When it comes to protection, few features are as important as the roof above your head. Your roof is much more than just a hat for your house - it keeps outside elements like rain, sleet, snow, and wind outside so you and your family can stay comfortable and dry inside. A properly maintained roof also helps protect your home's structural integrity, keeps critters out, and insulates your home during cold months. With all that said, it's easy to see why your roof plays such a crucial role in your everyday life. That's why, when your roof needs maintenance or replacement, you need to work with experienced, trustworthy roofers in Awendaw, SC.
Hixon's Roofing has been Awendaw's go-to contractor for new roof installations and repairs for nearly three decades. As locals in the Awendaw community, we pride ourselves on honesty, hard work, and being a business that you can count on consistently. There's no secret as to why our company is successful. The bottom line is that we do right by our customers and treat them the way we would like our own family to be treated. That's why, when you hire Hixon's Roofing, you'll be greeted with a warm smile and provided the highest quality roofing services in South Carolina.
When you work with Hixon's Roofing, you're not working with a mediocre roofing company in Awendaw. You're working with a team of experts who are fully insured, bonded, and licensed for your peace of mind. If you're looking for the best service and the best products in the roofing industry, look no further than Hixon's Roofing.
There's a reason why Hixon's Roofing is considered the best roofing company in South Carolina. Instead of talking about why it would be our pleasure to show you in person. Whether your residential roof needs inspecting or your commercial structure needs a replacement, we're here to serve you.
Hixon's has seen and done it all when it comes to residential roofing services in South Carolina. Whether you own a small, secluded ranch-style home or a sprawling mansion in the suburbs, we have the expertise and tools to accommodate any job. Do you need a small leak fixed on your asphalt roof? No problem, we've got you covered. Are you in need of a brand-new roof built from scratch? We can help you with that, too. At Hixon' Roofing, we pride ourselves on combining top-notch roofing services with family values. Trust, honesty, and hard work mean a lot to us. We treat your home and yard just like we would treat our own. If we create trash or debris in your yard, we clean it up. It all goes back to treating our customers how we would like to be treated - something that Hixon's has been doing since 1984.
What types of residential roofing services do we offer in Awendaw? Here are some of our most common job requests:
Our team specializes in all forms of roof repair, from minor leaks to major structural issues.
We will build you a new roof from scratch, using high-quality materials. If you have a vision, we can make it a reality.
Depending on your needs, we can remove your old roof and install a new roof on your home.
We will replace your old, worn-out shingles, metals, and other roofing materials.
We provide quality craftsmanship and products because we believe in what we do. We want happy customers who refer their friends and family. You may not see flashy internet ads everywhere for our company, but that's by design. Our word-of-mouth referrals are so frequent and far-reaching that we don't need to pay for ad spots. We would rather invest that money into the best tools and most knowledgeable roofing experts available. That way, we can better serve our customers.
Because, at the end of the day, your satisfaction is our #1 priority.
Your home's roof is exposed to the elements 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. As a homeowner, you probably do your best to keep your roof in good condition with regular maintenance and inspections. However, even properly maintained roofs can be damaged without notice. Mother Nature has her own set of rules, and when she chooses to unleash her power on your roof, there isn't too much you can do.
If your roof is leaking, growing moss, or your shingles are cracked, it's time to call the pros. You need contractors that are efficient, effective, and on-time. That's where Hixon's Roofing comes in.
Hixon's Roofing will provide quality roofing repairs for homes and businesses with all types of roofs. Whether you have a small, single-story home with a minor leak or a sprawling estate with multiple roofing issues, Hixon's will get your roof back to new in no time. It doesn't matter if we installed your roof or not, Hixon's will provide top-notch customer service and the highest quality roofing repairs in Awendaw.
While some situations like downed trees require obvious roof repair, it's not always clear when your roof needs some TLC. Keep these common signs in mind the next time you do a visual inspection of your roof:
If the shingles on your roof are cracked or curling, you can safely assume that they are nearing the end of their lifespan. If you notice shingles missing, it's an obvious sign that your roof needs some repair.
