COUNCILMAN RON BRINSON – FEBRUARY 19. 2017

HYDRANT TESTING – Coosaw Preserve – COOSAW WETLANDS – REGIONAL Art

Fire hydrant testing – The Fire Department will soon begin its annual hydrant capacities and functionality testing.   Signs will be posted in neighborhoods in advance of testing, and schedules will also be posted via social media.  Hydrant testing, infrequently, causes a discoloring of tap water. This results from the stirring of line sediments already on the water. Be assured the fire department adds nothing to the water for testing. For any resident concerned about this, the fire department will offer a product “Red-B-Gone.”  You can call 843 740-2616 for more information about this free product.  Testing will rotate throughout the city during March.

Coosaw Preserve, welcome!  – Residents of this quickly evolving neighborhood in front of the Joseph Pye Elementary School are now on the District 4 newsletter mailing list. Their immediate concern is the rush-hour school year morning traffic which causes frequent backups exiting the neighborhood.  But this is a general concern for most District 4 neighborhoods. The city now posts two policemen at the school traffic intersections and public works is studying whether a traffic signal might help.  Dorchester County officials are now conversing with Charleston County about matching improvements on Patriot Boulevard. (The county line runs just east of the school, near the Boeing interiors plant.)

COOSAW CREEK WETLANDS – Confusion about the storm-damages cleanup of these community wetlands abounds — especially after the Coosaw Creek Country Club Owners Association declined a prospective city grant to help fund the project.  As I discussed before in this newsletter, the Coosaw wetlands facilitate the drainage of several residential neighborhoods, including part of the Farm at Wescott and Indigo Palms, and several other unincorporated neighborhoods off Ashley Phosphate Road.  In a word, these properties are strategically important.  Hurricane Matthew’s winds last October blew over hundreds of massive trees. The effects slow storm water flows and create value-sapping aesthetical damages.

The Coosaw Creek CC Owners Association owns the wetlands and is singularly responsible for their condition.

Because of the broader community use of these wetlands, the city attempted to formulate a grant of assistance package for city council approval. The proposal would have provided $102,450 to help finance the project which could cost $250,000.  Most of the grant funds, if city council had approved, would have come from the last dollars in the District 4 bond monies, which have been used to pave roads and create pocket parks and buy playground equipment.

After on-site inspections by city engineers and Mayor Keith Summey, the condition of the grant was confirmed – the project would remove fallen trees from the regulatory wetlands so as to substantially reduce the effects on drainage throughout the community wetlands AND resolve the aesthetical effects on property owners who are living with up-close ugliness and mosquito-breeding static water pools on their property lines. The city also offered to phase the grant over two years to accommodate the Association’s strategic financial schedules.

After two months, The Coosaw Creek CC Owners Association declined the city’s scope of work and opted instead to embrace a “committee” conclusion that only certain parts of the wetlands would be cleared.

The city’s immediate concern was that the plan is not documented by professional engineers certified in hydrology, and nor does it address the huge problem of aesthetics.   And the city will monitor closely the Association’s apparent plan to cut up trees from arterial water courses and then stack the logs within the wetlands.

But, the city recognizes that as the owner of these community wetlands, the Coosaw Creek CC Owners Association’s board has every right to reject the city’s prospective assistance and to adjudge the drainage and aesthetics issues from their points of view.  I intend to continue to consider ways to help.

We are reminded that privately-owned storm water drainage wetlands are hugely important to the broader community’s drainage systems – and they must be maintained.  And as I have mentioned in previous newsletters, that’s a point every homeowners association should ponder.  I was especially heartened that two HOAs, recognizing their residents’ interest in the Coosa wetlands, offered to make affordable donations which might have increased the city’s grant funding support for the Coosaw project.

And we are reminded of the huge financial burdens on owners when these properties are heavily damaged.  And we are surely reminded that damage is a reality, not an abstraction to be rationalized — and the costs of restoration is never simply defined by what we wish it would cost or even what has been budgeted for such contingencies.

The city will continue to look for ways to assist with this and other drainage issues.  I welcome your comments and counsel. (And I was informed Saturday that the prospective grant funds will be maintained through the city’s March financial approval cycle.)

Other “Stormwater” Updates – As I reported in previous newsletters, the city applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a $100,000 grant to conduct an engineering review and solutions study for the Pepperhill community drainage systems and the McChune Branch runoff generally. FEMA has now offered $25,000 for the study. The City Council Finance Committee last week agreed to consider supplementing the funding of this project to assure it has an adequate scope. In the meanwhile, anyone with a factual theory about down-stream constraints on the McChune Branch runoff system should contact me. The city will investigate all such claims in consultation with federal and state agencies.

Here’s a feature story about how retention ponds can be maintained with higher function and attractiveness: http://www.postandcourier.com/features/experts-devising-ways-to-make-stormwater-ponds-more-natural-functional/article_131e2a70-f3bc-11e6-b8f8-8b45c5bf3226.html

BUILDING PERMITS ENFORCEMENT - If you’re planning work projects on your home – like a new roof or fence – you will probably need a city building permit. The city is now auditing projects in District 4. One review disclosed that 91 projects without sufficient permits had taken place last year in one owners association neighborhood.  Qualified and licensed contractors will be aware of this and state law mandates that local approvals – such as an ARB permit—is a condition of municipal building permits.  So, please  make sure your projects are legally permitted.  The process informs the city’s efforts to assure  work on homes complies with building and public safety codes. If you have a question about this, please contact me.

 

ART IS REGIONAL!  Free show and free reception…. the Summerville Artist Guild members will display their works at the North Charleston City Gallery from March 2-31, 2017. A free reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, March 2, from 5:00-7:00pm. Many of the exhibiting artists will be there and the public is invited.

The North Charleston City Gallery is situated in two corridors of the northwest corner of the Charleston Area Convention Center, located at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. Parking and admission are free.  Gallery hours are Tuesdays 12-5pm, Wednesdays 11am-5pm, Thursdays 11am-7:30pm, and Fridays 11am-5pm.  Want more information? Contact the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854 or check in at the Arts & Culture section of the City’s website at www.northcharleston.org.

