Estate Planning Attorney inJohns Island, SC

Let's Talk!

Platform Lifts-phone-nuber 843-936-6680

Free Consultation

Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Johns Island, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time – and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Johns Island that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Johns Island. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Johns Island, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The Cobb Dill & Hammett
Difference

At Cobb Dill & Hammett, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Johns Island, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
rm-widget-icon.png

What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Johns Island, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning – building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Johns Island, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Johns Island, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Johns Island, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

 Divorce Attorney Johns Island, SC
2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

 Criminal Defense Attorney Johns Island, SC
3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

 Personal Injury Attorney Johns Island, SC

Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Law Firm Johns Island, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Johns Island, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Johns Island, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will
Free Consultation

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Johns Island, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries – the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Attorney Johns Island, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

 Divorce Lawyer Johns Island, SC
3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

Estate Planning Law Johns Island, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Johns Island, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes – something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance – contact our office today and secure your future generations.

CONTACT US

Latest News in Johns Island, SC

Charleston to spend around $10M to fix drainage issues on Johns Island

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston says it is looking to spend millions of dollars to create a creek and additional wetlands to address street flooding and drainage issues on over 500 acres of Johns Island.Rather than paving the area over for the Barberry Woods Drainage Improvement Project, the city said it is opting for a more ecological approach.“Creating our own semi-natural creek system. It will look like a natural creek, even though we had dug it out,” Charleston Stormwater Management Director Mat...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston says it is looking to spend millions of dollars to create a creek and additional wetlands to address street flooding and drainage issues on over 500 acres of Johns Island.

Rather than paving the area over for the Barberry Woods Drainage Improvement Project, the city said it is opting for a more ecological approach.

“Creating our own semi-natural creek system. It will look like a natural creek, even though we had dug it out,” Charleston Stormwater Management Director Matthew Fountain said. “Then, you would build a flood plain on either side of the creek that can hold water during storm events that would be built-in with natural vegetation.”

Photos captured the flooding following a heavy storm in the Barberry Woods neighborhood near Maybank Highway and River Road, which the project is named after.

City officials said the project will make the flooding drain faster and be less frequent.

Two homeowners who have been living in Barberry Woods since the mid-2000s said they love where they live, but a fix to their drainage problems has been long overdue.

“Once we do get the flooding, the flooding remains, and there’s no way for it to go,” homeowner Shannon Baker said. “It turns into a swimming pool scenario. I tried to get a vehicle out, and I did it a little too early, so I lost that [GMC] Yukon.”

“A week after I bought the house, my mother and my brother were visiting and came out onto my top porch, and they saw somebody kayaking past my house,” homeowner Kim Hicks said.

The city said a combination of developments downstream and blocked drainage ways are to blame for the flooding.

They also said the project was first inspired several years ago by the Dutch Dialogues. The city, along with the Historic Charleston Foundation, created the Dutch Dialogues in 2019 to discuss ways to work with the land that’s already there to reduce flooding risks on the peninsula, in West Ashley and on Johns Island.

“Don’t fix flooding in a way that eliminates what makes Charleston special,” Fountain said. “You need to find a way to do both. This is trying to find a way to maintain that rather than just paving the whole area over in concrete and asphalt.”

The city said they’re finishing the final designs and expect construction to start sometime in 2024.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Expansive Johns Island farm could be protected from development with greenbelt money

One of the largest properties on Johns Island could be protected from development in a deal using more than $2.16 million in state and county conservation funding.The five adjoining Ravenswood Farm properties along Chisolm Road cover 631 acres of high ground and nearly 81 acres of wetlands, with extensive frontage on the Stono River.“We are very excited about this,” said Meg O’Halloran, chief advancement officer of the ...

One of the largest properties on Johns Island could be protected from development in a deal using more than $2.16 million in state and county conservation funding.

The five adjoining Ravenswood Farm properties along Chisolm Road cover 631 acres of high ground and nearly 81 acres of wetlands, with extensive frontage on the Stono River.

“We are very excited about this,” said Meg O’Halloran, chief advancement officer of the Lowcountry Land Trust. ‘I think it really anchors the rural character of this part of the island.’ ”

The deal calls for the trust to hold a conservation easement on the land, preventing any significant development. That’s what $1.54 million from Charleston County’s greenbelt program and $625,000 from the State Conservation Bank would pay for under a deal the county and state have approved but has not yet been signed and recorded.