Asphalt and composite shingles will shed granules over time, especially when they're starting to wear out. Often, these granules find their way into your gutter system. When you're cleaning your gutters this quarter, keep an eye out for this course, black grit. It's a telltale sign that your roof may need attention or repair.
It's a good idea for every homeowner to check their attics for signs of leaks and general disrepair. While you're up there, look at the ceiling in your attic. If you notice the rafters or decking is sagging towards the ground, you could have a serious problem on your hands caused by a leak. If your roof deck is sagging, call Hixon's as soon as possible for an inspection. If the damage is localized, you can often avoid a full roof replacement.
As a full-service roofing company, our team of expert roofers has installed hundreds of new roofs in South Carolina. Whether you need a metal roof for your secluded home in the woods or a new roof for your commercial business, we're here to make the installation process easy and streamlined.
It all starts when you call our office for a free estimate. We'll take all the time you need to go over your new roof installation options to customize the structure and style to your needs. Once we have defined the project's details, our roof installation professionals will get to work on your home or business. Unlike some roofing companies in Awendaw, Hixon's is transparent about every step of the installation process. We keep our clients informed at all times and are happy to provide updates as we make progress on your new roof. While we are installing your new roof, we treat your home or business like our own. You can always count on friendly interactions and a clean and tidy work area. After your new roof is installed, we'll clean up behind ourselves so it's like we were never there.
When you hire Hixon's Roofing to install a roof on your home or business, know that we only use the highest-quality materials and the best construction techniques available. That way, you'll have a fantastic-looking roof that will last for decades. On top of our unmatched workmanship, clients also receive a 10-year labor warranty on architectural shingles and a 5-year labor warranty on three-tab and metal roofs.
Residential and commercial roofing are similar in that they both require experienced contractors to perform quality work. However, unlike residential roofing (a more straightforward process), commercial roofing projects can be complicated and lengthy. In our experience, there can be dozens of factors to be considered to complete the job correctly. Commercial roofing contractors in Awendaw, SC, must account for rooftop HVAC systems, external piping, external utilities, and more. Because commercial roofing structures typically have many layers, it's more difficult to find and remediate leaks. As such, our commercial roofing contractors have different skillsets than residential roofing pros.
Like the residential side of our business, we have completed hundreds of commercial roofing projects in South Carolina. We know exactly what it takes to repair, install, or inspect a commercial roof. When businesses in South Carolina need roofing work, they come to Hixon's Roofing because they know that we will get the job done right the first time. They know that our team is dependable, friendly, and highly qualified to accomplish any commercial roofing project. We're talking roof repairs for small offices to new roof installations on huge, multi-building industrial complexes.
If you're starting a commercial roofing project, don't settle for mediocre roofing contractors. After all, a commercial roofing project can be a huge investment, and you need to get your money's worth. Hixon's is here to exceed your expectations and take on any commercial roofing needs you may have, whether they're minor fixes or major roofing replacements.
At Hixon's Roofing, we make it difficult for any other roofing company to compete with our helpful and professional services. For more information about our company and what we can do for your home or business, contact our office in Awendaw. Our customer service reps have the knowledge and information to answer your questions and get the ball rolling on your roofing project in South Carolina today.Contact Us
CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — Local bird centers are implementing special protocols because of avian influenza.Cases of avian influenza, or the bir...
CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — Local bird centers are implementing special protocols because of avian influenza.
Cases of avian influenza, or the bird flu, have been rising across North America.
The Avian Conservation Center and Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw have noticed Lowcountry cases.
"At the clinic we have had five bald eagles and two herring gulls and those were earlier on in the year," said Jessie Griswold, avian clinic manager.
All passed away within days of flu detection.
The center has since established protocols to prevent cross contamination.
"We have to put those barriers between the contacts, between personnel, between patients, between spaces, so everything from gowns and clothing to gloves and boots to disinfectants, foot baths, designated areas with separate functions," said Jim Elliot, CEO of the Avian Conservation Center.
The Avian Conservation Center is not the only place taking safety steps.