Councilman Ron Brinson – February 6, 2017

Harris Teeter  has withdrawn its proposed zoning applications that would have led to installation of gas and fuel islands at The Corner at Wescott. This follows a unanimous vote by the Planning Commission to deny the request.  The matter was scheduled for City Council hearings Thursday, but that has been cancelled.

I believe Harris Teeter – a great corporate neighbor —  came to realize just how important Dorchester Corridor Overlay District planning values are to our community. Nonetheless, selling fuel will remain a business plan priority for the grocer, especially after having been purchased by Kroger in 2012.

I very much appreciated how the constituents of District 4 engaged on this important issue and how constructive and civil the neighborhood debates have been.

 

ENFORCEMENT OF BUILDING PERMITS REQUIREMENTS —  These  “permits” are generally required  anytime  work is planned for both commercial and residential structures. The city’s building inspector has become concerned about the rising number of unpermitted projects, especially roof replacements.  A building permit  assures the work will conform to building standards. This approach is universal in municipal government and directly relates to public safety and preservation of property values.  Enforcement can lead to fines and higher permit fees – and in some cases criminal prosecution. Homeowners associations are encouraged to pass the word to residents about this requirement and to report contractors who might be inclined to flout this important  law.  Also, be alert to scams. A good clearing question for any contractor is whether the contractor intends to apply for a building permit and whether the contractor has a valid business license registered in the City of North Charleston. More information on building permits is available at www.northcharleston.org

The Crossings at Wescott Plantation – This massive building project at the Wescott traffic circle – finally is nearing completion and should be ready for occupancy in April.  It’s an upscale 184 unit senior living community with 93 independent living, 57 assisted living and 34 “memory care “apartments located across the street from The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation — and down the road from The Corner at Wescott shopping center. (Contrary to the project’s website information, this special complex is in North Charleston, not Summerville.)  Want more information or a “briefing” contact  Alissa Crankshaw at 843 486 2712  or at ACrankshaw@thecrossingsatwescottplantation.com.   The sales office is an instant pictorial tour of what will be a well-planned and upscale complex.  It’s located on Ladson Road, between Sears K-Mart and The Oakbrook Theaters.  (That is  in Summerville.)

Please share this newsletter with your neighbors and please contact me anytime at rbrin@aol.com with your questions or counsel.

Thank You !

COUNCILMAN RON BRINSON – FEBRUARY 4, 2017

Harris TEETER GAS STATION “Plan” – This proposal will be before City Council and a public hearing Thursday, February 9, 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, third floor at City Hall. HOA leaders are encouraged to spread the word and encourage residents to attend and participate.  Ample opportunity will be provided to all who want to speak.

The Planning Commission last week voted unanimously to recommend the grocer’s “fuel island” plan be denied.  The arching concern is that such a facility would violate the Dorchester Overlay District planning standards and set a precedent that could lead to additional gas stations between Appian Way and Parlor.

City Council has the final say and next Thursday’s meeting is the first of three during February that will complete the process.

I will keep you posted.  Please contact me if you have questions or want to provide counsel.

 

The Aquatics Center – City Council has authorized $1.1 million for architectural work and site planning and has granted Mayor Summey authority to finalize a formal interagency agreement with District 2 School District. This project should be moving into noticeable site planning and clearing by mid-summer. The $20 million facility will feature Olympic-sized competitive swimming pools that can be divided for more conventional community uses. Swimming lessons for all school children is a specific program objective. The project also includes another roadway ingress and egress for Fort Dorchester High School campus. Another conceptual option: The Dorchester Library Commission is planning a satellite library somewhere in the North Charleston sections of the county. The Aquatics Center site at Patriot Boulevard and Appian Way is a possible option. I’ll keep you posted.

Police Citizens Advisory Commission - This panel has an important mission to improve communications and general relationships between police men and women and the communities they serve.  This group is fully supported by the mayor and city council. Its mission statement was drafted by the U.S. Justice Department. As I reported previously in this newsletter, each councilman appoints two members. We had a dozen outstanding candidates applying from District 4.  For the Commission’s critically-important organizational period, I’ve made the following two appointments:

Marc Embler and Richard Hayes.

Dr. Embler is dean of Charleston Southern University Center For Academic Excellence and chairman of the school’s Criminal Justice Department.

Mr. Hayes is a retired air force officer, an executive in a local chemical manufacturing firm and a member of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry.

 

Raising Cane’s at The Corner at Wescott – This very popular restaurant has been cited for violating the buffer between its building and Dorchester Road. The company apparently went a bit too far in cleaning up post-storm debris and “under-brushed” what is to be an undisturbed natural buffer. The mitigation requirements will include new plantings in a process to be supervised by the city’s public works team.

New Exercise EQUIPMENT - Look for the new “adult” exercise stations at equipment at the Wescott Park and Ballfields. This complements the children’s playground which was installed last year. The exercise features were funded by District 9 Councilman Kenny Skipper’s discretionary bond program. The children’s playground facility was sponsored and funded by District 4’s program.

This one-time program has created pocket-parks and playgrounds at several  District 4 locations and has funded the city’s share of several important streets repaving projects. One last project could support cleanup of drainage wetlands severely damaged last October by Hurricane Matthew.  Councilman Skipper and I have been discussing with the mayor options for creating another similar program next year.

Dog Play Park at Wescott Park - This instantly popular facility has been showing signs of overuse, especially during the periods of heavy rain. Our city’s recreation department team has been working hard to keep it “playable” and they’re looking at some options for installing artificial turf specifically designed for such facilities.

DRAINAGE SYSTEM  MAINTENANCE  - I’ve been asked to share again the links below which provide valuable and timely information about maintenance of  drainage facilities owned by property owners’ associations. There have been four major rain events in our district over the last 18 months. We’ve been reminded that so much of the drainage “system” we depend upon is “privately” owned by POAs and HOAs.   Ongoing maintenance is not just important—it is imperative ! Please keep me posted on maintenance initiatives in your neighborhoods.

