www.postandcourier.com/realestate.

Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.

ASHBOROUGH/ASHBOROUGH EAST AT A GLANCE

Location: Summerville Number of homes: 775

Square footage: 2,000-3,700 Look and feel: Ashborough East is on the east side of Dorchester Road; Ashborough is on the west side. The elder of the two neighborhoods, Ashborough is comprised of homes built from the early 1970s to the mid 1980s. The Lakeview sector includes a large pond with fish; some lots come close to the Ashley River. Ashborough East accounts for newer homes from the mid ’80s into the ’90s. Both communities sport wooded lots, manicured yards, lightly rolling hills and amenities including swimming pools.

Homes on market: 27 List prices: $167,900-$375,000

Schools: Flowertown Elementary, Gregg Middle, Ashley Ridge High

Fun facts: Oak Grove Plantation, granted to Thomas Horlbeck, was located about where Ashborough and Ashborough East neighborhoods are now; Westvaco Development was instrumental in launching the two neighborhoods.