"We prepare for these types of scenarios," said Jamie Torres, Director of Veterinary Care at the South Carolina Aquarium.
The South Carolina Aquarium has provided its biologists with personal protection equipment and reworked daily routines.
"We have our staff clean the indoor birds first because that's our clean population. We want to make sure that we're getting them taken care of for the day first before they go out into the salt marsh and take care of our outdoor birds for the day," said Torres.
Flu symptoms in birds can vary.
"It can be no clinical signs at all, to seizures. They'll often have torticollis or their heads turning back. They'll go in circles, stumble, they can lose their appetite," said Griswold.
We have already lost a third of the world's bird population and there are growing concerns bird numbers will continue to drop.
"The birds can't afford to have those kinds of population threats given they're already declining, so it's one more challenge that we and the birds have to face and it's very concerning," said Elliot.
Experts say this is the first time since 2015 that the highly pathogenic strain of bird flu has been detected in North America.
Fishermen often announce that they’ve seen color as a hooked fish darts about in the depths below a boat. And that’s exactly what Kenneth Crosby said to fellow “Jon Boat” crew members Jon Vroon and Kenneth Nelson on Nov. 2 as they fished the Hang Em’ High Kingfish Invitational.Vroon said Crosby yelled out “I’ve got color!” Seconds later he added “We’ve got a lot of color.” In other words, it was a good fish.Several hours later, after the Jon Boat crew made their ...
Fishermen often announce that they’ve seen color as a hooked fish darts about in the depths below a boat. And that’s exactly what Kenneth Crosby said to fellow “Jon Boat” crew members Jon Vroon and Kenneth Nelson on Nov. 2 as they fished the Hang Em’ High Kingfish Invitational.
Vroon said Crosby yelled out “I’ve got color!” Seconds later he added “We’ve got a lot of color.” In other words, it was a good fish.
Several hours later, after the Jon Boat crew made their way to the weigh station at Skull Creek Boathouse on Hilton Head Island, they found out just how good the fish was.
The king mackerel weighed 50.4 pounds, a tournament record, and the color they saw earlier translated into a lot of green — $109,000 for the heaviest kingfish caught by participants in the Hang Em’ High tournament.
“I’ll be honest. When we got that fish on the deck, we knew it was a bigger-sized fish but we didn’t know it was a 50-pounder,” said Vroon, owner of the 38-foot Edgewater. “We never high-five, but we did just because we knew it was a bigger fish.
“We put the fish in the fish box and were quiet for a while. We didn’t know what we had, but we knew we had something.”
Vroon said they continued to fish after boating the monster, trying to catch another fish to count toward aggregate weight. When that didn’t happen, they pulled the big fish back out and hung it from a Boga Grip to get a weight. The Boga Grip bounced between 48 and 52 pounds, and Vroon said Nelson told him, “We’re going to Hilton Head right now.”
Jon Boat’s catch was the capper to a lucrative late-season run. They missed many of the regular king mackerel tournaments while the boat was being upgraded, including new power. Vroon got the boat back in time for them to fish the South Carolina Fall Classic (scfallclassic.com), a tournament in which participants fish two days of their choosing, weigh two fish each day, and have their three heaviest fish count toward the championship.
During the Fall Classic they weighed four solid fish, all in the 30-pound class, and their 106.8-pound total had them in the lead until a couple of days before the tournament ended, when The Drum brought in a 43.6-pound catch and grabbed first. Jon Boat’s second-place finish netted them $8,000 and the crew decided to participate in the Hang Em’ High tournament.
“We got the boat back and said let’s do everything we can to get in the last few tournaments of the season. We ended up getting in the Fall Classic and ended up second. We thought we had it and at the last minute (The Drum) caught a a beautiful fish and we finished second. It was kind of hard not to sign up for the Hang Em’ High (kingfishinvitational.com) , a 40-boat invitational, when you have house money already,” Vroon said.
The Hang Em’ High tournament, which began in 2021, was conceived by Marc Pincus of Hilton Head; he also runs the S.C. Wahoo Series, the S.C. Mahi Series and the S.C. Fall Classic. Each team pays a $5,000 entry feet with the winner pocketing $100,000.
