Drainage a key part of West Ashley Master Plan

Drainage a key part of West Ashley Master Plan
May 11 20:20 2017 Print This Article

Flooding has emerged as a serious concern in West Ashley since the heavy rains in August and October of 2015 and again during Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Engineering consultants with the firm Horsley Witten met with engineers and planners from City of Charleston and Charleston County Thursday at the Plan West Ashley design studio in the Citadel Mall to focus on solutions. A drainage blueprint will be part of the West Ashley Master Plan.

The plan will address a worst possible case scenario of a sea level raise of up to 2.5 feet by the year 2050. Sea level has risen about one foot during the past 100 years.

Among the drainage strategies discussed was retrofitting public parks by creating retention ponds and planting more trees and absorbent landscaping beds. Also suggested was offering shopping center owners a reduced storm drainage fee if they install permeable pavement or absorbent plants. A plan to get corporate sponsors to purchase 250,000 trees for West Ashley was offered and to give commercial property owners a property tax credit for planting them.

Another idea presented was to have local governments impose more stringent permitting standards than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for filling in and paving wetlands, which causes more stormwater runoff. Improving drainage system maintenance was also discussed.

There are upcoming drainage studies being planned for the Dupont-Wappoo area along Savannah Highway and the Church Creek Drainage Basin along the Bees Ferry Road corridor. Both areas have sustained significant property damage due to flooding in recent years.

The Office for Coastal Management at the former Navy base provides planning services for property owners who want to upgrade their drainage systems. The agency’s web page is https://coast.noaa.gov/about/. The drainage blueprint will be discussed Saturday during the 10 am to noon at the Work in Progress presentation at Center Court in the Citadel Mall.