If you have been accused of a crime, the only thing standing between your continued freedom and harsh legal penalties is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Seabrook Island, SC. That may seem harsh, but in this time of turmoil and uncertainty, having a skilled and dedicated criminal defense lawyer on your side is key. Because the truth is that dealing with legal charges in Seabrook Island can be a highly distressing ordeal, with even minor violations causing a considerable impact on an individual's personal and work life. The repercussions of having a criminal record can be severe, leading to loss of employment, severed relationships, and even alienation from loved ones.
At Theos Law Firm, we offer trustworthy legal representation to those who need it most. Our criminal defense team has years of experience and is committed to ensuring our clients maintain their freedom and can move forward with their lives. From handling drug-related charges to more nuanced federal cases and sexual misconduct offenses, we take a personalized approach to every case. By utilizing cutting-edge legal strategies and decades of combined experience, we have a much better opportunity to achieve the best possible client outcomes.
We help clients overcome criminal charges in a wide range of cases, including the following:
If you are facing one or more of the charges above, it's imperative that you establish contact with a legal advocate ASAP. At Theos Law, you can rest easy knowing our phone line is always open. When your future is up for grabs, let our team of criminal defense lawyers fight for your rights. It all starts with a free consultation at our law firm in Seabrook Island, where we'll educate you on the particulars of the charges you're facing and explain the next steps ahead.
At this point, you probably have many questions in mind. Keep reading for more information on criminal law in South Carolina and some of our criminal defense specialties at Theos Law.
In South Carolina, criminal cases are classified into different categories based on the severity of the crime. Generally speaking, offenses that carry a maximum sentence of three years or less are categorized as misdemeanors. On the other hand, crimes that carry a punishment of more than three years in prison are generally classified as felonies.
Crimes in The Palmetto State are usually split into two categories: state crimes and federal crimes. Classifications are based on whether a crime violates state laws or federal laws. Ultimately, it's up to the prosecutor to decide which category to pursue charges under. State crimes generally include assault, robbery, domestic violence, theft, and rape. Federal crimes, on the other hand, may be more complex and can include computer crime, major drug trafficking, hate crimes, and money laundering. These types of crimes are often investigated by agencies like the FBI or IRS.
Understanding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime can be challenging for someone facing their first charge. Misdemeanors are generally considered minor offenses, resulting in fines or a short stay in a local county jail. Trials and plea deals for these cases move quickly due to their nature.
Conversely, felonies are more severe crimes classified by degrees, with first-degree being the most severe and sixth-degree being the least. Those charged with a felony may face significant fines and a prison sentence of over a year in a federal or state institution. Convicted felons may face difficulties after their release, making it crucial to have a reliable criminal defense attorney in Seabrook Island, SC.
It is not uncommon for legal cases to be resolved outside of court through a plea deal. This allows the defendant to acknowledge their guilt on one or more charges without the need for a trial. Both your criminal defense lawyer and the prosecutor collaborate to come up with a mutually beneficial arrangement, which helps avoid the uncertainties and dangers of a trial. By accepting a plea deal, you may receive a lighter sentence and avoid the anxiety that comes with a lengthy legal battle.
At Theos Law Firm, we often receive questions from potential clients about when they should hire a criminal defense attorney for the charges that they're facing. Although each situation and client are unique, there are some common criminal situations to keep in mind. In general, it's always best to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you're charged or have been arrested.
Below are some guidelines to help you decide when it's necessary to retain a criminal defense attorney for your case in South Carolina.
Thinking about hiring a criminal defense lawyer when you're charged with a crime is a no-brainer for most, and for good reason. A defense lawyer can offer assistance with various offenses, ranging from minor crimes like retail theft and cyberstalking to more serious ones such as sexual assault and manslaughter. Regardless of the charges, navigating the legal system can be complex, and without the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the situation can escalate rapidly.
As you may have observed in movies or television shows, the police might request you to provide a statement, giving the impression that you are not under arrest. If they suspect you of committing a crime but lack sufficient evidence to detain you, they may aim to put you at ease and elicit information that can be used against you. Remember, it is within your rights to have a criminal defense attorney in Seabrook Island, SC, present during questioning, and you should absolutely use that to your advantage.
