New Planning Commission Member: Beaufort County Council recently appointed George Johnston as the Lady’s Island representative on the Beaufort County Planning Commission. Mr. Johnston, a resident of the Lowcountry for 17 years, has served as a member of the Beaufort County Rural and Critical Land Preservation Board for three years and as a board member for the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League for six years. In addition, he has been involved in a number of projects established to protect the environment and serves as the monitor for a group of environmentally concerned citizens who participate in an ongoing exchange of ideas and information. He will serve as an active member of the Lady’s Island Community Preservation Committee.
A New Lady’s Island McDonald’s: Plans have been submitted to the Beaufort County Planning Department for construction of a new McDonald’s Restaurant on the site of the present Lady’s Island McDonalds. Following demolition of the present building, the new facility will be one story and larger in size. The plans submitted at this point are conceptual.
Traffic signals and new businesses on Lady’s Island: As popular as the new Publix on Lady’s Island is, the effect that the new store will have on traffic is a subject of fair concern.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation has repaved Ferry Drive and dividers have been installed on Sea Island Parkway and Lady’s Island Drive to deter dangerous cross traffic turns. The original plans included the installation of a traffic signal on Sea Island Parkway at the exit of the Food Lion Parking lot and the intersection with Ferry Road. However, the South Carolina Department of Transportation denied the request for the traffic signal on the basis that the present traffic did not support installation of a signal at that location at this time.
The City of Beaufort and Publix have a Memorandum of Agreement that states that Publix will conduct another traffic study 18 months after the store opens. If the study indicates a signal is warranted and DOT approves it, Publix will install the signal. If the study indicates the light is still not needed and DOT does not approve the signal, the city will withdraw its requirement for installation of a signal at Ferry Drive and Sea Island Parkway. Although a traffic signal at this location would allow vehicles from St. Helena, Dataw, Harbor and Fripp islands to enter the new Publix from the rear, it would have routed traffic through a residential neighborhood.