Some Woodbridge Drive residents are worried that a proposed development could be detrimental to their neighborhood.
Charleston City Council member Shannon Snodgrass, a Democrat who represents the area, is hoping to get the 94 acres between McDavid Lane and Bakers Fork Road rezoned from a high-density, multi-family district to a single-family district.
If the effort proves successful, it would block the construction of duplexes on 112 lots in a parcel directly behind the subdivision on Woodbridge Drive.
About 224 duplexes are planned for the parcel.
Snodgrass has lived in the Woodbridge Drive subdivision for about 19 years.
She said the development could dramatically increase traffic on Woodbridge Drive and Oakridge Road. Both roads are heavily traveled already, and the increase could cause safety issues, she said.
Property values and infrastructure like sewerage are other concerns.
"And the bottom line is there isn't any multi-family dwellings in Woodbridge," Snodgrass said. "We have one of the largest true neighborhoods in Charleston."
Allen Bell, the developer hoping to build on the site, said the concerns about traffic are unfounded.
"I won't have to access that subdivision for anything," Bell said.
Bell would upgrade Cannady Drive so residents in the proposed development could access their homes that way rather than driving through Woodbridge.
He would lay a new sewer line into the development specifically for the new homes, he said.
Snodgrass remains unconvinced the new duplexes would not create a traffic hazard for the residents of Woodbridge Drive.
She pointed out that drivers on Cannady Drive could still end up coming down Oakridge Drive onto Greenbrier Street. Oakridge Drive is also very heavily traveled.
"And I haven't seen any engineering studies that say you can upgrade Cannady Drive," she said.
Cannady is a gravel road that accesses the property where the proposed development is to take place, said Dan Vriendt, Charleston Planning Department director.
The development could mean another 500 cars would be traveling area roads, Snodgrass said. That is way too many for Oakridge Drive, she said.
Woodbridge resident Patrick Gallagher, 62, also believes the proposed subdivision would create too much traffic. Cannady Drive comes out on Bakers Fork Road.
Drivers taking a left on Bakers Fork would come out on Rutledge Road near the entrance to Coonskin Park. However, this is the roundabout way of accessing the proposed development, Gallagher said.
The more direct route would be to take a right onto Bakers Fork Road, which would bring drivers onto Oakridge, he said.
"Anyone that lives up there will take the shortest route," Gallagher said.
Oakridge Drive could see an increase of about 500 cars a day, he said.
"Adding that kind of traffic would just be terrible," Gallagher said.
Snodgrass fears the development would drive down Woodbridge property values.
She and other residents have spoken to Realtors who think their property values would drop by up to 30 percent if multi-family dwellings were constructed near their homes, Snodgrass said.
Bell thinks property values would increase if the project gets the green light.
The price per square foot for the proposed units would increase the price for the homes on Woodbridge Drive once they are averaged into the price per square foot for the existing structures, he said.