 

EPA best practices, includes plans and checklists….https://www3.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/pondmgmtguide.pdf

This citizens guide to pond maintenance: http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Docs/ponds.pdf

Our Best Management Practices (BMP) manual has sections on the construction of both wet and dry detention ponds. http://www.scdhec.gov/Environment/WaterQuality/Stormwater/BMPHandbook/mindex.htm

Clemson’s also has a helpful guide on stormwater pond problem solving.  website: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/natural_resources/water/stormwater_ponds/problem_solving/index.html

 

Please share these updates with your neighbors and I’m happy to add anyone to the base mailing list. And please contact me anytime with questions or counsel.  rbrin@aol.com

 

Councilman Ron Brinson – December 26, 2016

Best Wishes To All of Our City’s Residents For An Enjoyable Christmas Season

The Harris TEETER  gas Station Proposal   poses the most controversial zoning issue our community has faced in the last 10 years. The “Overlay” zoning standards and values our neighborhoods have relied upon exclude gas stations along the very stretch of Dorchester Road Harris Teeter now occupies as part of the thriving Corner at  Wescott shopping center.  We can be grateful for the neighborhood leaders who worked so hard so many years ago to formulate and enact these zoning guidelines and rules.  

The company’s application for zoning document amendments needed to permit a gas station operation will be heard by our city’s Planning Commission at 6 p.m., Monday, January 9, in the Buist Room, third floor of City Hall.  If you are supportive of such a gas station or opposed, your views are important in this process. Attend this meeting if you can, and plan also to attend the public hearing before City Council February 9 at 7 p.m.

I remain opposed to this proposal; so does my District 9 colleague Councilman Kenny Skipper. The “Overlay” standards and restrictions are so important to neighborhoods impacted by growth and development.  Permitting a gas station at the Corner at Wescott could set a precedent of equity claims by other developers wanting their properties zoned for fuel stations. Also, I believe the proposed footprint of the proposed Harris Teeter facility is too small and the operation would create even more of a crowded feeling in the parking area.

At a meeting last week with Harris Teeter representatives, including the company’s lawyer, Mr. Skipper and I reiterated our summary positions.  Harris Teeter believes it has broad and growing support for its proposal. We’ll see.

This likely will be a spirited debate – and let us hope a healthy one that brings focus to the values and standards which define our community. And let us remember that Harris Teeter is a valued “good neighbor” that operates an upscale retail complex and contributes to our community in so many large and small ways.  You know my position and concerns and most of you have heard this issue debated in your HOA forums. In fairness to Harris Teeter, I offered to relay its summary position via this newsletter. This follows and I would welcome your comments and counsel.  (This newsletter with drawings is posted  at www.ronbrinson.com.)

 

Wescott Plantation Shopping Center:

A Letter from Harris Teeter

Harris Teeter is looking to expand our extensive offerings by adding a fuel station on the last remaining undeveloped parcel of the Wescott Plantation Shopping Center. In doing so, Harris Teeter hopes to create a commercial center which reflects market trends and is competitive for years to come, as well as add an additional level of convenience for community members. Wescott, however, falls within the City of North Charleston and is a Planned Development (PDD). As it currently stands, there is a disagreement about whether the PDD and Dorchester Overlay zoning ordinances allow a grocery retailer to sell fuel.  To avoid any uncertainty, Harris Teeter and our landlord believe it is best to amend the PDD zoning ordinance. By carefully crafting this amendment, Harris Teeter would be able to implement our first rate business model, while maintaining the sanctity of the overlay district. Below is the amended language we are proposing:

“The operator of a grocery store of at least 50,000 square feet may, as a permitted use, operate a gas station within the boundaries of the PDD.”

To elaborate on the project, we have included renderings of the proposed fuel center below. Harris Teeter is proposing a fuel station with 10 gas dispensers. This number of fueling positions is similar to other fuel stations in North Charleston. Our model for operating fuel stations is similar to other neighborhood grocery chains such as: Lowes Foods, Walmart Neighborhood Market and Kroger. The proposed HT fuel station does not include a convenience store, resulting in a lower trip generation than most convenience stores/fuel stations. We also offer savings by lowering the price of fuel for our loyal shoppers. Therefore, our program differs from other gas stations with convenience stores like Kangaroo, Shell or Spinx.

It is Harris Teeter’s priority to not only serve our shoppers with world class customer service, but also act as a responsible corporate neighbor to our local community members. We look forward to continuing our work with the City of North Charleston to arrive at a constructive solution which supports the long-term health of this shopping center and humbly respects the concerns of nearby residents.

Sincerely,

Jacob Phares

Conceptual Renderings

1 2 3 4

Councilman Ron Brinson – December 12, 2016

Harris Teeter Pushing Fuel Station Plans

The Corner at Wescott  has become a dynamic and successful part of our community. As I have reported to you so many times over the last two years, Harris Teeter covets a fuel station at this shopping center to complement its multi-dimensional store. The store’s owners and the shopping center’s owners are well aware that “overlay” zoning generally along Dorchester Road prohibits gas-fuel stations/convenience stores, a standard our community has supported and protected for nearly 20 years.  Nonetheless their insistence persists and now they have filed formal application to amend applicable planned development district zoning so as to permit the fuel station.

Our city’s Planning Commission will begin its processing of this application at its January 9 public meeting, 6 p.m., Buist Room-Third Floor, City Hall.  The commission will make its recommendation to City Council which will decide the issue ultimately in February.  This is the most important planning issue to evolve in our community in many years and could have far-reaching effects.  HOA leaders are encouraged to spread the word of this public process and urge residents to tune in and weigh in with their positions.

I am and I have been firmly against this concept.  Councilman Kenny Skipper of Council District 9 is adamantly opposed. Abridging the zoning standards to permit a fuel station anywhere along this section of Dorchester Road could create a precedent leading to a concussive undermining of zoning standards and ever more fuel-gas stations.  An incidental concern –the proposed site itself along the Dorchester Road buffer seems too small and limited, an ill-fit for a parking area that already seems cramped and crowded.

Harris Teeter folks claim they have ample community support to be manifested during the processes before the Planning Commission and City Council.

