When: Monday, April 19th, 2010
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Deer Park Baptist Church Fellowship Hall
Attorney Yates - Proposed Filipino Center

The Voice of the United Estates of Deer Park
Official Publication of the Deer Park Neighborhood Council
Vol. 16; No. 62 April 2010

By Julia Long

As you know, for a couple of years now, our Councilman Bobby Jameson has been interested in getting some kind of senior housing in Deer Park. Last year there was an attempt to put three-story buildings on the wooded Deerwood lot across from Bobby's house, but he was not satisfied with the quality of that proposed development. I certainly agreed with him, as did most people in the neighborhood. Now the owners of that same property have proposed a somewhat different senior development on that same property.

Monday night at the Planning Commission, the owners and developers got preliminary permission for what the city calls a "Planned Development" (PD) there, with buildings a maximum of two stories high and a privacy fence of at least eight feet around the entire area. The part of the old R-3 (mobile homes) Bomar property that is along Fernwood Street, next to Westview Baptist Church, could not legally be included in the PD, so the owners/developers agreed to rezone it as R-1 for single-family housing. My guess is that, if they don't sell it, they will put a large house there and use it as a small assisted-living home for up to nine patients. This is legal under South Carolina law.

The main part of the development is, at this time, proposed to be three buildings with a combination of one- and two-bedroom independent-living units plus some assisted-living units. There is talk of adding physical therapy areas, and perhaps a unit for people who suffer from memory problems of whatever cause. We have been told that the goal is to produce something like the assisted-living area at the entrance to The Elms. I think that the lower buildings (2 stories instead of 3), combined with the extensive privacy fencing, would make this much less disruptive to our neighborhood than the project proposed last year. In addition, the emphasis on assisted living would likely mean the traffic will be much less than last year's project, as many of these people will not have cars, and there would be few people driving out to work. If all this land were developed in houses, there could, I think, possibly be 50 or so homes, with people coming and going to work, and teenagers driving cars, plus children walking to and from school. My own expectation is that the project now proposed would produce less traffic, and certainly fewer children and adults walking in our streets than normal single-family development would bring. Of course, I could be wrong.

The owners/ developers have as much as a year to finish their planning, but they may proceed immediately. The zoning would not be changed to PD until the final plan is approved. City Council would have to vote on it. Bobby will no doubt continue to work with the developers on creating a final plan. I urge you to get in touch with him by phone or email, and let him know what further protections you want before City Council should allow this development. Bobby can still stop it, if he judges it unsuitable for the neighborhood, and I know that Bobby wants to be sure that your voice is heard. He can't do that unless you tell him now what you think.


Attorney Yates, representing the proposed center, says that he has withdrawn the request to be heard before the County Board of Zoning Appeals, at least until the first Monday in June. He will be at our Monday night meeting to discuss his
proposal. As this newsletter is running late (due to temporary illness of our president, Julia Long), please help us by getting this information out to your neighbors. We need to have as many people at Monday night's meeting as possible. The County Board of Zoning Appeals says that for a single-family county lot (like the one in question) to get what's called a "Special Exception" to put a social club (like the proposed Filipino Center) on it, all six of these conditions must be met:
  1. Is consistent with the recommendations contained in the Charleston County Comprehensive Plan and the character of the underlying zoning district, as indicated in the zoning district “Description” [The description of the County University Boulevard Overlay says "The UB-O district was adopted to improve the visual character of the corridor and to create consistency between the County of Charleston and the City of North Charleston concerning land development regulations."];
  2. Is compatible with existing uses in the vicinity and will not adversely affect the general welfare or character of the immediate community; [Most of our neighborhood seems to feel this standard cannot be met]
  3. Adequate provision is made for such items as: setbacks, buffering (including fences and/or landscaping) to protect adjacent properties from the possible adverse influence of the proposed use, such as noise, vibration, dust, glare, odor, traffic congestion and similar factors; [It seems almost impossible to make provisions that will close all the noise, light, etc.]
  4. Where applicable, will be developed in a way that will preserve and incorporate any important natural features;
  5. Complies with all applicable rules, regulations, laws and standards of this Ordinance, including but not limited to any use conditions, zoning district standards, or Site Plan Review requirements of this Ordinance; [The County land use map for the UB-O district indicates the Salamander lot is intended for "residential land use"]
  6. Vehicular traffic and pedestrian movement on adjacent roads shall not be hindered or endangered.
Please consider sending an email to JWerking@charlestoncounty.org expressing your views. You should say plainly which of the six conditions above that you are referring to. For example, if you speak before the County board in June about traffic issues and the danger of overflow parking blocking Salamander, you should start by saying something like this: "Number 6 of the requirements for a Special Exception says that vehicular traffic should not be hindered. The Filipino Center does not meet that requirement because .........." Or, if you are concerned about children walking and riding bikes on Salamander and its feeder roads, you might say something like "Number 6 of the requirements for a Special Exception says that pedestrian movement on adjacent roads shall not be endangered. The proposed Center doesn't meet this requirement because ........" The County board allows each person only two minutes speaking time so practice your comments before you come, and stick to just one or two points, please. Remember not to use the word "rezoning" as this issue is called by the name of "Special Exception."

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Garbage: Every Wednesday
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Board of Directors

President: Julia Long 553-3235
Vice President: Dennis Isgitt 797-2455
Secretary: Beth Evans
Treasurer: Linda Brinson 553-8832

Board Mbr. Apptd: open

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Board Mbr. Elected: Audrey Carpenter 553-7768
Board Mbr. Apptd: Mary Hutson 553-4451

Key Personnel

City Council District 3: Bobby Jameson 824-1500
County Council Rep: Elliott Summey 200-4244
Neighborhood Crime Watch Representative: John Flinn 863-0659
N. Chas. Dispatcher:   745-1015
Housing Director: Darbis Briggmann 740-2560
Crime Prevention Officer:
Cpl. Brian West
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Jim Driver
Bill Lusk
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