Johns Island Growth

Johns Island is becoming an increasingly popular place to live. Between 2000 and 2010 the population grew by over 50%. Properties along the shoreline are particularly desirable especially those on the southwest side bordering the salt marsh and the Kiawah River. The resort communities of Kiawah Island, Seabrook and Kiawah River Estates attract many second homeowners, retirees and vacationers; who often end up becoming permanent residents. Development on Johns Island will inevitably continue in the future and be strongest in this desirable area as well as in the suburban corridor that is part of the City of Charleston along Maybank Highway.

In December, 2009, the Charleston County Council approved a new development, Kiawah River Plantation, for the southwest end of Johns Island …..




Kiawah River Plantation encompasses over 1,400 acres of former agricultural land that includes the historic plantations of Mullet Hall and The Oaks as well as parts of Rosebank Plantation. Mullet Hall was owned by the Legare family up until the end of the 19th century and was acquired by the Limehouse family in the 1940s. The property is between Kiawah River Estates (formerly Hope Plantation) and Mullet Hall County Park. The main entrance for the new development will be on Betsy Kerrison Parkway next to the Holy Spirit Catholic Church. The property consists of 1,083 acres of buildable upland, 344 acres of “fresh water” wetlands and salt marsh. Historically these properties were used to grow indigo and sea island cotton. More recently these lands have produced vegetables, corn and timber.

Just as importantly the salt marsh area is an environmentally sensitive nursery for numerous species of sea life including red fish, oysters and shrimp. The 157 acres of salt marsh can not be built on. The other 187 acres of “fresh water” wetlands were formerly part of the salt marsh and were damned in by causeways 60 years ago for agricultural purposes. If these causeways were removed the wetlands, including the former Mullet Hall Creek, would quickly revert to their natural state as tidal creeks and salt marsh (see The World of the Salt Marsh).

Kiawah Resort Associates acquired the property from the Limehouse family in 1994. In 2008 the property was transferred to the Beach Company through Ocean Boulevard Properties. The Kiawah companies no longer have any direct interest in the KRP development.

In December 2009 the Charleston County Council approved a Planned Development Agreement with the Beach Company to allow 1,200 residential units, 450 “guest rooms”, 2 golf courses and 80,000 square feet of commercial space to be built on the property.

Public financing? Read more …