We’ll see.  I’ll keep you posted.

Citizens Advisory Commission-North Charleston Police Department

After more than a year in formulation, this Commission will finally be organized early in the new year. Its primary purpose is to advise our city’s police department on its efforts to improve the all-important interface relationships police officers have with citizens and neighborhoods.

Each City Council member will appoint two members. Mayor Summey will have a single appointee. Terms for appointments are not specified. The members will select their chairman and agenda.

If you are interested in serving, please visit this link:  https://goo.gl/forms/0YFdeML4fuRm6RSi2 …..You can review the Bylaws and complete and submit an application.  Please note: The deadline for submission is noon on December 30.  Background checks will be conducted for applicants.

I intend to meet with HOA and other neighborhood leaders before finalizing my appointments. I will keep everyone informed. And if you have questions or counsel concerning this important initiative, please contact me directly at rbrin@aol.com.

Councilman Ron Brinson – October 30, 2016

Libraries, Parks Equal Qualities of Life —  And a November 8 voter referendum proposes a small property tax increase to create more park lands and park operations and to build new library facilities in the North Charleston and Summerville areas of the County.

A discussion forum Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Kings Grant Clubhouse will explore the plans and timetables and legal issues. I hope many District 4 residents will be able to attend. I will be there with other elected leaders and I will voice my support for this initiative. (The clubhouse is located just off Dorchester Road, at 222 Fairington Dr.)

 

Dorchester County Council voted in July to put a referendum on the ballot for voters’ approval of  a  $43 million plan –  $30 million for libraries and $13 million for parks.  That crowded and outdated George H. Seago Jr. library branch at 76 Old Trolley Road in Summerville would be replaced with a modern and larger facility. A new library branch would be built somewhere in North Charleston and land would be purchased for a future facility in Ridgeville.

The proposed funding would pay for development of a multi-functional park at the County Court House in St. George,  and for development of the Ashley River Park and Pine Trace, both in the Summerville area.

The property tax increase would be approximately 5.7 mills  — about $48 more to the annual county property tax bill of a $200,000 owner-occupied home.

Here are two very useful sites for additional information.

https://www.dorchestercounty.net/index.aspx?page=527

http://www.dcl.lib.sc.us/sites/default/files/Libraries-Parks%20Ordinance%202016.pdf

 

Mosquito Abatement  —  It seems these little pests – and potential health hazards – are everywhere since Hurricane Matthew’s pass through our community three weeks ago. Dorchester County is responsible for mosquito abatement and has been proactive.  I’m appending the full release from the County which provides plenty of information — and directions for filing specific requests for spraying. County Councilman Larry Hargett reports that spraying throughout North Charleston-Dorchester County communities already has begun. He can be contacted at hargett1940@gmail.com

 

Dorchester County Citizens can Request Mosquito Abatement Service Online

  1. GEORGE, S.C. (October 27, 2016) – Dorchester County Mosquito Control is aware of the increased mosquito activity following the rainfall and flooding that accompanied Hurricane Matthew.

To address the increased mosquito population, Dorchester County Mosquito Control is using two trucks for ground spraying, 6 zones are sprayed per night, Monday-Friday from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM. The two chemicals used for ground spraying are Permanone Ready-to-Use, and/or Pursuit/4-4 ULV. Both chemicals are for adult mosquitoes and have a quick knock down rate.

Additionally, Dorchester County responds to mosquito complaints in low lying areas, with treatment during the day, using a larvicide chemical to help prevent hatching. The particular chemical used is Altosid XR Extended Residual Briquettes. These are placed in areas that have collected water where there is no run off. The goal of this treatment is to interrupt the stages of the larvae so they will not develop into adult mosquitoes.

Citizens who are concerned about the growing mosquito population in their zone may request additional spraying by visitingwww.DorchesterCounty.net/abatementrequest.

Dorchester County Mosquito Abatement offers the following tips to reduce mosquitoes around your home and protect yourself from mosquito bites:

  • Reduce the numbers of adult mosquitoes around your home.
    *Drain, fill, or eliminate sites that have standing water.
    *Empty or throw away containers that have standing water.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside: Use air conditioning or make sure that you repair and use window/door screens.
  • Avoid Mosquitoes: Most mosquito species bite during dawn, dusk, twilight hours, and night. Some species bite during the day, especially in wooded or other shaded areas. Avoid exposure during these times and in these areas.
  • Wear insect repellent: Yes! It is safe. When used as directed, insect repellent is the BEST way to protect yourself from mosquito bites—even children and pregnant women should protect themselves.
    *DEET: Products containing DEET include Cutter, OFF! and Skintastic.
    *Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin): Products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan outside the United States).
    *Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD: Repel contains OLE.
    *IR3535: Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart.
  • Cover up: When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants.

The Spray Schedule and Mosquito Abatement Map are available on the Dorchester County website   www.dorchestercounty.net/mosquitocontrol.

Councilman Ron Brinson – October 18, 2016

 

  • Storm Recovery Comments and Information
  • Harris Teeter Fuel Station Proposal
  • Windsor Hill Boulevard Development
  • Aquatics Center Update

 

Hurricane Matthew gave our neighborhoods a windy, soggy and in many cases, a dangerous blast. Recovery has gone well, thanks mostly to the cooperative spirit of our communities and the great work by our city’s Public Works Department. Clean-up crews have been working seven-day shifts and will continue to do special runs for a long as necessary.  If you have questions or need assistance, contact me at rbrin@aol.com

North Charleston residents in Dorchester County who suffered losses because of Hurricane Matthew can now apply for assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s office announced Monday that Dorchester and about a dozen other counties in the state have been approved for FEMA Individual Assistance. Charleston nor Berkeley County have not yet been approved, but should be very soon.

FEMA can help compensate for temporary housing and home repairs. In some cases low-cost loans are available.  You can get more information at

www.disasterassistance.gov , or by calling 800-621-3362.

Those who are deaf or have trouble hearing can call l 800-462-7585.

