Planners OK town-sized project

The Charleston Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a town-sized development on the outskirts of West Ashley.

The Long Savannah plan includes the potential for 4,600 homes with shops and offices on 1,540 acres. The proposal includes development of another 287 acres of Village Green land adjacent to Long Savannah and calls for extending the Glenn McConnell Parkway through the Grand Oaks subdivision.

The developments at Village Green, owned by HPH Properties, and Long Savannah, controlled by Associated Developers Inc. and the SIM Group, could provide nearby residents alternatives places for work or relaxation.

The commission also agreed to extend the "urban growth boundary," which marks the end of suburban development, to accommodate the developments.

According to the designs of one of the firms involved, Dover, Kohl and Partners, the plan will reserve 1,800 acres beyond that boundary for county and city parks to serve as a clear and meaningful edge around the suburbs.

The developments, which could take up to 20 years to complete, will incorporate urbanist concepts that will make the subdivision self-contained for commercial and residential uses but will also have rural and more relaxed features.

"We want to help what is already there and make it better," said Victor Dover of the design firm.

The growth will create a reasonable amount of traffic but will be designed so that pedestrians come first, Dover said.

Gregory Matuskovic, who represented the Grand Oaks subdivision, was worried about early construction of the Glenn McConnell Parkway extension. "Get the infrastructure finished first," he said.

Rick Hall of Dover, Kohl and Partners, said that getting "the road built early is an excellent plan."

Hamilton Davis of the Coastal Conservation League said that "Long Savannah will serve as a model for future developments."

Charleston City Council will consider the plan for final approval June 17.