Q. I have lived in Mount Pleasant my entire life. Why did they plant Magnolia trees on Highway 17? How does the town intend to maintain them? Will the root system destroy the road? - Jay Wood, Mount Pleasant
A. “Alta Southern Magnolias were selected on the original widening (526 to north of the Isle Of Palms Connector) because other selections allowable by South Carolina Department of Transportation on their road for the given median widths were not desirable. One of those was Chinese elm which has proven invasive.
The Johnnie Dodds Boulevard project used little gem and hasse southern magnolias as well as sweet bay magnolias. The upcoming median landscaping north of the Isle Of Palms Connector will also have some little gem and hasse magnolias.
The magnolias will continue to be limbed up as they presently are for view considerations and otherwise will be maintained like the other trees. In most cases the medians have root barriers installed behind the curb which are planned to deter damage to the hardscape.” - Eddie Bernard, RLA, LEED AP, ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, ISA Certified Tree Risk Assessor, Town of Mount Pleasant- Planning Department
Q. I, as probably many others, have been wondering what the town or county is building on Highway 17 at the entrances to Park West and Roper Hospital? - John Porcher, Mount Pleasant
A. In an effort to minimize the impact of development along on Highway 17, residential, commercial and office uses will be located inside Carolina Park and away from Highway 17. As a result, there is a need for signage to identify the community along with other commercial users.
As a means to create an attractive and cohesive appearance for these uses, four landscaped “monument parks” have been created along Highway 17 adjacent to Park West, Faison Road, Carolina Park Boulevard and Daryl Creek Trail.
We were looking for a tasteful and creative signage plan so we hired five local architecture firms to provide proposals on how to address the signage. We held a meeting where the designers presented their ideas and ultimately decided on Anne Maguire and Steve Dudash’s proposal, which gave us the idea to build white barn-like structures with Lowcountry style metal roofs.
We found the simple and attractive designs really appealing given the north Mount Pleasant location; we wanted these buildings to communicate a traditional and rural feeling that blended with the agricultural history of the area. We have hired local artist, David Boatwright, to paint “Carolina Park” on the roof and gable of several structures. David has done a number of other building signs and murals around Charleston. The buildings will also feature lighting where we will have the ability to change colors during holidays or other special events.
We are very pleased with the outcome so far and think we have come up with a tasteful way to provide high visibility for the community along with potential retailers. The parks will be irrigated with a simple landscape plan including turf, sweet grass, and wax myrtles.
The two larger parks near Park West and Daryl Creek Trail will have three buildings and the two smaller parks at Faison Road and Carolina Park Boulevard will have one building. Over time, the side of the larger structures will have hand painted retail signs on the sides, and one structure in each park will have “Carolina Park” painted on the roof.” - Brian Keels, PE, Marketing Director, Carolina Park Development
Q. The ramp at Shem Creek is too small for boats and kayakers. One time a boater pulled forward to back the boat in the water, unhooked it then jumped in the truck, and proceeded to back up. A kayaker was on the ground right behind the boat where he couldn’t be seen. Can’t the town or the county find a way to get another place for kayakers? - Joani Patterson Frazier, Mount Pleasant
A. “The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission feels as if the responsibility of finding and providing more water access falls upon us. We are working on it. In the meantime, we are very fortunate to have a great working relationship with the Town of Mount Pleasant and we both clearly know that we are all serving the same people. CCPRC and the town also together went to help fund some of these non-motorized access points with a state Parks Recreation and Tourism water access grant. We need more, not just in Mount Pleasant, but all around the county.
I think Ms. Frazier is correct, the ramp at Shem Creek is to small for boats and kayakers when it is busy. As I mentioned, we are looking for every available option for additional non-motorized boat access. From time to time we come upon a piece of property that has good water access but the parking area may not be adequate.
We will try to make sure that we increase our awareness of alternate non-motorized water access points.” - Tom O’Rourke, Director of Charleston County Parks and Recreation