Harris Teeter’s corporate owner, the Kroger Company, seems determined to force a fuel island operation on the Corner at Wescott.  The Planned Development District documents covering this very popular shipping center do not permit gas station operations. The city’s Dorchester Overlay District specifically prohibits gas stations anywhere in this stretch of Dorchester Road.  A public meeting last spring sent the grocery store executives who attended a strong message of general opposition. Harris Teeter’s first contention was that selling gasoline is the same as selling orange juice or milk or wine. That point might have been headed to decisions by the Board of Zoning Appeals and then the state circuit court, after the city summarily rejected its application for a building permit.  But instead, Harris Teeter lawyers informed me this week that they will apply for an amendment to the PDD.  I am strongly opposed to this and so is District 9 Councilman Kenny Skipper.

A Harris Teeter lawyer suggested rather boldly that I am woefully misjudging my constituents and that Harris Teeter has data and polling that shows a majority of my constituents want the “opportunity to purchase cheaper gasoline.” He seemed unimpressed with the values and disciplines of the Overlay District zoning which our broad community has worked so hard to maintain. Also, I should note that not all new Harris Teeter stores operate fuel islands. No application had been filed as of today. When that happens, the Planning Commission will hold a public meeting and then make a recommendation to City Council and additional public hearings will be conducted. I will keep you posted.

Windsor Hill Boulevard development will soon be taking shape.  As I’ve reported, the 420-unit apartment campus is underway, albeit very slowly. The property at the end of Windsor Hill Boulevard is being surveyed. This tract s owned by The Cathedral of Praise. The surveying relates to the need to transfer the roadway right-of-way to the county. Planners have assured me there are no immediate plans to take any trees and that the ribbons on many trees are simply reference points for surveyors. One development group has indicated a plan for residential development, but that has not yet been finalized. Any development will occur under city rules and that assures maximum transparency. The long term planning concept is to connect Windsor Hill Boulevard directly or indirectly with the Palmetto Commerce Parkway corridor. I will keep you posted and if you have questions, contact me via e mail.

The Aquatics Center project is moving along steadily. City Council is considering final financing plans for its share of the $15 million facility to be built in partnership with Dorchester District 2 schools. The project will also include a new roadway for Fort Dorchester High School at Patriot Boulevard and Appian Way.

Please check in regularly at www.northcharleston.org for latest information on city programs and to make service requests.

And please recirculate this little newsletter to your neighbors and I’ll be glad to add anyone to the distribution list. They need only contact me at rbrin@aol.com

 

FROM COUNCILMAN RON BRINSON, OCTOBER 4, 2016

Update #4 1:37 PM 10/7

This product covers Southeast South Carolina and SouthEast Georgia

**extremely dangerous Hurricane Matthew tracking along the East coast of Florida and heading toward Georgia and South Carolina**

New information —————

* Changes to watches and warnings: – a Hurricane Warning has Been issued for Dorchester

* Current watches and warnings: – a Hurricane Warning is in effect for Dorchester – a Hurricane Warning remains in effect for Inland Bryan…Coastal Bryan…Inland Chatham…Coastal Chatham…Inland Liberty…Coastal Liberty…Inland Mcintosh…Coastal Mcintosh…Inland Berkeley…Inland Jasper…Beaufort…Coastal Colleton…Charleston…Coastal Jasper and Tidal Berkeley – a Tropical Storm Warning remains in effect for Jenkins…Screven…Candler…Bulloch…Effingham…Tattnall… Evans…Long…Allendale…Hampton and Inland Colleton

* Storm information: – about 230 Miles South of Charleston SC or about 190 Miles South of Savannah ga – 29.4n 80.5w – storm intensity 120 mph – movement North-Northwest or 345 degrees at 12 mph

Situation Overview ——————

Hurricane Matthew will track North along/near the East coast of Florida today…Then continue North near the Georgia coast this afternoon intotonight. The Hurricane should continue to track near the South Carolina coast late tonight into Saturday before turning East and further offshore. Matthew could be a category 2 or category 3 Hurricane as it passes close to the Georgia and South Carolina coasts.

Tropical storm Force winds are forecast to Reach coastal SouthEast Georgia and coastal South Carolina this afternoon…Then Spread into Inland areas tonight. Across Inland areas…Sustained winds could Reach as High as 40-50 mph with gusts up 55-60 mph. Near the immediate coast…Sustained winds of 55-65 mph with gusts up to 75-80 mph will be possible. Locations along the coast in Charleston County could see sustained winds of 65-75 mph with gusts up to 80-90 mph. These winds will Likely damage Trees and weaker structures and Result in widespread Power outages.

There is now an increasing Risk of sustained Hurricane Force winds along the immediate coastline Due to the close Proximity of Matthew tracking near the coast…Especially for locations along Southeast South Carolina. The threat for Hurricane Force winds will Increase for coastal locations tonight into Saturday…Then lower as Matthew shifts away from the coast Saturday evening into Saturday night. The threat for tropical storm Force winds or higher should begin to decrease in Georgia late Saturday afternoon into the evening and in South CarolinaSaturday evening into Sunday morning.

The latest track of Matthew is expected to produce widespread rainfall totals of 8 to 14 inches with isolated higher amounts…Highest along the coast. Rainfall totals will Range from 4 to 8 inches across far Inland locations. Heavy rainfall will begin this morning and continue throughSaturday…Tapering off Saturday night from Southwest to Northeast. These rainfall amounts could Result in extensive fresh water flooding…Especially during the times of High Tide and maximum storm surge near the coast.

The most Likely storm surge scenario associated with Hurricane Matthew is 6 to 9 feet of inundation above ground Level in SouthEast Georgia. In Southeast South Carolina…4 to 8 feet of inundation is expected. Storm surge forecasts could be higher or lower depending on the track and intensity of Matthew as it approaches the area. The combination of storm surge and Waves could Result in Major coastal flooding and severe Beach erosion. Homes…Structures and Roads near beaches could be compromised. Dangerous rip currents and large Waves will make for treacherous Surf conditions through the weekend.

The threat for tornadoes will remain Low this weekend because the Center of Hurricane Matthew is anticipated to remain offshore. However…There is a Risk for isolated tornadoes in coastal areas today through Saturday as Rain bands move onshore.