In the event that law enforcement officers arrive at your residence with a warrant, it indicates that a judge has determined there is reasonable suspicion that evidence related to a criminal offense is present in your home. Regardless of whether they discover and confiscate anything, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a seasoned defense attorney to discuss the situation and receive assistance in determining any potential charges or locations they may investigate in the future.
Could you imagine being accused of something you didn't do? When law enforcement, a judge, or a prosecutor accuses you of committing a crime that you didn't do, it can be an arduous task to prove your innocence, especially if you have a prior record. It can also feel hopeless and like it's impossible for you to get someone to listen to your side. The truth is that your past mistakes should not be used against you. To increase your chances of being cleared of charges, it's advisable to have a defense lawyer who can support your innocence and fight for your rights. Criminal defense attorneys at Theos Law don't just listen - we act swiftly and always with your best interests at heart.
The legal system for juveniles in South Carolina is different than it is for adults. It comes with its own complications and hurdles to overcome. If you think or know that your child has been accused of a crime, it's imperative to get legal counsel swiftly. Failure to do so could ruin their life or result in a longer-than-needed jail sentence.
Keep reading to learn more about just a few of the most common criminal defense cases we accept at Theos Law Firm.
In terms of common criminal offenses in South Carolina, DUIs top the list, especially regarding mindful drivers with clean driving records and no criminal history. Unfortunately for these drivers, a DUI conviction in South Carolina stays on your record and cannot be expunged. Even first-time offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent can be costly. Your insurance premiums go up for years, you may end up paying almost $1,000 in fines and fees, and there's a good chance you'll have to perform community service or serve jail time.
If your breathalyzer test result is more than .15%, you refuse the breathalyzer, or it is recorded as a refusal, your license will be automatically suspended, which complicates matters further. Throw in the possibility of interlock device rental, and your life may never be the same. For those reasons alone, it is crucial to approach such charges with the help of a DUI defense lawyer. At Theos Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience in successfully fighting these types of charges.
Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, there is hope. That's especially true if the accused has undergone a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve such tests are successfully beaten every day. At Theos Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate your DUI case in Seabrook Island and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.
To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Seabrook Island, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:
If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Seabrook Island or another city in South Carolina, it is crucial for you to understand the potential penalties involved. Possession of a controlled substance may fall under the category of a misdemeanor, but many drug offenses are considered felonies. Even a minor drug offense conviction can result in long-lasting negative consequences. As such, it's always advisable to explore your options and seek the assistance of a Seabrook Island drug crime attorney. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help safeguard your rights and may help achieve a favorable outcome.
One of the most frequent questions we hear at Theos Law is, "What does possession mean?â
Drug charges based on possession in South Carolina are divided into three categories:
However, the state also has other drug charges that are not based on the weight of the drugs. These include:
Possession-based drug charges in South Carolina are deemed "graduated offenses" with penalties that grow more severe based on the weight of the drugs. It's important to note that the charges can be based on either actual or constructive possession. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Seabrook Island, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Seabrook Island and other cities in South Carolina.
Some of the most common drug charges we see at Theos Law include the following:
The simple answer to this question is a resounding "Yes.â Drug paraphernalia can refer to various items such as pipes, bongs, syringes, scales, grinders, and rolling papers which are linked to drug usage, preparation, storage, or hiding. Even though some of these items may have legitimate uses, like tobacco pipes or medical syringes, they can still be scrutinized by law enforcement if there is proof of illegal drug use or intent.
If you are facing assault and battery charges, it is possible that you haven't actually physically harmed someone. Many people associate assault and battery with brutal beatings, but that is just one example. There are other situations that are less severe than what people typically imagine.
It's a common misunderstanding that physical injury is required for assault and battery charges. The fines, penalties, and jail time you may face depend on the severity of your charges and the number of offenses. Regardless of the degree of your charges, Assault and Battery is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can be life-changing, and as such, your criminal defense lawyer in Seabrook Island, SC, should work relentlessly to fight the charges being levied against you.