Robert Olsen of Charleston won the inaugural Hang Em’ High tournament in 2022 with a 43.4-pound catch that was worth $118,900. This year’s tournament was scheduled to be a two-day event with anglers fishing Friday and Saturday (Nov. 4-5) with Wednesday and Thursday (Nov. 2-3) as weather days. But with a northeaster brewing, the tournament became a one-day shootout.
Jon Boat’s 50.4-pound catch was easily the winner.
Second place and $36,000 with a 37.6-pound catch went to Avaseata, captained by Anthony Seminara of Bluffton. Finishing a close third and earning $34,000 was Wreck On, captained by Tyler Smith of Edisto, with a 37.4-pound catch. Pole Dancer, captained by David Hartness of Isle of Palms, rounded out the boats finishing in the money, earning $21,000 with a 33.8-pound king mackerel.
Extra Kristi, captained by Chris Rosengarten of Beaufort, was the first boat out of the money, missing by 0.1 pounds with a 33.7-pound kingfish. Rounding out the top 10 were: Salty Mistress, 32.7; Mas Pescado, 32.1; Rock Doc, 30.9; The Right Side, 29.8; and Prodigy Fishing, 29.6.
Vroon said the Jon Boat crew launched at James Island Yacht Club, where they all are members. They headed to the area where they caught fish in the Fall Classic and began riding around, looking for suspended bait and places that might be holding fish until it was time for lines in the water at 7 a.m.
“We didn’t see a lot. It was a lot different than it had been two weeks earlier (for the Fall Classic). It was kinda’ disappointing at the time, because you take a gamble and risk going to a location that at one time looked good. And we’re going in the opposite direction of where we’re going to weigh in,” Vroon said. He said they picked away at 16-, 17-, 18-pound kingfish, which they released.
“Then out of the blue, the biggest kingfish I’ve ever caught takes line,” Vroon said.
Crosby was closest to the rod, while Vroon was running the boat and Nelson began clearing the other lines.
“Sometimes you can tell by that first run how big a fish is,” Vroon said. “But you can really tell on the second run. Then when he runs again the third time like he ran the first time, you know you’ve got a fish on. We knew we had something, and we were trying to track him down.”
Vroon said even after they they got to Hilton Head and got their official weight, he wasn’t going to assume they had won.
“When you’re fishing against 40 of the best kingfishing guys in the Carolina, you expect that if you caught a 50 then they can catch a 50. That was always in the back of my mind. It wasn’t until the end of the weigh-in and there wasn’t a boat coming down the creek that it set in. Holy Cow! We did it!” he said.
“A tournament like that is life-changing. The camaraderie. The people calling. It’s been incredible, awesome. It may never happen again. We’re trying to take in all in, every moment. I caught the biggest kingfish I’ve ever caught in the biggest tournament I’ve ever entered.”
Tournament director Marc Pincus has announced that the 2023 South Carolina Wahoo Series (scwahooseries.com) will be fished Feb. 17-April 15. The captain’s meeting will be held from 1-4 p.m. Feb. 4 at Skull Creek Dockside Restaurant on Hilton Head Island, with the awards ceremony scheduled April 16.
Participants can fish three days during the tournament, weighing one fish each day, with the aggregate weight of their two heaviest fish counting toward the championship.
The East Cooper Outboard Motor Club is holding its 59th annual turkey shoot through Nov. 23, Wednesday through Saturday, from 6:30-10 p.m. at Goldbug Island, located at 1560 Ben Sawyer, Mount Pleasant. The shoot also will be held the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
The turkey shoot raised $43,000 in 2021 and has made donations of $541,800 to Lowcountry charities since its inception.
The second of the 2022 white-tailed deer archery hunt on Bulls Island will be held Dec. 5-10. The purpose of the hunts it to assist management in maintaining the deer population at a level compatible with the environment, and permits the use of a valuable renewable resource.