Potential impacts —————–

* Wind: protect against Life-threatening wind having possible devastating impacts across Southeast South Carolina and SouthEast Georgia. Potential impacts in this area include: – structural damage to sturdy buildings, some with Complete roof and Wall failures. Complete destruction of Mobile homes. Damage greatly accentuated by large airborne projectiles. Locations May be uninhabitable for Weeks or months. – unsafe to shelter even in well-constructed buildings. Impossible to venture outside Due to falling objects and airborne projectiles. – numerous large Trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and roadway signs blown over. – Many Roads impassable from large debris, and more within Urban or heavily wooded locations. Most or all Bridges and Access routes impassable. – widespread damage to Power and communications infrastructure with resulting outages possibly lasting for Weeks or longer. Gas leaks and fallen Electric wires pose a threat to Life. – Many vessels will Likely break Free from Moorings.

* Surge: protect against Life-threatening surge having possible extensive impacts across coastal South Carolina and coastal Georgia. Potential impacts in this area include: – large areas of deep inundation of Saltwater along immediate shorelines and in Low-lying spots farther Inland near Rivers and creeks, with storm surge flooding accentuated by battering Waves. Structural damage to buildings, with several washing away. Damage compounded by floating debris. Locations May be uninhabitable for an extended period. – large sections of near-shore escape routes and secondary Roads washed out or flooded and impassable. Flood control systems and barriers could become stressed. – severe Beach erosion with significant dune loss. – Major damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. Many Small Craft broken away from Moorings, especially in unprotected anchorages, with some lifted onshore and stranded. – drinking water and sewer services negatively impacted. – hazardous containers and materials possibly present in surge Waters.

* Flooding Rain: protect against Life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible extensive impacts across Southeast South Carolina and SouthEast Georgia…Especially for locations East of Highway 308 in Georgia and East of interstate 95 in South Carolina. Potential impacts include: – Major rainfall flooding May prompt Many evacuations and rescues. – Rivers and tributaries May rapidly overflow their Banks in multiple locations. Small streams, creeks, canals, ditches May become dangerous Rivers. Flood control systems and barriers could become stressed. – Flood Waters could enter Many structures within multiple communities; some structures become uninhabitable or are washed away. Flood Waters could Cover multiple escape routes. Streets and parking lots become Rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and Bridge closures with some weakened or washed out. – drinking water and sewer services could be negatively impacted. – hazardous containers and materials possibly present in Flood Waters.

* Tornadoes: protect against a Tornado event having possible limited impacts across coastal Southeast South Carolina and SouthEast Georgia. Potential impacts include: – isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans. – isolated locations could experience Tornado damage, along with Power and communications disruptions. – in isolated locations, tornadoes could damage Trees, vehicles, boats and buildings, especially Mobile homes and and other poorly constructed structures.

* Other coastal hazards: dangerous and frequent rip currents…High Surf and significant Beach erosion are expected along coastal South Carolina and coastal Georgia.

Precautionary/preparedness actions ———————————-

* Evacuations: if evacuating the area, stick to prescribed evacuation routes. Look for additional traffic information on roadway Smart signs and listen to Select radio channels for further travel instructions. Drivers should not use cell phones while operating vehicles.

If evacuating away from the area or relocating to a nearby shelter leave Early before Weather conditions become hazardous

Recovery phase – do not Return to evacuated areas until it is Safe. Listen for the all-clear Signal from Local authorities.

* Other preparedness information: now is the Time to bring to completion all preparations to protect Life and property in accordance with your emergency plan.

Outside preparations should be wrapped up as soon as possible before Weather conditions completely deteriorate. Any remaining evacuations and relocations should be expedited before the Onset of tropical storm Force wind.

If you are relocating to Safe shelter, leave as Early as possible. If heading to a community shelter, become familiar with the shelter rules before arrival, especially if you have special needs or own a pet. Take essential items with you from your emergency supplies kit. Check the latest Weather forecast before departing.

Failure to adequately shelter May Result in serious injury or loss of Life. Always heed the advice of Local officials and comply with any orders that are issued. Remember, during the storm 9 1 1 emergency services May not be Able to immediately respond if conditions are unsafe. This should be a big factor in your decision making.

Check-in with your emergency Points of Contact among Family, friends, and co-workers. Inform them of your status and well-being. Let them know how you intend to ride out the storm and when you plan to Check-in again.

Keep cell phones well charged and Handy. Also, cell phone chargers for automobiles can be helpful after the storm. Locate your chargers and keep them with your cell phone.

In emergencies it is Best to remain Calm. Stay informed and focused on the situation at Hand. Exercise Patience with those you encounter. Be a Good samaritan and helpful to others.

If relocating to a nearby shelter or to the Home of a Family member or Friend, drive with Extra caution, especially on secondary Roads. Remember, Many Bridges and causeways will be closed once higher winds arrive. Also, if you encounter water covering the road, seek an alternate route. Always obey official road signs for closures and detours.

If you are a visitor and Still in the area, listen for the name of the city or town in which you are staying within Local news updates. Be sure you know the name of the county or Parish in which it resides. Pay attention for instructions from Local authorities.

Closely Monitor noaa Weather radio or other Local news outlets for official storm information. Be Ready to adapt to possible changes to the forecast.

* Additional sources of information: – for information on appropriate preparations see Ready.gov – for information on creating an emergency plan see getagameplan.org – for additional disaster preparedness information see Redcross.org

Next update ———–

The next Local statement will be issued by the National Weather Service in Charleston SC around 615 PM EDT, or Sooner if conditions warrant.


Dorchester County announces shelter locations, transportation plans

Dorchester County has opened four shelters for residents who want to relocate due to Hurricane Matthew, and a ffifth shelter has been activated for residents with special needs.

