Chairman Chris Cannon announced that Congressman Leon Stavrinakis from District 119 has confirmed that he will attend the January Council meeting to conduct an informal question and answer session with the Johns Island Council.
Private Sewage Treatment facilities
Chairman Cannon confirmed that a letter expressing the Johns Island Council’s disapproval of Charleston County becoming liable for private sewage treatment plants was officially delivered to the County Council. The letter opposes private sewage treatment plants mainly because the failure of the plant projects would be borne by the tax payer. However, Cannon felt that the approval is pretty much a done deal.
Zoning approvals and upcoming events
Cannon reported that the Charleston County Board of Zoning Appeals approved, with conditions, the removal of a 28 inch diameter breast height (DBH) Grand Water Oak at 4195 Betsy Kerrison Parkway for the construction of a proposed elevated water storage tank.
Also, the request to remove eight grand trees in St. Johns Woods will not be discussed by the City of Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals until January at the earliest.
As for upcoming meeting dates, Council member Brownlee reported that Charleston County’s zoning decision on the Beesferry Landfill has been deferred, for the third time, until the December 17 meeting, and Cannon reminded everyone about the Greenway meeting at the Johns Island Library (3531 Maybank Highway) on Monday, December 7, from 11 – 7pm. He encouraged everyone who could, to attend.
Johns Island road improvements
Cannon brought a copy of the improvements suggested for Johns Island intersection improvements which could be implemented while study and design progresses for the Maybank and Sea Islands projects, to the extent funding is available. Cannon asked that the Council members go through the suggestions and determine which ones the Council will support and which ones they feel are unnecessary. There are six road improvement suggestions in total, including: two right turn lanes at Brownswood Road and Murraywood Road; Widen a portion of road to maintain three lanes from Maybank Hwy. to Brownswood Road; building a right turn lane onto Bohicket Road from Plowground Road and a left turn lane from Plowground Road onto Bohicket Road which would involve a bridge replacement and grand tree impacts; building a left turn land onto Murraywood Road from River Road, including a bridge replacement and grand tree impacts; a right turn lane onto Maybank Hwy. from River Road with a traffic light timing study; and a right turn lane onto Plowground Road from River Road.
“If there’s anything I would say was a complete waste of money, I would say it’s that one,” said Cannon, in reference to the right turn lane onto Plowground Road from River Road, pointing out that, “If you’re turning right, you’re not getting in anyone’s way in the first place.” Cannon also felt that the first suggestion, the two right turn lanes at Brownswood Road and Murraywood Road, was also unnecessary.
In terms of the 526 extension issue, Council member Brownlee remarked that he felt that suggested route numbers 11 and 36 will be the two final scenarios suggested by the extension study. Council member Henry Chavis stated that Maybank, Main and River Road traffic could be reduced by 50% with the 526 extension.
Police enforcement on the island
Council member Rich Thomas reported that, during the Long Range Transportation Study meeting held at West Ashley High School on Thursday, November 19, Mayor Holtz of Seabrook Island stated that he would sign a letter written by the Johns Island Council to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department requesting more police enforcement on Johns Island. Both Council members Brownlee and Thomas have kept a lookout for more police enforcement on the island since their meeting with Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon a few months ago, and neither has seen an improvement in police coverage of the island.
Thomas stated it would be worthwhile to write a letter requesting further traffic enforcement on Johns Island. “At least we’d have it on the record,” said Thomas. “I think this will send a message and we could see if Kiawah will sign it, as well.”
The next Johns Island Council meeting will be held on Thursday, January 7, at 7pm at Berkeley Electric Co-Op, located at 3351 Maybank Hwy. For more info, call Chairman Chris Cannon at 343-5113.