“The Ravenswood project is not just about keeping open spaces open,” said Natalie Olson, the land trust’s Sea Islands program director. “It’s about reducing the risk of losing them and keeping Johns Island rural.”

Under the pending conservation deal no more than five residential structures would be allowed on the land. Conservation easements don’t change the ownership of a property, but restrict how it can be used.

“It’s been in my family for about 235 years,” said Lisa Minshew, one of the co-owners. “That property is like a relative to us.”

She said the conservation easement agreement has “been years in the making” and the details are still being formalized.

“These things are more complicated than some people realize,” Minshew said.

Conservation easement deals look at what a property would be worth if it could be developed — as a residential subdivision, for example — compared to what it would be worth if development were not allowed. For the Ravenswood property, the difference was calculated at nearly $3.4 million.

So, the county and state would pay nearly $2.2 million to permanently restrict the right to develop the land and the property owners would forfeit the rest of the development value according to a Charleston County information sheet on the deal. The $1.2 million in development value the landowners would give up would count as a tax-deductible donation to the Lowcountry Land Trust, resulting in substantial state and federal tax benefits.

That’s how conservation easement deals work. The public gets no access to the land, but taxpayer funds prevent or restrict potential development. Charleston County also buys properties outright through its greenbelt program, often for future public parks.

The Ravenswood deal comes amid rapid residential development on Johns Island, where the population roughly doubled between 2010 and 2020. Charleston County is currently planning more than $200 million in road projects to relieve growth-related traffic there.

“One of the unique things about this property is that it has miles of river frontage and road frontage that are visible to people,” said O’Halloran.

On the opposite side of the Stono River there are dozens of docks. The Ravenswood properties have extensive marsh and river frontage, and multiple small marsh islands but would be limited to three potential docks.

Ravenswood has been a part of the island’s agricultural landscape since the 1700s when John Raven Mathews established it as a plantation, according to south-carolina-plantations.com. His son was governor in 1782-83.

Much more recently Ravenswood was known for being a sod farm prior to the Great Recession, when the housing market meltdown caused demand for sod to greatly decrease. Today’s it’s used for farming, timber and equestrian purposes.

“We raised ostrich out here, that was a thing for a while,” said Minshew. “We did Christmas trees. We had cattle at one point.”

She said future plans could involve planting Long Leaf Pine. Conservation agreements typically allow for ongoing agricultural uses and are focused on restricting development.

New Johns Island Mexican restaurant opens Thursday

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (Lowcountry Weekend) - If you love Mexican cuisine, you have a new dining option in the Lowcountry as of Thursday.Minero Mexican Grill & Cantina is set to open for dinner on Thursday at the space formerly occupied by The Fat Hen, at 3140 Maybank Highway.The Neighborhood Dining Group says the opening will mark a new chapter for the Minero name. The Johns Island location will continue its legacy of hand-pressed tortillas and Mexican favorites created by the former downtown Charleston Minero, with the additi...

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (Lowcountry Weekend) - If you love Mexican cuisine, you have a new dining option in the Lowcountry as of Thursday.

Minero Mexican Grill & Cantina is set to open for dinner on Thursday at the space formerly occupied by The Fat Hen, at 3140 Maybank Highway.

The Neighborhood Dining Group says the opening will mark a new chapter for the Minero name. The Johns Island location will continue its legacy of hand-pressed tortillas and Mexican favorites created by the former downtown Charleston Minero, with the addition of new menu items and an expanded indoor-outdoor footprint.

“We’re thrilled to bring Minero back in a new home on Johns Island, one of Charleston’s most exciting areas,” Neighborhood Dining Group President David Howard said. “Fans will recognize the same heart of what we do at Minero – attention to detail, great ingredients, and honoring Mexican traditions – but with a fresh take on both the menu and atmosphere. We can’t wait to serve Charleston once again and are appreciative of the warm welcome from the great residents of Johns Island.”

The kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Shamil Velazquez, also of the group’s Delaney Oyster House, bringing inspiration from his Puerto Rican upbringing and chef-driven techniques to the newest outpost of the concept.

The menu is anchored by Minero staples like charcoal-grilled wings, tacos, and the burrito, as well as the tradition of making corn tortillas from scratch daily, but with exciting new additions for a fresh take on the Mexican concept.

Velazquez incorporates Latin American influences into the menu, including more seafood dishes, crudos, and ceviches, while drawing from Mexico’s coastal regions for inspiration.