Though this list isn't comprehensive, here are some of the biggest factors that dictate the severity of your assault and battery charges:
Causing harm to someone or threatening to do so with the ability to carry out the threat can result in a charge of third-degree assault and battery. This misdemeanor offense is typically heard in municipal or magistrate courts and may carry a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.
Causing harm or making threats to harm someone that results in moderate bodily injury can lead to charges of second-degree assault and battery. Additionally, touching someone's private parts without their consent can also result in charges of assault and battery in the second degree. This misdemeanor offense is heard in General Session court and can carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Assault and Battery in the first degree can involve a number of actions such as inflicting an unlawful injury when kidnapping, touching a person's privates "with lewd and lascivious intent,â and much more. Contact Theos Law Firm for more info on the degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina.
At Theos Law firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that our client's rights are not overlooked. Because unfortunately, the rights of everyday citizens are often trampled by law enforcement oversights and legal system failures.
That's why every criminal defense lawyer at our firm works hard to provide guidance and support throughout the legal process by keeping you informed of updates and as comfortable as possible during this trying time. Benefits of hiring Theos Law Firm include:
Unlike some criminal defense law firms in South Carolina, our team believes that everyone deserves a great lawyer when their freedoms are on the line. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in South Carolina, trust Theos Law to have your back without judgment.
Everyone who cares about southern Johns Island should be pleased that a controversial annexation was pulled from the Seabrook Island Town Council’s agenda last week in the face of mounting opposition over what the annexation would help create — a new boat dock, private clubhouse, boathouse, pool house and 10 rental cottages — and the likelihood that it would add more traffic and pollution to the rural side of Charleston County’s urban growth boundary.But those same folks, particularly leaders on Kiawah and Seab...
Everyone who cares about southern Johns Island should be pleased that a controversial annexation was pulled from the Seabrook Island Town Council’s agenda last week in the face of mounting opposition over what the annexation would help create — a new boat dock, private clubhouse, boathouse, pool house and 10 rental cottages — and the likelihood that it would add more traffic and pollution to the rural side of Charleston County’s urban growth boundary.
But those same folks, particularly leaders on Kiawah and Seabrook islands and Charleston County Council, should not get complacent. Instead, they need to work together on better planning to guide development in and around where those two sea islands meet up with southern Johns Island.
It’s unclear when, or if, the developer’s annexation request might resurface. Even if it doesn’t, there undoubtedly will be other development plans that will expose the tensions between those living on rural Johns Island and those living beyond the gates at Kiawah and Seabrook. This moment offers an important reset, one that should begin with getting all these local governments to recommit to the vision of an urban growth boundary — a line past which suburban development would not be supported through zoning, infrastructure or other local policies.
Such a recommitment wouldn’t bind future councils any more than their respective comprehensive plans do, but it would send a unified message about their mutual commitment to respect the natural beauty and environmental sensitivity of the area.
It’s clear that development pressures at Kiawah’s and Seabrook’s doorstep are increasing. A fresh series of new developments, including a senior living facility and an emergency medical facility, is cropping up. Elected officials, neighborhood leaders and county planners need to come up with a mutually agreed-upon zoning overlay for the area, one that would guide future development to ensure new uses and the size and scale of new buildings are appropriate. Such an overlay also would prevent developers from trying to play one jurisdiction against another to get the permits they seek, a tactic sometimes used in other parts of the tri-county area.
The mutual interests of everyone became clear during this recent annexation controversy, as the mayor of Kiawah Island took the unusual step of sending a letter to Seabrook’s mayor and council urging them to reject the annexation and respect the urban growth boundary, which Mayor John Labriola noted “serves as a guide to direct appropriate urban and suburban development while preserving and cherishing the rural charm of the Sea Islands that we all hold dear.”
Given what we’ve seen this summer, the existing urban growth boundary line may not continue to be enough on its own, and we believe a joint planning effort could help pin down the following: to what extent commercial development in the greater Freshfields area should be allowed to inch its way north on Betsy Kerrison; whether the towns should annex any more of Johns Island; whether any upzoning in the area might be appropriate; and how new building would affect the net traffic and drainage needs around Kiawah and Seabrook. While residents live only on Kiawah or Seabrook or in the unincorporated area, they have a stake in the answers to all those questions. This area deserves a new zoning overlay and conservation goals that offer a shared vision of how the southern part of Johns Island will — and will not — change.
