Charleston Co. Council reviews Folly Road planning - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Charleston Co. Council reviews Folly Road planning

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Folly Road is the main thoroughfare through James Island, and it's the only route to Folly Beach.

Tuesday the Charleston County Council will review a plan to make the route safer, improve the visual character, and create consistency between the municipalities along the road.

Last week James Island passed the first reading for the project four to one but also amended parts of the project because the mayor said a main concern was the project prohibited gun shops along Folly Road.

"I think the primary benefits of the corridor is to provide consistency," Mayor Bill Woolsey said, noting how the appearance will change and in the long run bring prosperity to the Folly Road area.

The plan is to divide the route into five regions:
1. North village
2. Commercial core
3. South village
4. Neighborhood preservation
5. Conservation

Each region would be zoned to control types of businesses that can locate there, improve pedestrian safety, and create vegetation barriers.

In the North Village Region:
Tatum Street to Oak Point Road
This area is not intended to have large scale commercial development.
Auto dealers, billboards, shooting ranges, hotels, and tattoo parlors would be prohibited, and there would be a minimum of 15 foot vegetated right of way buffer.

In the Commercial Core :
Oak Point Road to Prescott Street
This area is intended for higher intensity commercial uses.

There are sign restrictions for those businesses, and sidewalk requirements to make the region pedestrian friendly.

South Village Area:
Prescott Street to Rafael Lane

Future development would be a mix of commercial and residential uses.

Auto dealers, shooting ranges, liquor stores, hotels, and tattoo parlors are prohibited.

Neighborhood Preservation:
Rafael Lane to Battery Island Drive
This portion would serve as a transition between intense commercial development zones and the conservation area leading into Folly Beach. Building would be limited to 5,000 square feet.

Hotels, fast food chains, gas stations, indoor recreation centers, and tattoo parlors are prohibited.

Conservation Area:
Battery Island Drive to the Folly River
The intent is to develop this region as little as possible so it serves as a natural, scenic space before entering Folly Beach.

Michael Golemis, a resident and business owner along Folly Road said the consistency is a step in the right direction but he said first and foremost public safety needs a serious overhaul along the route.

"The way I see Folly Road, immediately we need to change and alter the speed limit from 45 to 35. Make it compatible to something like Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant, that's nice over there. Traffic goes nice and easy, nice and slow, they can read business signs, they can think about where they're going to stop, they have proper curb cuts for cars to pull out, they have sidewalks on both sides complete not broken, fragmented sidewalks like we have on Folly Road where pedestrians can't even access the road without putting their lives at risk," Golemis said.

There's sure to be many more like him at the meeting Tuesday night.

The public hearing on the Folly Road Corridor plan is Tuesday at 6:00 PM where Charleston County leaders will listen to public input on the plans. The meeting is in North Charleston off Bridge View Drive.

 

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