Stop CCSD From Building a Bus Depot at James Island High School

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Stop CCSD From Building a Bus Depot at James Island High School

This petition made change with 564 supporters!
James Island Neighbors started this petition to City of Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals

Petition to the City of Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals

We the undersigned: 

SUPPORT Charleston County School District’s (CCSD) Application for Special Exception to the City of Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for the following improvements to The James Island Charter High School campus:

  • Career Technology Building
  • Competition Gymnasium

OPPOSE CCSD’s Application for Special Exception to the City of Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals for the construction of:

  • A 36 space, ~ $5,000,0000 commercial/industrial bus depot.

Rationale:

  1. The City of Charleston’s Municipal Code states that the city “places a high value on the preservation and character of its residential neighborhoods.”
  2. The City of Charleston’s Zoning Ordinance 54-225 related to the School S Overlay Zone requires that applicants seeking a Special Exception demonstrate proposed projects are compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.  
  3. The proposed commercial/industrial bus depot is NOT COMPATIBLE WITH THE SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOOD, and thus not eligible for a Special Exception for the following reasons:


NOISE POLLUTION

  • The proposed commercial/industrial bus depot contains spaces to service 36 diesel-powered buses. 
  • The proposed commercial/industrial bus depot is within 142 feet of Harbor Woods, an established, residential neighborhood.
  • The Bus fleet will be started beginning at 5:30 AM and will make multiple trips in and out of the depot throughout each school day, imposing significant negative noise impacts upon the Harbor Woods neighborhood. 


AIR POLLUTION

  • Diesel exhaust is recognized as carcinogenic to humans by several national and international health agencies.
  • Up to 36 diesel burning engines will be simultaneously started multiple times per day, emitting high concentrations of emissions within 142 feet of the Harbor Woods neighborhood. 
  • Emission of high-concentrations of diesel exhaust impose significant health risks upon the residents of the Harbor Woods neighborhood, especially to those more susceptible to respiratory illness, including children and elderly residents. 


FLOODING/STORMWATER RISK

  • The proposed commercial/industrial bus depot will add stormwater runoff from an additional ~4 acres of impervious surface into the currently inadequate drainage infrastructure (Dills Bluff Rd Drainage Basin) that the JICHS campus shares with the Harbor Woods neighborhood. 
  • The Dills Bluff Rd Drainage Basin was constructed decades ago and is not designed to serve the massive development that has occurred since that time. (Including a 5 acre parking lot that was constructed on the JICHS ~5 years ago)
  • The recently released James Island Drainage Study identified the Dills Bluff Rd Drainage Basin as an area in need of critical repair due to system failures, tidal influences and sea-level rise, and undersized or lack of drainage infrastructure. 
  • The Harbor Woods neighborhood, and in particular the residential lots directly adjacent to the proposed commercial/industrial bus depot have a history of flooding during large storm events. Adding 4 acres of additional runoff into the antiquated Dills Bluff Rd Drainage Basin increases the risk of flood to the surrounding neighborhood. 


LIGHT POLLUTION

  • The proposed bus depot will be in operation during nighttime hours and will require lighting on a commercial/industrial scale. 
  • The proposed commercial/industrial bus depot is within 142 ft of the Harbor Woods residential neighborhood, subjecting residents to in close proximity to the lot to excessive commercial/industrial levels of light. 


TRAFFIC/SAFETY

  • The proposed commercial/industrial bus depot (located at the end of Ft. Johnson Road) is designed to impose an additional 140+ trips (36 buses departing/returning 2x’s/day) to/from the JICHS campus daily. 
  • Ft. Johnson Road is a shoulder-less, dangerously narrow, 2-lane winding road currently stretched to capacity.  The road was designed and built to service an exclusively residentially zoned area of James Island. There are no traffic signals located in this residential area.
  • The cumulative impacts of current use coupled with a potential 140+ additional commercial/industrial type trips/day pose a significant safety risk and traffic burden that will negatively impact the quality of life on the Stiles Point Area of James Island. 


CAMPUS SAFETY

  • The proposed commercial/industrial bus depot will require an additional 140+ opening/closing of the JICHS security gates. Each opening of the gate imposes an increase risk of trespassing upon the JICHS campus.
  • The proposed routing of the buses through the campus requires 140+ bus trips directly adjacent (~15’) to and through the middle of the JICHS campus. This route subjects to students to safety concerns such as diesel pollution, distraction from noise, and risk of collision between students attempting to utilize the campus recreational complex.  

 

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This petition made change with 564 supporters!

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