As you may know, a proposed development called WestEdge (formerly known as “Horizon”) promises to dramatically change the peninsula of Charleston, boasting 4,280 new jobs, 100-200 new companies, 1,000+ hotel rooms, and 2,500+ new residents on a mere 22 acres near Brittlebank Park, the Joe Riley Stadium, and the Westside Neighborhood. WestEdge’s zoning is approved, and the Board of Architectural Review has already approved preliminary plans based on an assessment of height, mass, and scale.
WestEdge has the potential to make a positive impact on the surrounding communities while providing jobs and boosting our economy, but it also has the potential to be yet another scar on the landscape of the peninsula for the next century. We want to work with the developers and the public entities who own the property, as well as regulatory agencies, to ensure this development enhances our community and transforms the peninsula in a positive way. Our priorities are to focus on transportation improvements and connectivity that promote increased, safe, and convenient walkability and bikeability, as well as preserve the site’s existing Gadsden Creek.
Gadsden Creek is one of the last remaining tidal creeks on the peninsula, running right through the WestEdge site. The current development proposal involves tunneling and paving over this ecologically, historically, and culturally significant creek. With ample time for meaningful public and organizational input, we believe that a plan can be reached that utilizes the creek as an asset, rather than a liability. Why fill a tidal creek that could be used as natural flood control? There should be discussion about how developments work with nature for flood control rather than trying to put in a hard-scaped solution. The developer applied to SC Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (DHEC/OCRM) for a permit to bury Gadsden Creek in a pipe and fill its surrounding marsh.
More than 70 people, including members of the Conservation League as well as the Charleston Waterkeeper, requested a public hearing for this application. This is your opportunity to share your thoughts about the permit application and whether it should be granted.