Poplar Grove Annexation and Development Proposal
On November 18, 2013, the Hollywood Town Council unanimously voted to deny the proposed Poplar Grove Development Agreement for 750-acres of land neighboring the Ashley River Historic District, preventing the extension of sewer and water to the property and retaining its current rural zoning. Subsequent to Council’s denial of the Development Agreement, the developer withdrew the Annexation Petition from consideration and abandoned plans to build thousands of homes on the site.
In October 2013, a developer proposed annexation of 750 acres of undeveloped land just west of the Town of Hollywood municipal limits on the Davidson Road/County Line Road bend (south of Poplar Grove). This property is currently zoned Resource Management (1 unit per 25 acres) and AG-10 (1 unit per 10 acres) in unincorporated Charleston County.
If the property was annexed and the proposed development agreement was approved, the Town would have zoned the property R-2 which allows a density of 7 units per acre. The approval of the annexation and subsequent rezoning would have multiplied the allowable density by 175 times—meaning the total number of houses that could be built on these 750 acres would increase from 35 houses to 5,260 houses.
Further, the proposed Development Agreement forced the Town to sell half of all sewer taps in Hollywood to this single development and allowed the developer to acquire all taps that become available in the future. Pledging all sewer taps to a new development (that currently isn’t even within Hollywood town limits) at a reduced rate would not help meet the needs of the current Hollywood residents. Once all taps are purchased by the developer, current residents on septic would no longer have the option to hook up to the Town’s sewer system.
This property is located near the 13,000 acres placed under conservation easement nearly a decade ago, made possible by the resilient efforts of the Conservation League, Ducks Unlimited, private foundations, and the S.C. Conservation Bank. Annexation and development of this property would have allowed for the eventual construction of over 5,000 homes, promised virtually all of the Town’s sewer service to one developer, and permanently changed the rural lifestyle and character of the area.
Thanks to all involved in this issue and took action to voice their concerns. Without your hard work and dedication to the rural character of the area and the well-being of Hollywood residents, this victory for conservation would not have been possible.
Please take time to thank Mayor Heyward and the Hollywood Town Council Members for their attention to the issue and receptivity to public concerns. It is important to recognize their commitment to making the best decision possible for the Town of Hollywood, its residents, and the environment.