Charleston County Councilwoman Anna Johnson was scheduled to hold a public hearing March 28 regarding The Lively, a massive, controversial development proposed for the intersection of Folly and South Grimball roads. Unfortunately, it was cancelled only a few hours before it was to begin.
The Lively is a proposed complex of 330-340 apartments, 10,000-30,000 square feet of market space and 5,000-20,000 square feet of artist studio space. Furthermore, these buildings will climb to a height ranging from 45 to 55 feet. County staff has determined that this project would not be allowed under its Comprehensive Plan. It would be, however, if it were rezoned as a “planned development.” Such an action would take a vote by County Council.
I am strenuously opposed to this project. Its magnitude is far too obtrusive for the existing infrastructure of James Island. The volume of traffic that travels this portion of Folly Road was unimaginable a few years ago. The completion of this project would only make a bad situation worse, especially during summer months when beach traffic is added to the equation.
A traffic light has been proposed for the intersection of Folly and South Grimball roads for some time now, but no action has been taken. This, even after the Charleston Legislative Delegation passed a law requiring one to be installed. Would one not think that this signal would be installed before such a massive project be proposed? Furthermore, wouldn’t it only be logical to require the developers to pay for this signal?
Many on James Island are beginning to feel squeezed on both ends of the island. With the “gathering place” off of Maybank Highway on one end of the island, and this proposed “Lively” projection the other end, our daily life would become even more unbearable. The time will soon come when Folly Road will be mired in gridlock. That will be a sad day for island residents.
Darren T. Mullinax
James Island Town Council