Regional planning needs to take place on a large scale — such as our greater metro area from Seabrook to Awendaw to Summerville and Moncks Corner — but it’s also necessary on a smaller scale, especially in those places such as southern Johns Island where multiple local governmental jurisdictions meet.
Decades ago, the city of Charleston and Charleston County came up with the urban growth boundary across Johns Island and other areas where the suburbs ended to ensure their zoning and other policies worked together to protect rural areas that residents wanted to remain rural. Kiawah and Seabrook were once seen as too distant to bring into the conversation about that line. That’s not the case any more.
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Have you ever dreamed of rolling out of bed to watch the sun rise over the ocean waves? Do you find that a week at the beach is too short? If you love to spend your days searching for sea shells, watching for marine wildlife, or simply walking in the sand, you may have thought about purchasing a second home that would let you enjoy the ocean any time you please. In fact, some of the beaches in ...
Have you ever dreamed of rolling out of bed to watch the sun rise over the ocean waves? Do you find that a week at the beach is too short? If you love to spend your days searching for sea shells, watching for marine wildlife, or simply walking in the sand, you may have thought about purchasing a second home that would let you enjoy the ocean any time you please. In fact, some of the beaches in South Carolina are among some of the most popular in the entire country.
Each year, thousands of visitors flock to Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, and other beachside towns in South Carolina and its neighboring states of Georgia and North Carolina. Yet if you have ever considered purchasing a beach house, you know that oceanfront property does not come cheap. This article covers five of the most popular and most expensive beaches in South Carolina. You will discover basic facts about each place and the key numbers that prove that they are among the most expensive places to buy a beach house in the entire state. Let’s dive in now, starting with the most expensive beach community in South Carolina.
First on the list of most expensive beaches in South Carolina is the town of Sullivan’s Island. Sullivan’s Island is a barrier island close to Charleston Harbor. This 2.5-mile island has a small-town feel with gorgeous beaches, marshes, and plenty of history and culture for visitors to enjoy. Located only about 10 miles outside of downtown Charleston, you can reach Sullivan’s Island after a quick 20-minute drive. This beach town is a popular destination for families with young children and retirees alike and provides plenty of award-winning restaurants, watersports like kayaking and swimming, and historic landmarks.
The quiet, picturesque town gives residents and visitors a sense of rural peace while a population of only about 2,000 ensures that neighbors know each other. The majority of homes are owned, with fewer than 20% of residents renting their homes on Sullivan’s Island. However, purchasing a home here will come at a steep price tag.
In June 2023, the average home price in Sullivan’s Island was around $3 million – but in 2022 the majority of single-family homes in Sullivan’s Island sold for $3.8 million. Halfway through 2023, the year’s median was up to $4.7 million. In June 2023, one oceanfront home sold for an incredible $6.29 million, setting a record for the year. Back in November 2020, another oceanfront villa sold for a whopping $8.2 million! Not only is Sullivan’s Island the most expensive beach community in which to buy a house in South Carolina, but it is also one of the top most expensive in the country!
Next up is Kiawah Island, a beach in South Carolina called an “oasis of untouched natural beauty and renowned hospitality.” The town of Kiawah Island is located about 21 miles outside of Charleston. With 10 miles of beaches and diverse habitats – from sand dunes to forests and marshes – Kiawah Island is the place to find wildlife thriving. From sea turtles to alligators and whitetail deer and bobcats, Kiawah Island is a window into ocean ecosystems and land mammals alike. This resort island has world-renowned golf resorts, including the famous Kiawah Island Golf Resort which has hosted golfing championships.
This charming resort island has a regular calendar of events, a thriving restaurant and shopping scene, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure. Buying a home on Kiawah Island, however, could be an adventure of its own. Most of the homes on Kiawah Island are rented out during the year to the numerous guests visiting the beaches. Homeowners can expect to pay steep homeowners association (HOA) fees, significant upfront costs, flood insurance, and more. However, the local market makes up for that with a lot of options. Do you want to live in a condo? Would you prefer to buy a house? Are you looking for a beachfront mansion? Whichever it is, Kiawah Island has it all.