Hunters must possess the required state hunting license. Each hunter will check in and register before setting up camp and hunting. Hunters under the age of 16 must have successfully completed a State-approved hunter education course, present a hunter safety certificate and be under the immediate supervision of an adult. On Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m., the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge Manager will meet with archers to discuss refuge hunt regulations.
The camping area on Bulls Island will remain open from 9 a.m. on the Sunday preceding each hunt until noon on the Sunday following the hunt. Only registered hunters will be allowed to camp. Overnight parking is permitted at Garris Landing during the archery hunts. The group campsite is the picnic area, which includes an enclosed weather shelter in case of extreme weather, bathroom facility and a water source.
Visit the Cape Romain website at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/cape-romain for a copy of the hunt permit. For additional information, please call the Refuge office at (843) 928-3264.
Permits are available at the Refuge Headquarters Office Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and, Thursday–Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center, 5821 Hwy 17 North, Awendaw, SC 29429.
America’s Boating Club Charleston will hold boating safety classes Nov. 12 and Dec. 3 at 1376 Orange Grove Road, Charleston. The classes begin at 9 a.m. and end around 4 p.m.
Successful participants earn the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Boater Education Card. The cost is $45 for adults and $15 for additional household members sharing the text. Scholarships are available for youth ages 12-18. Call 843-312-2876 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCIV) — One Awendaw woman is launching a new company with the goal of bringing new services to her community.Awendaw is a small qui...
AWENDAW, S.C. (WCIV) — One Awendaw woman is launching a new company with the goal of bringing new services to her community.
Awendaw is a small quiet rural city next to Mount Pleasant, but for people like Stacia McNeil Dawson it's better known as "home."
“Being out in the country, born and raised, which I love and I see that everybody else is starting to love it as well,” McNeil Dawson said.
But the beauty of a small rural town comes at a cost.
“Growing [up], born and raised in Awendaw, I’ve noticed that we always lack,” McNeil Dawson said.
Cities like Awendaw don’t have county-sponsored resources when it comes to maintenance or sanitation like many other areas do. So for many basic necessities, residents are pushed towards private services which, according to residents, may be unreliable or have such a large service area that these rural cities may get over looked.
“We are the last to have anything available or otherwise any type of services funding or even programs,” McNeil Dawson said.
One of those resources McNeil Dawson says the lack: trash services.
“Just to see when you go out and visit other relatives, and they have all these type of services come into their community, and you come back home and you see that we don't have it, it makes you feel like why don't we have it? It makes us feel like, well, maybe we're not worthy to have it or maybe they just don't want to cater to us," McNeil Dawson said.
Instead of accepting her fate, McNeil Dawson decided to get up and do something about it.
“In order to make a difference in the world, we must start [at] home first. Community is number one, " she said.
McNeil Dawson decided to create her own sanitation service company specifically for Awendaw and the surrounding rural areas in the North Mount Pleasant area. It's called Awendaw Sanitation Services.
What started out as a vision five years ago turned into a full blow operation set to open next week. McNeil Dawson took the an unconventional route to get there.
“Typically, every day in both of my vehicles is full with anything on sanitation," she said.
She's a true self starter who built this business using her own money- raising almost a quarter of a million dollars in total- her own time and her own resources to put together trucks and commercial vehicles.
From rolling trash cans down the street to now just being days away from the rollout of her business– it’s been a long journey.
But for McNeil Dawson, her purpose is much larger than just trash clean-up.
“I believe Awendaw Sanitation Services will be the door to start opening up new opportunities, to bring out more resources and just to give more to the rural areas," she said.
She hopes the road she took to get to this point will inspire others to do the same.
“It's going to take us if we see the need, it's going to take us to make that change," she said.
Awendaw sanitation company will provide household trash cleanup services to Awendaw, McClellanville, Huger, North Santee, Buck Hall and North Mount Pleasant starting on August 2.
McNeil Dawson said they are currently running a promotion for signups before their start date next week and are also looking for more employees– specifically for anyone with a CDL license.
AWENDAW — Elliott Summey, head of South Carolina’s largest airport, used the town of Awendaw’s natural resources for personal gain during his private company's work on an unfinished park here, a new lawsuit by the town alleges.The lawsuit echoes the findings in ...
