DINA Members Briefed on West Ashley Neighborhood's Opposition to Housing Project and Other DINA News
Several dozen Daniel Island residents attended the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association meeting on Tuesday to get an update on various DINA related concerns, including hearing from a West Ashley neighborhood group that opposes an affordable housing project in their neighborhood. Other issues covered at the meeting included an update on a fundraiser for island police officer Tate Mikel and developments with the DINA education committee.
The Rev. Christian King told Islanders that her West Ashley neighborhood is looking for ways to block a Humanties Foundation low- to moderate-income apartment development from being built off of Savannah Highway without input from community residents. Her frustration seemed to hit home with the DINA, which is poised to again appeal plans for a similar 72-unit complex slated for the center of the island.
“Three-fourths of neighborhood is affordable housing, and we’re black,” King said. “This is not about affordable housing. It’s about these specific sites.”
King spoke after Charleston City Councilman Henry Fishburne apologized to DINA President Franklin Medio for how council treated him at a recent council meeting concerning the controversial development. Medio, and Daniel Island residents in general, were written off as racist and elitist for their opposition to the apartments, Fishburne and others reported.
DINA has opposed the project on several fronts over the past six months because, according to the group’s representatives, residents had no say in the plans and because the development does not fit within the affordable housing plan established for Daniel Island. But the Humanities Foundation has cleared every hurdle thus far and awaits a building permit to begin construction.
Daniel Island resident and attorney David Cobb urged Islanders to attend a Sept. 21 Charleston Planning Commission meeting, which begins around 5 p.m. at 75 Calhoun St., and a Sept. 27 council meeting to be held at Providence Baptist Church on the island. The Planning Commission is to hear DINA’s appeal to the development on the grounds that no traffic study was conducted. The commission also will consider amending the city’s zoning ordinance to clarify that the Humanities Foundation indeed does fall with the zoning regulations. Council approved the first reading of that bill last month and is to give it a second public hearing Sept. 27.
In other news, DINA’s education committee reported that Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Dr. J. Chester Floyd is on a national search for a principal for the under-construction island school to serve kindergarten through eighth grade. Residents should expect to be surveyed soon regarding whether they have children who might attend the school, according to committee chair Karen Smith. Floyd needs to know how many teachers to hire, according to Smith.
The DINA fundraising drive is up and running to benefit the rehabilitation expenses for Charleston Police officer Tate Mikel, 26, who suffered an aneurysm. Donors should make checks payable to DINA for the rehabilitation fund of Tate Mikel and mail them to Box 158, 295 Seven Farms Drive, Charleston, S.C., 29492. The Daniel Island Company and the Daniel Island Community Association both have agreed to match funds DINA raises, and DINA officers have pledged to donate $100 each.
In an effort to have more island representation on Charleston development and planning boards, six islanders were nominated to be suggested to Mayor Joe Riley for possible appointments. They are Claude Brusse, Steven Delcioppo, Sherrill Holland, Layne West, David Cobb and Tim Callanan.