Summerville Town Council postpones vote on 900+ acre development agreement

Dorchester County News

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – The first step for an agreement to develop nearly 1,000 acres of land near Summerville was postponed on Thursday night.

Summerville Town Council approved a petition for annexation request for a 973-acre property called the Sheep Island Planned Unit Development (PUD) but voted to delay the first reading of an ordinance that would approve a proposed development agreement between the developer and the town, until the July council meeting.

The property is currently in unincorporated Berkeley County, near the Nexton Interchange. Property owner, the Whitfield Company, and Hoyer Investment Company and Thomas and Hutton Engineering submitted the request earlier this year.

The development could include up to 1,700 single family homes, 600 multi-family residences and up to 400,000 square feet of commercial space.

Council members said on Thursday that they would like to wait until after the second public hearing before voting on the development agreement. The first hearing was held on Thursday.

Many in the Del Webb subdivision, adjacent to the property, have raised concerns recently about the developer’s plans. Dozens of the neighborhood’s residents attended the meeting in council chambers, where there was standing room only.

Members of the Del Webb community say they want a buffer larger than 25-feet between the two communities, want the developer to remove a road, that is included in the initial plans and would run next to Del Webb, and would like to ensure that only single family homes are across from their homes.

Del Webb resident Tom Conry said he is glad that his community will have more time now, to work with the developer to address their concerns.

“We requested that there be more time for a complex case like Sheep Island [Planned Unit Development.] They took that into consideration and decided to extend that… and we really appreciate the Town of Summerville giving us the time to present, listening to us and clearly making some modifications as a result of that,” said Conry.

Conry had a meeting with Hoyer Investment Property Owner, Stefan Hoyer on Thursday afternoon and said it went well. Hoyer agreed and said they likely would be able to find a solution that both groups could be happy with.

“We believe that we are going to walk away from the negotiation table… in a win-win situation,” he said.

Hoyer also said that the development gives Summerville a chance to grow more, and noted that it is included in the town’s growth plan. He said that the development’s mixed-use component, with commercial space and residential homes, could help attract business to the town.

“One of the biggest complaints is the availability of quality housing for the people that are going to occupy these [businesses] so we are going to be able to offer that all together in one community,” said Hoyer.

The vote on the first reading for the development agreement is now scheduled to happen at the next town council meeting on July 11. The approval of a 2nd reading is required before the development can move forward.

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