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Jul 09 2010

Johns Island Council

Proposed tree maintenance along Betsy Kerrison, Bohicket and River Roads

Joel Evans and Sally Brooks from the Charleston County Planning Commission gave a brief follow up presentation on the issue of tree maintenance along Johns’ Island’s major roads. After inspecting the 33 trees slated for maintenance by the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SC DOT), it was determined that six of the trees would need to be removed entirely: four on Bohicket Road, one on Betsy Kerrison and one on River Road. All six trees are severely damaged and are much lower than the 14 foot height required within the roads’ travel lanes. In some cases, the trees have large chunks missing from them where trucks have hit the main, over-arching trunks.

Although the project began a year ago, the Charleston County Planning Department waited until they received approval to replace all six trees with young live oaks before going ahead with the removal. The Planning Department will plant younger trees a minimum of 14 feet from the road but still within the road’s right-of-way. The project should begin later this summer.

Grant received for hazardous limb removal

Evans and Brooks were also thrilled to announce that the County had received funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to remove hazardous tree limbs from Bohicket and River Roads. Following an assessment, it was determined that 127 tree limbs would need to be removed: 89 on Bohicket Road and 38 on River Road. Limbs permitted for removal must be at least 4 inches in diameter or larger, and must be either dead, cracked, have an open cavity or have included bark.

Evans assured the Council that they would perform an inspection of each section after the contractor removed the limbs to determine that the job was done correctly, and as the grant is for this year, the project should begin as soon as mid-fall.

“Several of the arborists I spoke to[about the limb removal project] played around with the idea of doing it between midnight and four a.m.,” said Evans, in response to concerns about traffic while the limbs were removed. “We’ll also be looking into further funding to cover any gaps since we don’t think that there are enough funds from the grant to take care of all the limbs that need to be removed.”

For more information on the tree removals or the hazardous limb removals, call Charleston County Zoning & Planning Department: 202-7200 SC DOT: 740-1655.

Angel Oak threatened with filling nearby wetlands

Councilman Sam Brownlee, who chaired the night’s meeting for Chairman Chris Cannon, stated that efforts are being made to request a public hearing from the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in response to the developers of Angel Oak Village’s request to place fill material in wetlands near and surrounding the Angel Oak tree. The area will be used for the construction of a mixed-use planned development by the Sea Island Health Care Corporation PUD (formerly Angel Oak Village).

Brownlee pointed out that Samantha Seigel, founder of Save the Angel Oak, is behind the effort, and is asserting that the consctuction will not only affect the Angel Oak’s water table, but will add additional runoff to the already-polluted Church Creek. Those wishing to encourage a public hearing and protest the wetland fill permit should send their requests to the Corps of Engineers and DHEC no later than July 14. For more information, visit “Go Grassroots– Let’s Save the Angel Oak” on Facebook.

Treasurer’s report

Brownlee reported that, following the expenditure of $37.62 for a new Land Use book from Charleston County, the Council’s budget stands at $633.69.

Bridge at Bryan’s Dairy Road

While Sam Brownlee brought the issue of the decrepit bridge at Bryan’s Dairy Road to the attention of CHATS about two years ago, the bridge has still not been repaired. To encourage the quick repair of the dilapidated span, Brownlee brought the issue to the attention of the Council of Governments, and the bridge is now back on the list of “to be repaired” projects. “I don’t know when it will be fixed, but at least it’s on the list,” said Brownlee.

Zoning updates from Charleston County

Brownlee reported that the commercial dock on Betsy Kerrison just off of the Stringfellow property has been approved with stipulations/conditions, and the permit for retention ponds in the Briar’s Creek development has also been approved.

Merge sign on the stono bridge

Making it to meeting just before close, Chairman Chris Cannon was happy to announce that the South Carolina Department of Transportation installed a new merge sign on the Stono Bridge; a battle which he has been fighting for the past several months. The new sign reads “Notice: alternate merge when congested” and is located closer to the stoplight at mid-bridge. “We got our merge sign!” Cannon smiled, “and it seems to be working already.”

What are those little marker flags on Maybank?

Chairman Cannon reported that Charleston Public Works is putting in a sewer line along Maybank Highway and will be putting it under the right-of-way so it’s further off the street. Eventually, the lines will most likely run under sidewalks. At the same time, the water company is located water lines and all of the mapping information is being put into a database for the eventual development of Maybank. “It’s just preparation right now,” said Cannon.

Potential presentation on Johns Island roads from study group

Mayor Pro-Tem of Kiawah Island, Al Burnaford, reported that the LPA Group – the group hired to study the potential widening of Bohicket and Main, as well as the building of the Johns Island Greenway – will most likely be giving a presentation on their findings to Charleston County Zoning on July 13 at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit CharlestonCounty.org or call the Zoning Department at 202-7200.

CPW putting in sewer line along maybank. Being put on people’s private property – so bought right of way. Eventually will put in sidewalks. Working with water company to locate water lines. Putting all info into database and don’t know when they’ll be done. Just preparation right now.

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