The shelters are located at:

Woodland High School at 4128 U.S. Highway 78 in Dorchester. This shelter is at 3 percent capacity, with 15 occupants out of a maximum 450;

Summerville High School at 1101 Boone Hill Road in Summerville. This shelter is at 2.5 percent capacity, with 55 occupants out of a maximum 2,194;

Fort Dorchester High School at 8500 Patriot Blvd. in North Charleston. This shelter is at 2 percent capacity, with 28 residents out of a maximum 1,773; and

Saint George Middle School at 600 Minus Street in St. George. This shelter opened shortly after 11 a.m. Fridayand has a maximum occupancy of 417.

A special needs shelter is at the Dorchester Senior Center at 312 N. Laurel Street in Summerville. This shelter is at 75 percent capacity, with 15 occupants out of a maximum of 20. Residents must call the county’s Call Center at 843-832-0393 before showing up at this shelter.

Dorchester County also has three standby shelters with a combined maximum occupancy of 1,447 if needed.

Shuttles are available for residents who need transportation to a shelter. The shuttles will run until 3 p.m. Friday and wheelchair accessible shuttles are available through Tri-County Links.

Locations for shuttles taking passengers to the Summerville High School shelter are:

The Sears parking lot at 4570 Ladson Road, Summerville;

The Bi-Lo parking lot at 957 Bacons Bridge Road, Summerville; and

Sand Hill Methodist Church at 1916 Summers Drive, Summerville.

Locations that will transport to Fort Dorchester High School are:

The Festival Center parking lot at 5101 Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston; and

The Cathedral of Praise parking lot at 3790 Ashley Phosphate Road in North Charleston.

Among the items residents should bring to shelters are: prescription and emergency medications; extra clothing; pillows; blankets; hygiene supplies; important documents; special items for children such as diapers, formula and toys; and other items for family members with unique needs.

Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_


 

Update #3 12:22 PM 10/5

Hurricane Matthew Remains A Serious Threat !
It’s Forecast Track Indicates Uncertainty – But Major Impacts To South Carolina !

Update #2 10:42 PM 10/4

 The following message is from the Office of the Mayor

“Effective at 5:00PM, the City of North Charleston  MEOC moved to OPCON 3 and issued a state of emergency declaration.  At 8:00AM, tomorrow, the MEOC will move to OPCON 2 with partial staffing required to meet response objectives.

Since the 11:00AM advisory from the NHC, the storm track has shifted back to the east.  This DOES NOT mean that we are out of the clear.  Even if the track were to hold its place, the NWS anticipates the potential for 5-7+ feet of storm surge, 8-12 inches of rainfall and tropical-storm force winds extending at or beyond the I-95 corridor.  Regarding sustained winds, areas closer to the coast will see much higher values as well as potentially destructive gusts.  The most significant impacts are forecasted late Friday and into Saturday.  Again, we’re still outside of the 72 hour window, so confidence in specific impacts are low-medium. The tentative time to commence evacuation is 3:00PM tomorrow – in Charleston and Dorchester Counties, this will likely include zones A, B, D, E and F.  Individuals living outside of the zones but in low-lying areas or mobile/manufactured homes should consider relocating to a safe structure. Coinciding with the evacuation order, emergency shelters will open as a LAST RESORT OPTION.  Individuals that utilize shelters will be required to bring their own food, water, blankets and personal items to sustain themselves for at least 72 hours.  It will take the American Red Cross time to move in amenities such as cots and blankets; likely after the storm passes.  Pets are NOT permitted in these shelters.  The pet-friendly shelter option is at Burns Elementary on Dorchester Road. DHEC is coordinating special medical/functional needs assistance and will be providing specific guidance through their public information mechanisms. In coordination with Carta, Durham Buses and Dorchester Dist. 2 Schools and a few other local transportation partners, evacuation pick-up points will be available at certain locations within the evacuation zones. Information on both shelter locations and pick-up point locations will be provided in one of tomorrow’s situation reports as well as WebEOC. All City of North Charleston, Charleston County and Dorchester County Administrative Offices, Family Court, Circuit Court will be closed for the remainder of the week. Charleston County Schools, Berkeley County, and Dorchester District 2 and District 4 Schools will be closed for the remainder of the week. This will be the final update until tomorrow.  Whether you have a direct emergency duty in the MEOC or field, NOW is the time to wrap up your final preparations. The MEOC will reopen tomorrow morning at 8:00AM.  If you have additional questions, please give me a call but be patient as EMD is inundated with inquiries and general readiness measures. As always, the City of North Charleston is committed to assisting local and private partners in preparing for disasters.  Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.  Our ability to respond and recover from disasters will require effort from all of us. Please pass this information on to others including friends, family, civic associations, church members and others that you think need to be PREPARED! Don’t wait to get prepared!   Good Night…”


Update #1 2:16 PM 10/4

Below is the most current briefing as given by the National Weather Service today at 11:30 am

Hurricane Matthew is now churning toward the Southeast coastline.
This is a dangerous storm!.
Forecasting models now generally project it to pass very close to South Carolina coast. But this forecast could change quickly and bring greater threats of a direct impact to Greater Charleston.
 matthew
We should all pay close attention to advisories via all media formats.
It is possible Governor Haley will order an evacuation, so please monitor these advisories.
I will post the latest information and advisories from the City of North Charleston on my website www.ronbrinson.com Thus, you will have updated information at the same time I receive it.
Sandbags are available at the city’s Public Works Center at Remount Road and Interstate 26. (It’s a big campus, easy to find.) There will be a limit, probably 10 bags.
Preparation is the key, now. I know all of our District 4 neighborhoods will work together to get through this challenging period.
I can be reached at any time via rbrin@aol.com
Ron Brinson
For updated forecast models…
Emergency Preparedness- State Agencies:
Charleston County:
Dorchester County:

 

Councilman Ron Brinson- District 4 Updates- July 26, 2016

BAD NEWS FOR RECYCLING – CURBSIDE PICKUPS WILL END

The city’s curbside recycling pickup services will end August 1 for more than 7,000 North Charleston homes in Dorchester County.

This decision comes after nearly a year of efforts to integrate North Charleston’s curbside pickups with Dorchester County’s drop-off recycling locations.

Dorchester County, despite support by County Councilmen Larry Hargett and George Bailey, would not agree to the integration.

