WestEdge developer wants to fill in wetlands on the peninsula

WestEdge developer wants to fill in wetlands on the peninsula
July 25 15:15 2019 Print This Article

State Representative Wendell Gilliard (D-West Ashley) convened a special meeting with regulatory officials Thursday at North Charleston City Hall to discuss a permit application to fill about four acres of wetlands in Gadsden Creek on the Charleston peninsula. The non-profit WestEdge Foundation, formerly known as the Horizon Project, initially sought the wetlands permit in 2015. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has already received about 60 comments on the permit request.

WestEdge provides office space for MUSC researchers. It also operates a commercial and residential real estate business and a parking garage near the Gadsden Green public housing units. A 500 square foot studio apartment owned by the non-profit leases for $1540 per month. WestEdge Foundation CEO Michael Maher claimed that the planned development would improve drainage and reduce environmental hazards in the surrounding area.

Charleston Mayoral candidate Maurice Washington, who grew up in Gadsden Green, opposes the project. He said, “Wetlands don’t cause flooding. Wetlands mitigate flooding.” He and environmental education professor Dr. Merrie Koester both expressed concern about Gadsden Green residents being “gentrified” off of the peninsula, a trend that has been in progress for decades. An advocacy group called Friends of Gadsden Creek also opposes the development. The recent Dutch Dialogues workshop recommended the preservation and enhancement of the wetlands in the area.

Blair Williams from the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (DHEC) announced a public hearing on the permit Wednesday, August 7 from 6 to 8 pm at Burke High School. The public comment period will end August 21. Williams said that comments can be e-mailed to trumbumt@dhec.sc.gov.