Taxpayers in Charleston County will be spending millions on conservation plans to preserve park and open space projects.  The projects are varied and include Sullivan’s Island beach path, a corner lot along Folly Road and approximately 1,400 acres in the Francis Marion National Forest.  Boone Hall Plantation and Fort Pemberton have hit some roadblocks but are waiting for possible approval of expensive conservation projects in the near future.

Conservation Project Purchases are Being Funded by the Half-Cent Sales Tax 

The half-cent sales tax funding will enable the county to protect land from further development and enable more recreational parks to be developed. County Council has authority over how money is allocated and not all the projects proposed will be funded.

The County Council recently approved $23.5 million in funding for 16 projects to protect 3,289 acres in Charleston County. The land was either purchased outright or conservation easements bought to restrict the use of the property.  Some projects were rejected including a $1.35 million request to buy a conservation easement on 2.4 acres on Shem Creek, which is used as a dock by shrimpers.

Conservation Easement at Boone Hall Plantation is One of the Highest-Profile Projects

A proposed $7 million conservation easement for the more than 700-acre Boone Hall Plantation is in the works, which could potentially see the development of 1,800 new homes. Charleston County Council is working through the details to iron out an agreement.

A Fort Pemberton conservation plan on James Island is another high-profile project but is facing more roadblocks. The City of Charleston has attempted to purchase the property for $6.1 million to turn it into a park.   The site is along the Stono River and has a house with about 8.5 acres. The site contains the remains of important Civil War earthworks.  The Oaks Plantation property is also under consideration by Charleston County Council for preservation at a purchase price of $1.75 million for 250 acres near Drayton Hall along the Ashley River.

Charleston County Approved the Purchase of 1,450 Acres in the Francis Marion National Forest

Charleston County recently approved a number of conservation projects including the purchase of 1,450 acres in Francis Marion Forest. They also approved $116,325 to buy 9.2 acres next to Hutchinson House, a 19th-century freedman’s house.  Approval of $467,000 was given to purchase half-acre of land at Brantley and Folly Roads to create a small park and kayak launch. The County also agreed to purchase 1.9 acres for $206,000 to expand a park and another $125,000 for a conservation easement in Mount Pleasant’s Phillips community.

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Source: https://www.postandcourier.com/news/here-s-how-charleston-county-decided-to-spend-millions-on/article_d9e5f9cc-7d7a-11e9-94ec-4b2117d54285.html