North Charleston-Dorchester residents can take recyclables to the county drop sites, the closest to District 4 located on Parlor Road, between Walmart and the Oakbrook schools campus.

We realized and duly reported a year ago that many recyclables were being taken to landfills. This reality evolved after Charleston County shut down its recycling operations and began transporting materials to Horry County. At that point, Charleston County’s accommodation to North Charleston-Dorchester residents ended – and our petition for help from Dorchester County began.

Mayor Summey and City Council continue to consider alternatives but the market for recyclables is just not creating a sufficient demand curve. We are confident that we will be able to renew this special curbside service once the Charleston County recycling plant now in early construction on Palmetto Commerce Parkway is completed, probably mid-2017.

If you have any questions please contact me at rbrin@aol.com

This link provides more information on what other jurisdictions are doing with the challenges of recycling.

http://www.postandcourier.com/20160725/160729612/north-charlestonto-end-curbside-recycling-in-dorchester-section-of-city

Harris Teeter Fuel Station Update

General opposition to HT’s “fuel island” at the Corner at Wescott was apparent during and after our public meeting. But Harris Teeter takes the position that the shopping center’s Planned Development District zoning broadly permits the sale of fuel, even as it permits the sale of milk or wine or peaches and pears.

So, the store applied to the city for a building permit last week.

It was denied.

HT’s options now are to appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals and then, as necessary, to South Carolina Circuit Court.

The city will continue to oppose this – and that opposition includes my position and the positions of Mayor Summey and Councilman Kenny Skipper.

I will keep you posted.

Dorchester Road-Wescott Boulevard

Look for construction work at this intersection very soon. A right-turn lane onto Dorchester Road will be created and the signals will be replaced and mast arms installed. A similar project is scheduled for Club Course and Dorchester probably early next year.

Etc….Etc……

Look for signage updates and additional “Rumble Strips” at the Patriot Boulevard “hairpin”

Those grossly inconsistent “No Outlet” signs at the Sunrise development near the “hairpin” have been challenged and the developer has been asked to replace them with signs consistent with The Farm’s standards.

ATT is installing cable upgrades and fiber optics throughout Charleston Park. This work is in public utility rights-of-way and the contractors are responsible for repairing and restoring landscaping.

Speeders—- Beware ! North Charleston police are in full enforcement mode. Special attention to speeding on neighborhood streets.

Illegal Parking is a general problem. The HOAs with aggressive enforcement are seeing some success, but illegal parking that would impede first responder vehicles – fire trucks or ambulances – can be ticketed by police. So, be thoughtful and careful when making parking decisions.

There have been some vehicle break-ins recently. Please keep your vehicles locked and your garage doors closed and locked. See something or someone that seems suspicious, call the police. The non-emergency number is 843 740 2800.

Check in regularly at www.NorthCharleston.org for information on MANY city activities –or to file a service request. And share this e mail with your neighbors and I’ll be glad to add them to the circulation list. They need only contact me at rbrin@aol.com

Thank You !!

Councilman Ron Brinson – June 28, 2016

“Aquatics Center” –

This exciting project took another major step forward when City Council and Dorchester District 2 School Board reached an agreement in principle to build and operate this $15 million facility. It’s a competitive and instructional swimming facility that will also be available for public uses. It’ll be built at the corner of Patriot Boulevard and Appian Way, in front of Fort Dorchester High School. The interagency agreement sets forth general provisions for facility uses and the emphasis on instructional swimming for students and competitive swim meets. The pool will meet Olympic – size specifications and will be readily divisible for multi-functional uses. The next steps will be site planning which will also include a new ingress-egress roadway into the Fort Dorchester High campus. District 2 will provide $7.5 million to capital costs as approved by voters in a 2012 referendum. The city will cover the balance of construction costs and will operate the facility as part of its recreation program.

“Recycling” –

Nothing new to report. The city continues to provide curbside pickup with caveat that some of the material will not be recycled. This, of course, is a function of the market for “recyclables”. Currently only paper products and cardboard are being recycled. On any given day, other materials such as plastics and metals will be picked up by the processors. We are hopeful this will become a more predictable city service once Charleston County recycling facility is completed next year on Palmetto Commerce Parkway. We also are hopeful that Dorchester County will become more cooperative. I’ll keep you informed.

“Drainage” –

Our community was hard hit by two record-setting rain storms, last October and last month. Thus, stormwater drainage runoff capacities form a timely topic. Our neighborhoods are generally served by two runoff plains – McChune Branch which directs runoffs toward Goose Creek and the Cooper River, and Coosaw Creek which takes runoff to the Ashley River. Mayor Summey and I have been in direct touch with the jurisdictional agencies about the efficiencies of these stormwater conduits. The concern, of course, is the capacities of these facilities given all the development our area has experienced over the last two decades. We are assured by the S.C. Department of Health and Environment that both McChune Branch and Coosaw Creek runoffs are in good shape. Anyone who has information to the contrary should contact me; DEHC will review any indication that general drainage is being impeded. There are some specific issues the city is looking at, including the presence of some very old “berms” in wetlands linked through history to rice harvesting in our area. The concern is that these elevated spots might be slowing down flows during the sort of voluminous rain storms we have experienced in recent months. Also, the city has applied for a Federal Emergency Administration grant to evaluate the drainage system of the Pepperhill community. This study will include a specific review of the McChune branch design and capabilities. Here’s an important – and often overlooked — reality of our drainage system: retention ponds and designated wetlands form much of the drainage system and many of these facilities are owned by homeowners associations. Ponds and drainage wetlands must be maintained to perform adequately. Now is a good time for HOA boards to update their lists of drainage facilities and their responsibilities for maintaining the facilities they own — ponds and wetlands, and in many cases, stormwater drain networks in road ways. I have spent many hours in recent weeks compiling information, checklists and best practice lists for these important but often overlooked functions. I’ll be glad to share this research with HOA leaders at any convenient time.

Top Dawg Restaurant and Family Sports Bar –

On schedule for opening in the Fall at the Corner at Wescott. Please share this newsletter with your neighbors and I’ll be glad to add anyone to the e mail distribution list. Just contact me at rbrin@aol.com