“We knew the Minero favorites weren’t going anywhere on the menu, but we wanted to bring some additional elements, especially to highlight some of the great ingredients we get in the South and along our coast,” Velazquez said. “Mexican food can be celebrated through many different techniques, and I’m looking forward to bring a new perspective to the concept with the same emphasis on local ingredients and quality offerings.”

Click here to see the full menu.

Minero’s menu honors Mexico’s culinary traditions while weaving in inspiration from the culinary South.

The menu features longstanding Minero favorites including Charcoal-Grilled Wings tossed with Valentina; a Salsa Tasting including Benne, Rojo, and Verde; and the Minero Burrito featuring red rice, beans, Oaxaca cheese, crema, poblano, cabbage, cilantro, salsa verde, and avocado.

Exciting new additions include the Fajitas Al Carbon with charred onions, bell peppers, pico de gallo, crema, guacamole, red rice, beans, and housemade flour tortillas; the Yucatán Style Local Catch featuring crispy fingerling potatoes, pickled yum yum peppers, and pibil sauce; and Shrimp & Snapper Ceviche made with a ceviche sour michelada mix, cucumber, peanut, red onion, mandarin, radish and chips. The restaurant offers five signature tacos, including Fried Catfish or Grilled Fish, Cauliflower, Charcoal Chicken, Grilled Steak, and Pork Al Pastor. Select brunch items will be served on the weekends, including Steak and Eggs and Breakfast Burrito with hash brown, salsa verde, and huevos.

Beverages include the classic Minero Margarita with reposado and añejo tequilas, fresh lime, orange juice, curaçao, and agave, guests can personalize their margarita experience by DIY-ing it, adding a pineapple twist, boosting it for a crowd (the “Party” serves six), or even making it extra with a bottle-down Modelito and a choice of sidecar. Frozen concoctions, such as the Frosé Sangria and the El Santanico, and a comprehensive beer list featuring both Mexican and local options round out the alcoholic offerings, while a zero-proof margarita and refreshers provide plenty of options to abstain.

No reservations are needed. Seating is first-come, first-served.

The restaurant will open for dinner Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Happy Hour is Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The restaurant plans to add daytime service at a later date.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Lowcountry Land Trust begins planning phase for Angel Oak Preserve project

JOHNS ISLAND — A lot of effort went into saving the 35 acres surrounding the Angel Oak from development. Now, nearly a decade later, the Lowcountry Land Trust is ready to collect community input on what to do with the property.This week begins a schedule of opportunities for people to share how they’d like to see the wooded space around the iconic oak used. But the ultimate goal remains: that the planned Angel Oak Preserve be passive, publicly accessible green space complemented with trails, boardwalks and interpretive not...

JOHNS ISLAND — A lot of effort went into saving the 35 acres surrounding the Angel Oak from development. Now, nearly a decade later, the Lowcountry Land Trust is ready to collect community input on what to do with the property.

This week begins a schedule of opportunities for people to share how they’d like to see the wooded space around the iconic oak used. But the ultimate goal remains: that the planned Angel Oak Preserve be passive, publicly accessible green space complemented with trails, boardwalks and interpretive notes, and that the tree itself not be harmed.

The land trust will share a presentation on the tree’s history and the future preserve at 7 p.m. June 9, and again at 6:30 p.m. June 15, at the Johns Island Library. Public comments will be collected during the presentations.

This special tree holds deeply rooted history in the Lowcountry. It is named after the Angel family that once owned the land where it stands. The tree is estimated to be at least 300 years old, making it quite possibly one of the oldest trees of its kind east of the Mississippi River.

It’s also a behemoth. City surveys estimate the tree to be 65 feet tall with a circumference of 25.5 feet, shading an area of 17,000 square feet beneath the extensive canopy.

Based on the city’s most recent inspection, “the health of the Angel Oak could not be better,” said David Grant, Charleston’s park and tree administrator.

The area surrounding the Angel Oak is so special that community members rallied together to ensure not much changed there. In 2008, Charleston City Council approved plans for a densely built collection of shops, offices and multifamily homes near the Angel Oak Park at Maybank Highway and Bohicket Road.

But there were concerns about the impact this development would have on the tree.

So after collecting more than 12,000 donations, plus Charleston County Greenbelt and S.C. Conservation Bank funds, the Lowcountry Land Trust was able to buy the property for $7 million to save it from development. This is the space that will become Angel Oak Preserve.

“Putting this heavy development there would have impacted the root system, the hydrologic flows, the soils, everything that’s needed to be preserved for the health of this tree,” said Jason Crowley, Coastal Conservation League’s communities and transportation senior program director.

