Call Collett

Call Collett: Problems persist in Dan Ryan community, homeowners blame county

William Ellison moved into his Moncks Corner home more than a year ago, but the backyard is as blank as the day he closed on his home in the Palmetto Point at Spring Grove neighborhood.

“I can’t do anything in my backyard because of all these issues,” Ellison explained the situation.

Since moving into the home in March of 2017, Ellison noticed a myriad of problems in this Dan Ryan Builders community.

“I’ve never seen this level of work so bad,” he told News 2 during an interview in his home.

He documented some of the issues in pictures and video. Water pools in his backyard and in several neighbors’ yards too. News 2 first exposed the drainage issues in February 2018.  The builder had strayed from approved plans and didn't install the correct drainage system.

A follow up investigation revealed a slew of other issues.

Through a records request to Berkeley County, News 2 discovered the land in the community wasn’t graded right. Property lines aren’t marked correctly. Sod was laid over bumpy roots and stumps, creating a tripping hazard. After our initial investigation, Berkeley County started withholding certificate of occupancies so Dan Ryan Builders couldn’t close on newly constructed homes. It was an attempt to force the builder to correct the problems.  But emails obtained by News 2 show the builder convinced the county into releasing at least three before problems were corrected.  The revelation is a blow to Ellison and his neighbors.

“They are more worried about the revenue from the houses being built than they are about this stuff getting done and getting done correctly,” Ellison told News 2’s Rebecca Collett.

Ellison’s fence needs fixing. It’s part of the punch list of things that Berkeley County outlined for the builder to fix. Dan Ryan Builders employees told Berkeley County on March 15 it was getting done. Some 60 days later, it’s not.   New sod was laid over the same stumps, according to homeowners. The grading still isn’t fixed either.  The builder damaged the root system of several trees that need to be removed.  They’re marked for removal, but still standing.

A spokesman for Dan Ryan Builders said in February company is, “Working towards a final resolution.” Repeated attempts to contact the builder again have gone unanswered.

No one from Berkeley County would answer questions on camera, but a spokesperson sent a statement last week.

“Berkeley County Building and Codes have not issued any additional certificate of occupancy (CO's) since early April in the the Palmetto Point neighborhood and do not plan to issue another CO until the situation is resolved. The County continues to meet with the builder to review the punch list, and will do so until the remaining items have been addressed.”

A timeline to complete the punch list is unclear. Virtually none of the punch list items has hard deadlines.

One source says the county gave Dan Ryan Builders six weeks to complete the punch list. Homeowners aren’t hopeful it will be done.  

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