Environmentalists inconsistent when it comes to building in wetlands

Environmentalists inconsistent when it comes to building in wetlands
April 30 09:10 2017 Print This Article

Local environmentalists and politicians constantly beat the drum that we need more bike paths, sidewalks, and mass transit to take cars off the road and reduce our carbon footprint.  Why aren’t they speaking up when it comes to new development on the  West Ashley  Circle.  A recent public meeting with the developer of a new  Harris Teeter on the West Ashley Circle  was attended by about 100 angry citizens from surrounding neighborhoods who have experienced the flooding of their homes in recent years due to all the new development.  The West Ashley Circle is on wetlands.  There are plans to build a Harris Teeter and other retail there.

Environmentalists and poltitians claim to care about protecting the environment which includes wetlands.    Where is the outcry? The local media and politicians seem to be on the side of the developers for plans in the Church Creek Drainage Basin.  There is a moratorium on new construction, but the plans for the Harris Teeter and retail on the West Ashley Circle were already in the pipeline.  They are in the permitting phase.  The permits need to be pulled.  Further flooding will be the consequence  of this construction.

Local media outlets have failed to capture the mood of the citizens who live within the Church Creek basin.  Randy Harley has lived in Hickory Farms for 25 years.  Up until Bees Ferry Road was widened, replacing spongy wetlands soil with impermeable pavement, he had not experienced flooding on his property.  Now his property floods every time there is a heavy rain.  The construction of West Ashley Circle has likely added to the problem.

Some elected officials attribute the flooding to sea level rise, which has averaged about three millimeters per year for the past century.  If that were a real concern, people wouldn’t be paying millions for beachfront property.  The real issue is paving the wetlands and the failure to maintain and upgrade the drainage system.  Contractor Marc Knapp says, “We need to start spending some real money on fixing our storm drains.”  Time to address this issue and stop making the flooding problem worse for thousands of homeowners.