In the winter of 2017, extensive land slides occurred less than 200 yards up the hill from this project resulted in the closure of Graham Hill Road twice (January 2017 and 2/20/17). Similarly, the slope behind Claremont Court off Jewell Street also experienced a significant slide where the hillside had previously been cut for development. Given past slides/slumps, allowing ten 3-story apartment buildings to be built on a site where more than 50% of the project is on a slope greater than 15% would require substantial geotechnical engineering to ensure no further land movement will occur. Additionally, this project is seeking a variance to building within 10 feet of a 30% slope.
Changes in volume, direction and ultimate disposition of surface waters would be altered by covering the majority of percolating surface with buildings, walks and driveways. This proposed development would stress existing City drainage systems creating runoff beyond capacity, exasperating flooding of the east side of Ocean Street Extension and down Crossing St. In the winter of 2017, there were multiple instances of culverts and drains at over 100% capacity and street flooding on both Ocean Street Extension fronting this parcel and Crossings St., requiring sandbagging of the Memorial Park entrance and residences on Crossings St. and Ocean Street Extension. Contaminant runoff from parking areas of this project could affect downhill residential properties, river wildlife habitat (including that of endangered steelhead and coho salmon), and the City’s drinking-water intake at the end of Crossing St.
The parcel is mapped as Groundwater Recharge. The SC Municipal Code states,
“Development within groundwater recharge areas…shall be planned to minimize adverse environmental impacts.”
This project contains almost no greenspace and it paves over much of an open field, resulting in impervious surfaces that will minimizing ground water recharge and increasing runoff.