Johns Island, S.C. (WCBD) – Homeowners on Johns Island are upset after the City of Charleston passed the first reading of a Planned Unit Development for 750 housing units to be built on the corner of Maybank Highway and River Road. The locals fear that this could contribute to traffic congestion on the Island.
This planned unit development site is very close to the bridge & near an intersection that locals say they fight traffic at daily.
Miranda Stanley, Johns Island Resident, says, “You sit in traffic for more than an hour. I think it’s an awful decision.”
Rod Rush, Johns Island Resident, says, “Traffic is backed up at this forever light behind me (referring to Maybank Highway & River Rd. intersection) that they need to adjust so that way there is more traffic that can get off River Rd. and on to Maybank than there is just running down Maybank.”
Many say that they are concerned that adding a major housing development to the area off Maybank Highway will add too many drivers to a road that is already at capacity.
Rod Rush, Johns Island Resident, says, “It’s a very bad idea. We have enough problems getting off of this Island.”
Crystal Smith, Johns Island Resident, says, “They are already building houses and new apartments already. They are already adding more cars to the road. It’s just going to make traffic and everything worse.”
The county and the City of Charleston began a Maybank Highway Improvements Project back in 2006. The planning director for the city says that the housing development plan includes the plan for road improvement.
Jacob Lindsey, Planning Director for the City of Charleston says, “The city has had plans in place to improve traffic for years. This project includes the southern pitchfork. So, the approval for this project is included with the pitchfork plan.”
He says that if the housing development is approved, then part of the land will be set aside for the new roads.
Jacob Lindsey, Planning Director for the City of Charleston says, “Anyone who knows Johns Island knows that the choke point, of course, happens at Maybank and River. The plan is to create two new roadways, one going north and one going south to help distribute traffic and let people get around that key pitch point.”
He says that the landowner already has approval to develop the land, but by working together with the city, they were able to reduce the development unit number and come to the agreement to use part of the land for road improvements to manage traffic.
Jacob Lindsey, Planning Director for the City of Charleston says, “The proposal is actually 43 fewer dwelling units than what are currently allowed by the zoning on the site. It’s a very important point that this planned unit development actually reduces the total number of units that are available to be built.”