Construction Begins on Affordable Housing Project
Construction on the Humanities Foundation project, which cleared a zoning challenge by the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association (DINA) in August, began last week. Bulldozers began clearing the field at the corner of Seven Farms Drive and Daniel Island Drive early Friday morning, Aug. 26. DINA has filed a second challenge, contending that the project’s developers did not conduct proper traffic studies.
On Aug. 16, DINA submitted a separate claim with the city’s Technical Review Committee regarding the proposed Humanities Foundation Apartments on Daniel Island. This separate claim concerning traffic issues will be heard by the Planning Commission on Sept. 21, 2005.
The zoning challenge, which was denied by the zoning hearing board on Aug. 16, cleared the way for construction to begin. The same night that DINA’s zoning claims were denied Charleston City Council voted to amend the Daniel Island Master plan to clarify the issue that formed the basis of DINA’s zoning claims.
DINA attorney and island resident David Cobb said that DINA “will appeal the zoning issue as we address the City’s second amendment to the DI Master Plan to fit the proposed project into a site that was never intended for this use. We also will pursue challenges to the proposed project based on the obvious deviation from the 2001 Affordable Housing Plan. Finally, we hope to continue to urge the City and the DI Company to consider our proposal to use the DI Community Fund as a funding source for alternatives to the proposed project. “
The construction project received an additional boost earlier this week. On Monday, the Humanities Foundation received a $200,000 grant for the project from the Lowcountry Housing Trust. On Monday, the Trust, a regional nonprofit group that funds affordable housing, announced that 10 Lowcountry developers would receive a portion of the $1 million of state money that was made available.
Tammie Hoy, Executive Director of the Trust, explained the appeal of the Humanities project. “The Review Committee saw this development as a great opportunity to fill a major gap in the Daniel Island housing market. It was a great use of space, since land costs are so high, the development could serve a greater sum of the community by having housing in one location. The project was attractive and met with the surrounding environment. There is no other development providing affordable rents on Daniel Island.”
Hoy added that the Humanities Foundation project received Trust funds because it meets “a great need in a thriving business district with adjoining schools, grocery stores, doctors offices, [and] a fire station.”