April 14, 2024

Adam Parker, The Post and Courier

Heirs' property entangled in recent effort to protect Black settlement communities

A mechanism set in place by Charleston County meant to protect historic Black neighborhoods from developers seeking to build subdivisions nearby also is preventing owners of heirs’ property from adding any structures to their land.

Call it an unintended consequence of the 2018 law establishing the county’s Historic Preservation Commission, but it’s got a couple of landowners piping mad about the restrictions that law imposes.

Jerome Vanderhorst, a resident of the Ten Mile Community near Awendaw, owns some land off S.C. Highway 41 in the Phillips Community. Both Ten Mile and Phillips are settlement communities started by formerly enslaved people after the Civil War, and both have been deemed by the county to be historic districts and thus subject to an extra layer of protections against inappropriate development.

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