Daufuskie Islanders heading to Columbia to fight proposed waste center

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Daufuskie Islanders heading to Columbia to fight proposed waste center

By KYLE PETERSON kpeterson@beaufortgazette.com 843-706-8147
Published Friday, September 9, 2011   |  462 Words  |  

A busload of Daufuskie Islanders will travel to Columbia on Tuesday to fight plans for a new trash-collection center on Francis Jones Boulevard.

Several trash containers currently occupy the site, which Beaufort County has planned to expand into a permanent convenience center that includes trash compactors.

Opponents say that the site was supposed to be temporary and is in a historic Gullah neighborhood.

Other groups, such as the Daufuskie Island Conservancy, want to consolidate -- not expand -- the number of trash-collection locations on the island. There are currently five such sites on the island.

"It's as if the county has a solution that they feel works every place else in the county, so why wouldn't it work for this bridgeless island?" said Laura Winholt, Conservancy board president.

A legal challenge to the proposed site has been slowly working its way through the appeals process.

Because of zoning requirements, the county sought a special use permit for the expansion, which was granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals in December 2009.

Don and Jean Newton, who own property nearby, appealed that decision last year, arguing the board abused its discretion and didn't require a community impact statement before issuing the permit.

Beaufort County Master-in-Equity Marvin Dukes III declined to overturn the board in June 2010.

The S.C. Court of Appeals will now take up the case at 3:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Curtis Hudson, who is helping organize the bus trip, said he hopes to bring about 20 people and show the court the community will be hurt by the proposed waste center.

Winholt said she wants reexamine how waste is handled on Daufuskie.

The island, she said, is only five miles long and two and a half miles wide, yet still has five collection sites.

An environmental engineering study commissioned by the Conservancy should be completed by November, she said.

"We're hoping to find a plan that we can get the community behind, first of all," Winholt said. "Once we find that plan we intend to present it to private business owners, land developers, the county -- anyone who is interested in the waste management business."

Attempts Friday to reach Beaufort County solid waste manager Jim Minor were unsuccessful.

Follow reporter Kyle Peterson at twitter.com/EyeOnBeaufortCo.

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Pending lawsuit halts county's work on Daufuskie Island trash-collection center, Aug. 15, 2010