AWENDAW — Elliott Summey, head of South Carolina’s largest airport, used the town of Awendaw’s natural resources for personal gain during his private company's work on an unfinished park here, a new lawsuit by the town alleges.
The lawsuit echoes the findings in “Sand Man,” a report last year by The Post and Courier-led Uncovered investigative reporting collaboration.
That report revealed how Summey's company, Jackson Development, mined millions of dollars in sand and dirt from the park site, then left Awendaw in the dark about how much money he made and how much money taxpayers should have received in royalties.
Filed June 10, the town’s 16-page complaint went a few steps further.
Among its allegations:
Summey, a former Charleston County Council chairman and son of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, said his attorney has been trying to resolve disputes through arbitration and mediation.
"Now that the town has filed a lawsuit, this will allow all the facts to be presented in a fair, transparent and public manner," he said. Summey declined to discuss specific allegations raised by the lawsuit.
Awendaw Town Attorney Toya Hampton acknowledged that "passions are running high" about the park. "The Town is standing up for its rights under the agreement through the lawsuit."
The lawsuit didn't specify an amount it's seeking.
The lawsuit is the latest chapter in the controversial project.
In 2009, Charleston County Council voted to use Greenbelt money to buy 290 acres off Doar Road. On council then, Summey was a deciding vote. Three years later, Summey created Jackson Development — and scored a deal to mine the land's sand.
The deal called for Jackson Development to spend $500,000 to help Awendaw build a park. Once it hit that $500,000 mark, Summey’s company was supposed to pay Awendaw an additional 50 cents for every cubic yard excavated from the site — and more if the price of dirt rose, which it did significantly over the coming years.
The town hoped to use these royalties to finish the park.
But Summey’s company turned over far less royalty money than the town expected, about $150,000.
And while the site has a large lake from the sand mining operation, the park itself remains unfinished. The town recently unveiled a new plan featuring disc golf, an amphitheater and space for overnight camping. But it remains unclear how the town will pay for this work.
With the park project in limbo, Summey and the town have been battling over the royalties.
According to the town's agreement with Jackson Development, Summey's company was supposed to hand over detailed receipts, canceled checks, invoices and other documentation about his mining progress.
But Summey and his contractor, Robert Collins Co., failed to do so, the lawsuit alleged.
Amid this vacuum of documentation, Awendaw Town Council in October 2020 hired the Greenville-based Wyche firm to challenge Summey.
Summey, meanwhile, left his County Council post for a job as chief executive officer of Charleston International Airport, earning more than $318,000 in salary and perks.
The lawsuit raises new questions about Summey's mix of public and private ventures.
Summey has created about 20 private corporations, according to state and court records. Most appear to involve real estate ventures, with the notable exception of Jackson Development.
The lawsuit alleged that Jackson Development was a "corporate fiction ... used by Summey as a means of evading legal obligations," and that Summey should be personally liable.
The lawsuit also discussed a large berm Summey and his company built on the site.
Running parallel to Doar Road, the berm was supposed to protect a nearby neighborhood from dust and noise. A permit from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control required that the berm be made from topsoil from the park site.
But according to the lawsuit, Summey and his company violated the permit by packing the berm with concrete, asphalt, rebar, items of clothing and other trash, earning at least $100,000.
Doing this violated DHEC permit requirements and will force the town to spend at least $150,000 to fix new drainage problems created by the berm, the lawsuit alleged.
According to a DHEC inspection report in 2020, Summey's company was supposed to remove the berm.
The lawsuit also claimed that Summey and his company sold timber from the Awendaw tract without paying the town.
It concluded by alleging Summey misused and converted the town's resources "for personal gain to fund Defendants’ own businesses at the expense of the Town and its residents and taxpayers."
The Awendaw project's problems have had a ripple effect beyond Elliott Summey.
