20 houses offered in the historic Bindon plantation in Yemassee

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A developer envisions one of Beaufort County’s historic plantations for a neighborhood of about 20 homes with top-notch amenities.

Current conservation rules governing the land would allow development, and preliminary plans passed the initial Yemassee City Council vote, with some conditions for changes in mid-September.

Bindon Tract, known to locals as the Bindon Plantation, is a 1,300-acre section off the United States 17 along the Pocotaligo River and Stoney Creek. The land, near Sheldon, was annexed to the town of Yemassee in 2006. The property has remained untapped, despite initial efforts for a planned unit development during the housing boom that reportedly included the construction of up to 1,300 homes and 450,000 square feet of commercial space, according to previous reports.

In 2012, Hollingsworth Funds in Greenville granted the conservation easement over the entire land, which is also the site of a War of Independence fort, to the Beaufort County Open Land Trust.

The $ 2.5 million easement funding was approved by Beaufort County Council and funded through the County’s Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program.

Six years later, the plantation went on sale in 2018 for $ 15 million. Although the land has been the subject of a conversation easement in an effort to protect and preserve natural resources, the guidelines allow the construction of up to 20 houses, and it appears that the developer is planning to build at its own. maximum capacity.

Chris Ramm of the Taylor Development Group LLC requested the construction of a “low density residential neighborhood with approximately 20 single family units, a private hunting club, community docks on the Pocotaligo River and Stoney Creek, a boat launch. common water and infrastructure. ”

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Map of a 20-house development project on the Bindon plantation located in northern Beaufort County. City of Yemassee Provided

The app refers to it as “Stoney Creek at Bindon DevelopmentWith a master plan map indicating “Stoney Creek Bindon Plantation”. It is not known what the final name of the development would be and whether it would include the term “plantation”. In recent years, some neighborhoods – including the gated communities of Hilton Head Island – have removed the word “plantation” from their names or have had public discussions about it due to the historical context of the word.

The conservation easement says up to 20 lots can be built on the land, with each lot being at least 2 1/2 acres, according to a staff report. Each lot is limited to a single-family dwelling and an additional structure, such as a detached garage or a master suite.

“This is the first new residential subdivision authorized by the city in over a decade,” Garnes said. “It will be a really nice private getaway for the people who buy it, but it will also increase the city’s tax base and use up assets that are sort of dormant.”

He said the plans took into account the preservation-oriented easement and attempted to build in a way that would avoid “substantial disruption to the area.”

The city and the developer worked closely with the Beaufort County Open Land Trust at the start of the plan, Garnes said. City council has yet to pass it at second reading on Oct. 12, Garnes said.

“We all want the same thing, which is to protect precious resources and minimize damage, like stormwater runoff,” he said.

“We monitor the easement annually and will continue to monitor the easement annually in perpetuity to ensure the ultimate protection of the natural resources and water quality of the Pocataligo River and Port Royal Strait,” wrote Kristin Williams, Executive Director of Open Lands Trust. before the first vote of the city council.

The letter approved the construction, saying the plan “provides an appropriate development opportunity for its rural environment and complies with all the requirements of the conservation easement” with a few exceptions. The trust, for example, wants to reduce the number of community docks from seven to five at most.

One of the city’s other stipulations requires the developer to determine whether the Beaufort Jasper Sewer Authority and the Lowcountry Regional Water Supply System can provide the service. Determining whether the service is available – or if it is not feasible for reasons other than cost – appeared to be a major focus of the city report.

The Coastal Conservation League, a regional environmental protection group with an office in Beaufort, submitted a letter ahead of city council’s first vote, opposing expanding water or sewer service to the planting.

The letter, signed by South Coast office manager Jessie White, said that because the property is under bondage “to protect its scenic beauty, open spaces, and natural, cultural and historical resources”, only a limited residential development is permitted. “Accordingly,” said White, “we do not believe it is necessary or appropriate to extend water or public sewers to serve this property.”

The neighborhood will likely use septic tanks, but will need to install dry hydrants in the event of a fire, Garnes said.

Although this is the first residential development to be approved on one of Yemassee’s historic plantations, a business started operating in another in early September.

Georgian lawyer L. Lin Wood, well known for representing former President Donald Trump in his efforts to overturn the election, has opened a bed and breakfast that also serves as a wedding held at Cotton Hall Plantation in Yemassee last month. Cotton Hall Plantation is one of three historic Wood properties purchased less than a year apart. Two of the three plantations were annexed to Yemassee.

“Everyone has seen the growth, and we’ve been on the sidelines,” Garnes said. “This (development) is a little snack, but this snack will have a huge impact on the city.”

Lana Ferguson typically covers stories in northern Beaufort County, Jasper County, and Hampton County. She joined The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette in 2018 as a criminal news reporter. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the student daily. Lana was also a member of the University of South Carolina Media Law School in 2019.
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