Democrats vying for County Council District 8 participated in a question and answer session with Johns Island residents following the formal Council meeting. Participating candidates included Richmond Truesdale, Eric Mack, Anna Johnson, Parris Williams, and Reverend Charles Glover.
Audio Warehouse looking to move to Johns Island
Johns Island resident Andy Jackson gave a brief presentation with business owner Russ Pritchard concerning the rezoning of 3030 Maybank Highway, property which formerly belonged to Jackson’s late grandfather. Jackson stated his grandfather willed that the land be sold and divided among his children and grandchildren, and after the sales signs went up, they were contacted by Pritchard in regards to building a business on the property. However, as the property is currently zoned R-4, Jackson and Pritchard are petitioning County Council to have the land rezoned as Commercial Transitional.
Pritchard’s business, The Audio Warehouse, is currently located at the corner of Orleans Road and Savage Road in West Ashley. Pritchard describes his business as “low key,” with only one to two customers per week by appointment. The Audio Warehouse specializes in the design, engineering and implementation of residential technologies including home theater systems, house audio, energy control, home automation, central vacuums and security systems. The building would be a 60 x 90 foot green-friendly building with a residential, Lowcountry appearance. The home currently on the property would remain and be used as offices. The rest of the land would be left intact with its existing trees and driveway.
“We would love to be a part of the community out here in a business sense,” said Pritchard, “and we would like Johns Island’s support as we go to County Council.”
Council Chairman Chris Cannon asked that Jackson and Pritchard speak with the neighbors in the area concerning the potential rezoning, even though the property is currently located within two lots of commercially zoned property. He also noted that he would personally speak with people in the area and let them know if there is any opposition.
Betsy Kerrison commercial dock request
Council member Rich Thomas stated that he would be attending the Charleston County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on Monday, June 7, in regards to a request to establish a commercial dock in the Agricultural/Residential (AGR) Zoning District located at 4474 Betsy Kerrison Parkway, even though the item has been postponed. Thomas has heard from the neighbors next to the property, who claim that the people renting the current dock, which belongs to Betsy Stringfellow’s niece, are not using the property solely for eco-friendly kayak tours. In fact, Thomas said that the neighbors have seen the tour company hosting wedding parties on the dock with music, alcohol and a party pontoon boat.
“The basic issue is that they’re trying to cast this business as agricultural/residential because they’re doing eco-tours with kayaks,” said Thomas. “It sets a bad precedence if this is allowed.”
Council voted to oppose the establishment of the commercial dock with one nay, on the grounds that it does not set a good precedent for the area, and that there has not been enough information provided to the public.
Storm water pond may affect wells
During the same County BZA meeting, Council will consider a Special Exception request for the establishment of a stormwater pond for the Briars Creek Subdivision. Residents living near the potential pond have expressed their displeasure for the project, stating that it would affect their wells. One resident of Briar Creek stated that the land has already been cleared and that the developers sent out a letter with little information on the project. Cannon asked that they find out more information on the issue and bring it to the next Council meeting.
Council approved the expenditure of $30 to purchase a new Land Use book from County Council.
The next Johns Island Council meeting will be held on Thursday, July 1, at 7 p.m. in the Berkeley Electric Co-Op building, located at 3351 Maybank Highway. Council meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month.