Now we're seeing some of the real reasons why Charleston's mayor and his cloned City Council fought so hard to get their claws on James Island. It's all about tax base and dollars for their spending coffers.

They don't give a hoot about the wishes of the people they serve there. The so-called "gathering place" is just the "tip of the iceberg."

R.M. Suggs

Greenwood Road

Adams Run

Regarding Tim Keane's column about the apartments on Maybank Highway: He says that James Island, in 1970, was no longer rural. It certainly had the feel of being rural, a feel that no longer exists today.

As late as the early 1980s, Folly Road was still lined with tomato fields on land now occupied by the post office, the Publix shopping center, the super Bi-Lo, the Food Lion shopping center, the abandoned Bi-Lo across Fort Johnson road, et al. He says that the 27,000 residents of 1970 represent most of the population that is on James Island today.

What does that mean? Is he saying that, with the housing construction that has been going on all over James Island for the past 30 years, the population has remained essentially static?

I'll skip the part about the trees and how sensitive the design will be to the neighbors. We Islanders well remember how sensitive those people from Charleston City Hall were in regard to the Dill sisters' will and property.

He says the only way to solve our traffic problem is to have more people living in locations where they can walk, bike, or use transit for some trips they take.

People like their cars. They like to drive them. They don't spend $20,000 for something to adorn a parking space.

Traffic is a problem, and it doesn't have to be - if politicians and developers were not so determined to shoehorn as many people onto James Island as they could.

So let's have a little honesty from city officials. More apartments mean more people mean more traffic. James Islanders figured that out a long time ago.

Mike Pierce

Walsingham Way

James Island

Tim Keane's Dec. 31 attempt to justify the high density apartment/retail complex near Folly Road and Maybank Highway is weak at best and laughable at worst.

The main issue I have with this development is that it is out of place for the area.

He cites the nearby James Island Shopping Center (a one-story complex) and the five-story Wappoo Creek office building (located well off the road with no nearby houses) as justification for allowing the four-story apartment complex and six-, yes six, story parking garage to be built.

How many other six-story parking garages are located in mostly one- and two-story suburban areas? None that I'm aware of.

I'm also curious as to how many members of the Planning, Preservation and Sustainability committees would vote for this type of complex in their neighborhood.

I would bet zero. Therein lies the hypocrisy of his statement.

Frank Duvall

Paddlecreek Avenue

James Island

I am surprised at Tim Keane's insistence that the large apartment complex proposed for Maybank Highway near Folly Road will be ideal for those residents who prefer to bike, walk or take a bus. Has he been on Maybank Highway recently?

Has he experienced the speed the traffic moves? Has he tried to leave the theater parking lot and drive toward Folly Road in mid-afternoon? Has he tried to cross Maybank Highway or Folly Road on foot lately?

Where are the crosswalks and pedestrian buttons that change the lights? Has he tried to catch a bus to town from Maybank Highway and Folly Road? Has he really tried to walk across Folly Road to visit McLeod Plantation? Where are the safe bike lanes?

I hope Mr. Keane will visit the area on foot someday soon. Then he may realize the folly of the planned "gathering place."

Sallie Fuerth

Wappoo Creek Place