Friday, July 4, 2014
On July 9, the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) will host a public workshop about the future of the agency's property located near the Limehouse Bridge. This piece of land, located in the Stono River between West Ashley and Johns Island, is currently undeveloped and a master plan is in the works to make it a county park facility. The public is invited to attend the meeting, to be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at the West Ashley High School cafeteria, with a presentation beginning at 6:45 p.m.
At the meeting, information will be shared about the site, and project leaders will discuss opportunities and constraints at the property. The public will be invited to share comments and opinions about what they would like to see at the property. The meeting will be hosted by staff from CCPRC and the agency's consultants for the property, Stantec.
In December of 2012, CCPRC received the Limehouse Point property through a generous donation. The site offers stunning views of the Stono River and opportunities for kayaking, bird watching and other recreational activities. The master planning process for this project will explore pedestrian and vehicular circulation, a dock connection to the marsh island and river, and constructed improvements that provide opportunities for recreation. Beyond the site, the planning process will explore connections to the West Ashley Greenway and the Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail. The intended process will include seeking guidance and input from a Steering Committee and the community.
The 85.5-acre future park site is located in the West Ashley and Johns Island areas of the City of Charleston near the Limehouse Bridge. It is composed of approximately 25.3 acres of highland, a 12.2-acre marsh island and 48 acres of marsh adjoining the Stono River. A proposed development had begun infrastructure improvements at the property when it was acquired and donated to CCPRC. Portions are zoned under conservation and others are restricted to recreational use. The property's plant communities consist of mixed-mesic, bottomland hardwood and maritime forests, as well as early successional and tidal salt marsh.
An active CSX rail line abuts the property to the north, and the West Ashley Greenway terminus is within 300 yards of the site. With its close proximity to the Greenway, the property provides an excellent opportunity to serve as a trailhead. Its adjacency to the CSX rail line also creates the potential to extend the Greenway to the south. The stunning views of the Stono River and the potential for water access create further opportunities for passive recreation and enjoyment, including a potential connection to the proposed Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail.
As for the future direction of the property, Julie Hensley, director of planning for CCPRC, notes that interested citizens should understand that it might be a matter of years before the park is developed. “However, we are very excited about the opportunities for trail connections offered by this site and look forward to developing the master plan for the property,” said Hensley.