The 35 acres owned by the land trust is comprised of every soil necessary for an ancient live oak to thrive, Crowley said.

The Angel Oak’s significance as a community landmark goes back generations. Crowley said the late South Carolina educator-activist Septima Clark mentioned in interviews how she would often take breaks from teaching and sit underneath the tree, and even sometimes gather there with her students.

“Even though this was technically private property, it harkens back to the era of Johns Island and the Sea Islands themselves as this place where property boundaries were fluid in the sense of people could walk across private property in order to access things like waterways and a shady tree like this,” Crowley said.

The tree’s interests have become a cultural issue on Johns Island in recent years as some places that were once accessible to Gullah-Geechee residents for fishing, crabbing and launching boats are now being privatized.

Ashley Demosthenes, CEO and president of the Lowcountry Land Trust, said many locals believe the land around the tree is sacred and have expressed desires to explore the woods there.

“They want it to be a place for education for residents, visitors and the local schools,” Demosthenes said. “So that’s a huge opportunity that we see, that education component with students.”

Overall they want it to be a place open for walking, observing nature and enjoying picnics with family, Demosthenes said.

While the Angel Oak is obviously the main attraction in that part of Johns Island, the Lowcountry Land Trust wants to utilize its 35 acres to relieve some of the pressure on the tree.

So, essentially, the preserve will help distribute visitors across the entire property — not just at the 9-acre Angel Oak Park — using trails, boardwalks and interpretation woven throughout to explain the ecology and cultural significance of the area.

Since the city-owned park is a direct neighbor to the preserve, it makes sense for the two groups to partner in developing a vision and plan for the area, said Jason Kronsberg, director of parks for the city of Charleston.

He sits on the preserve’s steering committee with Crowley and people from several other groups, including The Avery Center, The Progressive Club and the Charleston Parks Conservancy.

Members of the community can share their desires for the preserve through an online survey at bit.ly/3xrCh2P. The land trust will have a table at the Sea Island Farmers Market from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 11 and June 25. There also will be an information table set up from 2 to 4 p.m. each Friday at Angel Oak Park.

Nelson Byrd Woltz Architects will lead the comprehensive planning process. The goal is to have a design completed in early 2023.

Hilton Head establishes advisory committee to assist workforce housing project

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTGS) — The Town of Hilton Head is continuing its efforts to create more affordable workforce housing with plans for a sustainable neighborhood that would allow more people who work on the island to afford to live there as well.Hilton Head Mayor John McCann said that with the island's geography, the lack of housing is a severe issue making it difficult for entry-level workers to find a place they can afford."No matter what the price is at, we are short of housing, so we need housing both for...

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTGS) — The Town of Hilton Head is continuing its efforts to create more affordable workforce housing with plans for a sustainable neighborhood that would allow more people who work on the island to afford to live there as well.

Hilton Head Mayor John McCann said that with the island's geography, the lack of housing is a severe issue making it difficult for entry-level workers to find a place they can afford.

"No matter what the price is at, we are short of housing, so we need housing both for the people that work here, for the teachers, for the policemen, for the people that work at restaurants," McCann said. "We need housing, but you've got to start somewhere."

Deputy town manager Josh Gruber said the issue is not only high real estate values but the lack of housing altogether, and that's why they've put forth a strategic plan that proposes using land owned by the Town to be converted into an affordable and sustainable neighborhood of about 100 units.

"That's where the town is looking to kind of step in and create some product that currently doesn't exist that will be limited based upon the ranges of the area median income that will allow folks the opportunity to live and work on the island in a way that will be affordable within their budgets," Gruber said.

He said the project would be situated on more than 12 acres of land on the Town's Northpointe Tract and that it would be a public-private partnership relying on the expertise of a third party to plan and develop the neighborhood.

He added that the town council had established an advisory committee of three council members and three residents that would help choose the partner and the neighborhood's policies.

"If we have 800 people who are looking for housing but only 100 units having those policies will help us identify how do we select those 100 people out of that pool of 800 that are potentially looking for housing," Gruber said.

Gruber added that the Town is encouraging residents with backgrounds in financial advising, architecture, or real estate development to apply for a position on the advisory committee. They will review committee member appointments at the next council meeting on June 21.

Gruber said they are looking for ways to incorporate renewable energy into the neighborhood to keep in line with the Town's goal of sustainability.

He said that after assigning residents to the advisory committee and choosing a partner, they look forward to drafting a complete proposal for the town council by November.

Disclaimer:

This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.