The next meeting of the Fort Dorchester Residential Association is Monday, March 3, at 7 p.m. at the new Wescott community center building — right in front of the dog park. Police Chief Eddie Driggers will speak and I will update you on several issues, such as the Charleston County recycling plant planning and proposed traffic improvements on Palmetto Commerce Parkway. The FDRA has become a forum and a voice for our broad community. Everyone is invited and I hope YOU will be there on March 3.
The Dorchester Road – Trump Street intersection light is operational — finally.
The Corner at Wescott is quickly becoming a gathering place for our community. The Harris Teeter store reportedly has set company records for new store sales in its first two weeks. Marshall’s should open the first week in March. Starbucks, Moe’s, Marco’s Pizza, Hallmark, Pet Supplies Plus, TCBY, and Jersey Mike’s are all open now too. In fact, Pet Supplies Plus is having its “grand opening” this weekend, featuring lots of sales and some pretty impressive door prizes. Massage Envy should be opened in early April. And there’s more to come — Rack Room Shoes, Bank, Five Guy’s Burgers, and others yet to be announced. I’ll keep you posted.
Rush-hour traffic at Palmetto Commerce Parkway at Ladson Road is a nightmare. And with the new Sunoco campus now open for business and the Spinx fuel station – convenience store operation now under construction at this intersection, traffic in this area will surely become more congested. Councilman Stigler and I have been working with Mayor Summey and his staff to expedite some solutions. The good news –Charleston County is the final design stages of a project to improve this intersection, especially during peak hours. The plan– maintain the existing landscaped median and left turn lane on Palmetto Commerce Parkway. Then convert the existing right turn lane into a left turn lane and construct a new right turn lane. This will create dual left turns lanes from Palmetto Commerce Parkway onto west bound Ladson Road and one right turn lane onto east bound Ladson Road. Better traffic light calibration will help, too. The timetable summary – a contract should be awarded by April 17 and the contractor will have 90 days to complete the work.
Here’s an aerial photograph schematic:
Wescott Traffic Circle reconstruction is moving along. Better drainage, better curbing, lighting and landscaping are in store. This project should be completed by mid-March.
Councilman Stigler has taken the lead in planning for a “marque” sign for Fort Dorchester Elementary School at Old Glory and Wescott Blvd. The sign location is already part of the development plan for the Corner at Wescott. Dwight has been working to get space on the sign for school; in fact, he wants the school “featured” on the sign. His update: “The developer has expressed willingness to add FDES to the sign and even to pay for a majority of the sign! The sign will aid with communication to parents as they pass by the entrance road to the school. Currently, the school doesn’t have a sign and has to rent one and place it in the median of Old Glory during times of important announcements. We’re very optimistic that we can have this new marque sign by next school year.”
Back to The Corner at Wescott shopping center…..this has turned out to be a very attractive complex. The exteriors demonstrate the developer’s commitment to the city’s demands that these buildings meet high aesthetic values. If there is one unattractive and ineffective feature, it is the 40-foot natural buffer along the three-eighths of a mile of frontage on Dorchester Road. This buffer is neither opaque nor attractive. We have been working with the developer on ways to, 1. Clean-up and improve the symmetry of the vegetation, and, 2. Supplement the buffer with well-considered plantings that would increase opacity. The work will be directly supervised by the City’s arborist. Look for this process to begin in a couple of weeks and will last for several weeks. The goal has been dubbed ‘The Summey Standard”. The mayor has firmly directed that the buffer will generally shield views of the parking lot to any motorist or passenger on Dorchester Road while allowing some visibility through the landscaping of the commercial signage of the major stores. I will keep you posted as this project begins.
Please contact me anytime I can assist you or provide information about our city…..check in regularly at www.northcharleston.org for news about city activities…..and please share this little newsletter with your neighbors. I’ll be glad to add them to the distribution list. They need only contact me at this address -