In 2022, the median price of a single-family home was $2.7 million. The island saw an incredible $742 million in sales.
The town of Isle of Palms is located on the barrier island also called “Isle of Palms.” This residential and resort community with a population of just over 4,300. Take a 20-minute drive from Charleston, and you might end up walking the six miles of white, sandy beaches. Isle of Palms has many bike paths around the island, lots of recreation facilities and opportunities to enjoy every sport from tennis to softball. On the north end of the island, the Wild Dunes Resort commands 1,500 acres of land. There, you will find pools, tennis courts, and golf, as well as homes and vacation rentals.
Isle of Palms is often voted one of the best places to live in South Carolina since the town offers plenty of restaurants and activities and operates like a tiny city. This self-contained ecosystem has everything you will need to live or vacation in a beachside house.
However, purchasing a home on the Isle of Palms might not be easy. In 2022, the median home price for a single-family home was $1.98 million. Yet by June 2023, the median home price was already up to $2.15 million – and prices still seemed to be on the upswing.
Folly Beach is a town on Folly Island. In this beachfront city just south of Charleston, life revolves around the ocean. Whether biking the beachfront trails, kayaking, surfing, swimming, or boating, visitors flock to Folly Beach to enjoy the sun, surf, and sand. This 12-square-mile barrier island offers 6 miles of beaches and a quirky assortment of local businesses – from seafood restaurants to cafes and small shops.
Folly Beach is also steeped in history. From pirate legends to Civil War history, Folly Beach was historically the site of dastardly deeds and military occupation. Despite being abandoned after the Civil War and later being hit by devastating hurricanes, Folly Beach made an amazing comeback during the 20th century. Today, the boardwalk and the many local attractions bring thousands of visitors to the town that 2,400 residents call home.
In 2022, the median cost of a single-family home in Folly Beach was $1.66 million. Even a small two-bedroom bungalow could easily set you back $1.2 million.
Yet another Charleston-area beach town is Seabrook Island. This small, welcoming oceanfront community boasts of natural beauty, miles of pristine beaches, forest, and marshland. Seabrook Island is a private community on a gated barrier island. This means that Seabrook Island is exclusively accessible to residents and their guests. Privacy, peace, and nature attract members who want to enjoy the natural wonders away from crowded beaches.
Thanks to its exclusivity, Seabrook Island features many luxury homes, including those that look out at the ocean or feature river, marsh, forest, or golf course views. As a planned community, Seabrook Island’s designers sought to maintain the natural habitat, keep the local wildlife, and provide luxury real estate.
Unlike in other towns on this list, there is a unique process to become part of the Seabrook Island community. The Seabrook Island Real Estate team is your official source for buying and selling homes in Seabrook Island. You get the choice to buy a unique home or build your own, with the chance to surround yourself with incredible sights. The average home size on Seabrook Island is about 3,000 square feet. With 2,600 residential properties, you can choose from among 38 different mini-communities “within the community” – get a villa, cottage, or townhome.
In 2022, the median cost of a single-family home on Seabrook Island was $1.2 million. By June 2023, that cost had risen to $1.37 million.
SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The potential for a new yacht club and several docks on Seabrook Island is concerning Sea Islanders and environmental advocates.Town of Seabrook leaders discussed those plans Wednesday, which would include the annexation of a portion of Charleston County into Seabrook island.The town’s planning commission voted 4-1 to recommend moving forward with the annexation to the town council.The nearly 18-acre site, called the “Andell Tract,” sits between Bohicket Marina and Betsy K...
SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The potential for a new yacht club and several docks on Seabrook Island is concerning Sea Islanders and environmental advocates.
Town of Seabrook leaders discussed those plans Wednesday, which would include the annexation of a portion of Charleston County into Seabrook island.
The town’s planning commission voted 4-1 to recommend moving forward with the annexation to the town council.
The nearly 18-acre site, called the “Andell Tract,” sits between Bohicket Marina and Betsy Kerrison Parkway on Johns Island.
the plan includes a private Yacht Club and amenities such as a boat house, pool house and detached hotel containing 10 two-story cottages, according to town documents.
