Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Ravenel neighbors fight against zoning: ‘...will change everything’

Photo: 94.3 WSC Listener submitted with permission to publish

RAVENEL, S.C. (WCSC) - Some concerned homeowners in the Town of Ravenel are fighting back against a rezoning change that could lead to the building of a large subdivision.

Dozens gathered on Saturday to protest the request to switch 96 acres of untouched, wooded land on Drayton Street from Agricultural Residential to Residential 3 districts.

The Ravenel Municipal Code states the Agricultural Residential zoning is primarily used for agriculturally-used properties and single-family homes situated on large parcels of land on or near farming areas

The Residential 3 zoning designates medium-density residential development “in quiet, livable neighborhoods and to encourage the formation and continuation of a stable, residential environment for medium-density single-family and two-family dwellings situated on lots having an area of 12,500 square feet or more,” it states.

The group drove in loops around the Ravenel Town Hall, Highway 165 and Drayton Street, bearing signs and honking horns.

If it goes through, the plan would be to build a large subdivision. Neighbors say it would bring in hundreds with a lack of proper infrastructure to match.

“It doesn’t fit community, it doesn’t fit lifestyle. More traffic, more crime, higher taxes,” Roy Smith says. “Extra schooling stuff, services, any of that. There's no infrastructure.”

Smith has been a proud Ravenel homeowner since 1968 and says the quiet, loving community is what he and many others cherish.

“We have wildlife, we have silence, we don’t have traffic congestion. People were safe, you could let children go out in the yard and play,” Smith says. “It is going to change everything.”

The town’s planning and rezoning commission proposed the plan on Jan. 4.

Despite pushback from the community and the lack of a formal site plan, the group passed a recommendation for approval. This means the decision will now go to Town Council.

“I think it was clear all people were against it, only one family was in favor. It got me by surprise at the end that they decided to go for it,” Hollywood homeowner Luis Godoy says.
“It kind of makes me feel like we don’t matter. Instead of being represented, we don’t have anyone in power on our side, in fact, it’s the exact opposite,” homeowner Stephanie Russell says.

Drayton Street is a two-lane road near a railroad track, splitting at the end of Highway 165. Those who live nearby worry how quickly the change could turn the area into a safety hazard.

“It’s going to get jammed up. It’s not a matter of if something happens, it’s when something happens,” Russell says.
“I just want to know where these cars are going to be going, what the traffic looks like,” Godoy says.

Town Council is set to discuss the topic on Jan. 30.

Community members are planning another protest on Jan. 27.

“When you stand alone, it’s a windy corner. You have people who back you up, who understand you’re a community, we love each other, we care about each other,” Smith says.
“We’re screaming at the top of our lungs peacefully to, really, ask and beg for us to maintain where we live,” Russell says.

Ravenel Mayor Stephen Tumbleston did not respond to a request for comment.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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