The Feb. 9 Post and Courier article about the Magnolia site includes a picture of undeveloped land at sea level. We see the “highway to nowhere” running through a tidal marsh. Is developing such land realistic? I think not.
Anyone can see that, each year, the high tides are higher and flooding in the city has gotten worse. The city lacks a comprehensive plan for inevitable sea level rise. The city did install rip rap and a walkway along Lockwood Boulevard. Without that feature, the tides would be washing over that thoroughfare.
There is already standing water in all the streets around the Sgt. Jasper Apartments. This will only get worse with an expanded development resulting in more runoff. Like Magnolia, the West Side development is another example of a huge development planned for land at sea level.
The city planning director was recently quoted as saying how the city is counting on a build-up on the Neck. All of these plans show that city leaders have their heads in the sand.
What we need is a true plan to address sea level rise. The city needs to hire hydro engineers, perhaps from the Netherlands, to tell us what structures will be needed to hold back the tides. These new developments may bring in tax revenues, but the costs of protecting them will probably result in a deficit.
Much of New Orleans was built on marshes that sank below sea level (yes, when dried out, wetland soils compact), but as that city expanded it created a series of levees, concrete lined canals and pumping stations to get the water out. Charleston has no room for such a system.
Mayor John Tecklenburg, the City Council and the Planning Commission should place a moratorium on all development of sea-level land until they have a plan in hand to protect those developments from tides that will inevitably rise year after year.