At their January 18th, 2024 meeting, the Town of Ridgeland voted 4-1 to approve a resolution to accept an annexation petition for 3,000 acres along the Jasper County side of the Broad River, within the Euhaw-Broad River Planning Area. However, in order to finalize the annexation, Ridgeland must now pass multiple ordinances and hold a public hearing.
Several of the parcels pending annexation are part of the historic Chelsea property, as well as a 212-acre property known as “Keeling.” If annexed into the Town, Ridgeland’s borders would leapfrog Tickton Hall and swell all the way to Hwy. 170, potentially spurring suburban sprawl that can be costly to service.
The resolution to accept the annexation petition violates the spirit and intent of Jasper County’s moratorium on certain development within the Euhaw-Broad River Planning Area—which extends through March of 2024.
This critical moratorium period is intended to allow the county time to update its comprehensive plan and strengthen the rural zoning standards in this specific area as it faces mounting growth and development pressures.
While we are still gathering more information about the details of this proposal, we know that new subdivisions, commercial, and residential development in greenfield areas along the Broad River can overburden infrastructure and evacuation routes, increase runoff, and result in the loss of open space.
Now more than ever, we need to protect the Euhaw-Broad River Area. Rapid growth pressures across Jasper County threaten once-abundant wetlands and the landscapes that draw so many residents and visitors to the Lowcountry.
Jasper County prides itself on its tight-knit communities and rural character. Community leaders, landowners, and residents have expressed their desire to see the Euhaw-Broad River Area conserved. The time to act is now!