It also has public spaces including a boardwalk, pathways and a community crabbing dock.
Dana Beach, the founder of the Coastal Conservation League, said his two main concerns about the proposal are the environmental impacts on the water, and the crossing of Charleston County’s Urban Growth Boundary.
He said if The Town of Seabrook annexes this portion of Charleston County into their town for development, it could set a precedent for other local municipalities to do the same.
“The town may say ‘this is only a 20-acre parcel that in itself isn’t a big deal,” Beach said. “That’s what Charleston could say if it wanted to coming down from the north, that’s what Kiawah could say as it comes in from the East, even Folly Beach could say that.”
Robby Maynor, the Communities and Transportation Program Director for Coastal Conservation League echoed Beach’s point while addressing the planning commission at Wednesday’s meeting.
“There is an ongoing effort for collaboration between the municipalities on the sea islands to reaffirm that growth boundary to help strike a balance between development and preservation, this annexation would be a step in the wrong direction,” Maynor said.
The majority of the 544 written comments and 10 in person comments were against the development, although some community members spoke in its’ favor.
“I believe a Yacht Club is an amenity that fits perfectly within our diverse group of people,” Seabrook resident, Jackie Helline, said.
Mike Shuler, the Owner and Managing Partner for Bohicket Marina Investors, said he respectfully disagrees with the fear that this annexation may set a precedent for other municipalities to cross Charleston County’s Urban Growth boundary.
“What we are annexing is part of Seabrook’s comprehensive plan. Whether it crosses an Urban Growth Boundary, in my opinion, isn’t relevant here,” Shuler said. “Not to mention, further expansion beyond the property we are contemplating here is not possible because of conservation easements that are in place.”
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
For its first annexation in more than 30 years, Seabrook Island’s Town Council picked a real doozy.Next week, council will likely vote to annex nearly 18 acres on Bohicket Creek — just across from neighboring Kiawah Island’s Town Hall — for a mixed-use development designed around a marina and private yacht club.The details are a tad fuzzy (well, as much as they can be with a 200-page proposal), but public sentiment is not.Nearly 600 residents have expressed concerns about the project’s poten...
For its first annexation in more than 30 years, Seabrook Island’s Town Council picked a real doozy.
Next week, council will likely vote to annex nearly 18 acres on Bohicket Creek — just across from neighboring Kiawah Island’s Town Hall — for a mixed-use development designed around a marina and private yacht club.
The details are a tad fuzzy (well, as much as they can be with a 200-page proposal), but public sentiment is not.
Nearly 600 residents have expressed concerns about the project’s potential environmental, traffic and flooding impact. That’s more than a quarter of the island’s full-time residents.
They’ve made it clear they don’t want this, but feel like no one’s listening.
“The vast majority of people have been opposed to this,” says island resident Paul McLaughlin. “They don’t have to listen to us, but don’t go and ask for our opinion if you don’t listen to the answers. It offers no benefit to us; it’s a private club.”
His frustration is understandable, because a lot of people have valid concerns.
The state already considers that stretch of Bohicket too contaminated for oyster harvesting; the feds say it’s not safe to eat fish caught there. The state turned down similar plans 30 years ago … which is about the last time Seabrook gave any thought to expanding its borders.
McLaughlin notes the developer’s plan may address flooding on the property, but what does it do to the rest of the island?
Residents can’t leverage their usual influence over local officials, several of whom publicly support the plan, because most of them aren’t running for reelection.
It’s sort of a perfect storm — and, on Seabrook, it’s definitely storm season.
Local government is usually the most responsive to local citizens. A couple dozen bicyclists can — and did — derail Charleston’s carefully negotiated plans to redesign downtown’s King Street. But hundreds of well-heeled retirees can’t move the needle?
The island’s planning commission recommended the annexation on a 4-1 vote in July over vocal opposition. Residents get one more chance next week at a public hearing prior to an initial annexation vote, but aren’t optimistic.
They’ll get 30 minutes — three minutes per speaker — to relay their concerns in a room that holds an audience of about 60. That’s pretty standard operating procedure for local governments, but Seabrook residents are livid. The town, they say, has ignored repeated calls for a larger venue and more time.