A North Charleston city employee, DeLisa Reynolds, alleges that Mayor Keith Summey retaliated against her after one of her family members posted a negative comment on Instagram about Elliott Summey's work in Awendaw. She has filed formal complaints with the city of North Charleston and the S.C. Human Rights Commission.
Thirteen years have passed since Charleston County voted to buy the Doar Road property with public Greenbelt money. But the park site remains empty, save for a few dirt roads, a power pole, a water well and a large berm overlooking a lake.
Beyond what happened and didn't happen in Awendaw, the project highlights a weakness in the state ethics laws.
In The Post and Courier's October report, Summey said he was told by the State Ethics Commission that he didn't have to report the money he made in Awendaw, prompting a government watchdog to say that it was "appalling that millions of dollars are not really accounted for.”
AWENDAW — One of two controversial housing developments is moving forward after a public meeting in which several residents of this rural town made clear the construction is not welcome.Awendaw’s Planning Commission on April 18 approved the plats for a development by national homebuilder PulteGroup on a piece of land known as the White Tract. The development includes 204 homes at build-out on 148 acres near the intersection of Seewee and Bulls Island roads.All of the homes would use septic tanks to handle sewage....
AWENDAW — One of two controversial housing developments is moving forward after a public meeting in which several residents of this rural town made clear the construction is not welcome.
Awendaw’s Planning Commission on April 18 approved the plats for a development by national homebuilder PulteGroup on a piece of land known as the White Tract. The development includes 204 homes at build-out on 148 acres near the intersection of Seewee and Bulls Island roads.
All of the homes would use septic tanks to handle sewage.
The tanks are a major component to environmentalists’ objections of the project, contending the tanks could fail and send untreated sewage leaching into the pristine waters of nearby Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge. Neighbors are concerned by the construction for additional reasons, including added traffic and already minimal fire services for the area being stretched further.
The panel approved the development with several conditions attached. The vote was 5-1, with only Commissioner James Gardner voting against. Lewis White Jr., chair of the planning commission, was not present at the meeting and has not weighed in on the project because he owns the land where it will be built.
Will Waterhouse, a representative of Pulte, said during the meeting that developers had worked to meet with the community and address concerns first raised in a raucous March meeting where angry members of the public argued they had not been properly briefed on the plans.
“What was evident was that folks in this room had something to say about it, and in the time between the meetings we’ve been listening,” Waterhouse said to the commission.
Residents of the town argued the project should be thrown out entirely because of several changes in the proposal from the conceptual development plan, which was approved in 2006.
“This is dramatically different from what Pulte has proposed to you (16 years ago),” resident Susan Cox said.
She pointed out the original plan called for a new road that will no longer be built, more space between house lots and the edge of the development area, and more distance between homes and a saltwater impoundment that drains directly into the Intracoastal Waterway.
Some concerns that were first raised in the March meeting were addressed in the list of 17 conditions that commissioners added to the project. Among them is that covenants future homebuyers will agree to will include an easement for smoke. Smoke often drifts over the area from nearby prescribed burns by the U.S. Forest Service in Francis Marion National Forest, which are necessary to maintain the ecosystems there.
Waterhouse acknowledged that for some things, like an annual septic tank inspection Pulte will require, may not last.
Asked by Gardner how builders could ensure their conditions will hold after the project is done, Waterhouse said Pulte will retain control of the future homeowners association board only until all the houses are built.
Whether there is a way to ensure septic inspections stayed mandatory after that point, Waterhouse said, “I just don’t know (how) off the top of my head.”
After the meeting, Grace Gasper of conservation group Friends of Coastal SC, said she was “disappointed but not surprised” by the commission’s decision.
She said Pulte had made strides in talking to interest groups and neighbors about their plans, but there are still concerns about the effect on the Francis Marion forest and the nearby Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.
Developers will still have to get approval from several other public agencies before they start construction, including the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, which will review plans for septic tanks.
The town will have another meeting next month on the second development proposal that stirred up animosity in March. That plan will eventually put 249 houses on 184 acres near the intersection of Doar Road and U.S. Highway 17.
Taken together, the two projects could eventually increase the population of the town, now at about 1,400, by 50 percent.