Seabrook Mayor John Gregg says the developer has held informational meetings with residents for the past year, and when the island got the proposal in June, the town posted all documents online.
He says the alternative meeting venues suggested are all behind Seabrook’s private gate — and council meetings must be accessible to the public. Besides, he says, Town Hall is fitted with equipment to broadcast the meeting to the entire island.
If more people want to speak than time allows, the mayor says, speakers will be chosen by a random number algorithm generator.
That probably won’t make residents, or others, happy. Because this isn’t just some not-in-my-backyard grousing. The Coastal Conservation League, the nonprofit Kiawah Conservancy and various Johns Island advocates have also objected. Even Kiawah has taken an unprecedented stand.
Earlier this month, Kiawah Mayor John D. Labriola and Town Council members sent a letter to Seabrook, publicly opposing the annexation.
“We strongly believe that maintaining the current [urban growth boundary] is critically important to protect the unique Sea Islands ecosystem and the rural character of the land outside the boundary for future generations,” Labriola wrote.
That’s called foreshadowing.
Seabrook Councilwoman Jeri Finke wrote in the most recent issue of The Seabrooker that annexing the land gives the town control over it, which is better than allowing Charleston County or Kiawah to make the decisions. Her argument hasn’t moved many.
That’s because Kiawah Mayor Labriola hit on a salient point. Since the land falls outside the urban growth boundary, its potential development would be fairly limited … if Seabrook just stayed out of this.
See, right now that land falls under county jurisdiction, and County Council would never ignore such a large and influential group of citizens.
But Seabrook’s annexation blocks county intervention because the town isn’t party to the urban growth boundary agreement. That allows a few outgoing public officials to open the door to new development.
The Andell tract, as this land is called, sits at the end of Betsy Kerrison Parkway — an area just outside two wealthy communities under tremendous development pressure. Already, more businesses, a retirement community and an entire medical district are in the works.
But that land was never meant to be developed, at least not to this extent. That’s what the urban growth boundary dictates. The overdevelopment of Maybank Highway was meant as a trade-off to leave the rest of Johns Island largely rural.
Such plans often shrivel when there’s money to be made — this is proof of that. But the marina development could also bring renewed scrutiny to the urban growth boundary and spark radical change ... because people are sick of overdevelopment.
But that’s a story for another day.
At the hyper-local level, Seabrook officials should know their audience ... er, constituents. These are people who know how to get things done. They know how to file lawsuits. And they don’t give up.
So don’t expect next week’s vote to be the last word.
Everyone loves Charleston. It’s like the crown jewel of South Carolina, having been voted for 10 straight years by Travel + Leisure readers as the #1 city to visit in the United States and the only one in America included in the top 25 best cities in the world. That’s quite the recognition in the travel industry! And those who have been to Charleston certainly understand its allure. From beautiful sights to delicious restaurants to historical charm and southern hospitality, what’s not to love? Not to mention, there are alwa...
Everyone loves Charleston. It’s like the crown jewel of South Carolina, having been voted for 10 straight years by Travel + Leisure readers as the #1 city to visit in the United States and the only one in America included in the top 25 best cities in the world. That’s quite the recognition in the travel industry! And those who have been to Charleston certainly understand its allure. From beautiful sights to delicious restaurants to historical charm and southern hospitality, what’s not to love? Not to mention, there are always so many fun things to do in Charleston and its surrounding area. We’ve got a fabulous road trip for you to take that will get you a little farther out from downtown when you’re ready to branch out and explore more beyond, specifically, the stunning barrier islands of Charleston.
We only included the inhabited islands in our trip. Morris Island is a sixth barrier island of Charleston that’s uninhabited.
If you’d like to stay on each of the islands overnight, be sure to check on whether or not any of the places you’re looking at have a minimum number of nights required. That may be the case especially if your trip is during peak travel seasons, in such case, you may have to choose one location as your base to explore from.
Have you been to any of Charleston’s barrier islands? Which is your favorite if you’ve been to more than one, and why?
If you’re looking for other fun things to do in Charleston, check out the nighttime award-winning tour where you can see some of the city’s incredible sites while learning some fascinating things about the history of this popular locale!