James Island, South Carolina

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Town of James Island
James Island, South Carolina
Town
The marshes of James Island, SC
The marshes of James Island, SC
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
CountiesCharleston County
Incorporated first8 January 1993
Incorporated second2002
Incorporated thirdJune 2006
Incorporated fourth24 April 2012
Government
 • MayorBill Woolsey (Libertarian)[1]
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code29412
Area code(s)843
Websitehttp://jamesislandsc.us/
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Town of James Island
James Island, South Carolina
Town
The marshes of James Island, SC
The marshes of James Island, SC
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
CountiesCharleston County
Incorporated first8 January 1993
Incorporated second2002
Incorporated thirdJune 2006
Incorporated fourth24 April 2012
Government
 • MayorBill Woolsey (Libertarian)[1]
Time zoneEastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
Zip code29412
Area code(s)843
Websitehttp://jamesislandsc.us/

James Island is a town in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. It is located in the central and southern parts of James Island. As defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and used by the U.S. Census Bureau for statistical purposes only, James Island is included within the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metropolitan area and the Charleston-North Charleston Urbanized Area.

History[edit]

Long settled as a semi-rural area, this island has been affected by increasing urbanization and the expansion of the city of Charleston.

Island residents incorporated the Town of James Island on January 8, 1993. Joan Sooy was elected as the first Mayor.

A lawsuit was filed by the City of Charleston claiming that the parts of the new Town were not contiguous, being separated by salt marsh that it had already incorporated. The City of Charleston prevailed at Circuit Court and the Town appealed. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled against the Town in 1997.

The South Carolina legislature changed incorporation law to allow incorporation over already annexed salt marsh. The Town of James Island was incorporated a second time in 2002. Mary Clark was elected Mayor.

The City of Charleston challenged the Town again, this time arguing that the new incorporation law was unconstitutional special legislation. The City of Charleston prevailed in Circuit Court and the Town of James Island appealed. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the singling out "salt marsh" was irrational, the legislation was ruled unconstitutional and the Town was closed for a second time.

South Carolina changed the state laws affecting incorporation, effective on July 1, 2005. A third attempt to become a town was successful in June 2006, when about 3,000 voted to incorporate. The day after the vote, Charleston mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. filed a lawsuit against the town for the third time saying that it was unconstitutional. Mary Clark was elected mayor of the town for the third time in August 2006.

On November 7, 2008 the City of Charleston lost its lawsuit against the Town of James Island in Circuit Court. In an election on August 3, 2010, incumbent Clark lost to Bill Woolsey, an economics professor who was a former town councilman.

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled against the Town of James Island in June 2011. It ruled that the South Carolina incorporation law used by the Town was constitutional, but that approximately 25% of the Town was not contiguous. Rather than remove that portion of the Town, it ordered the Town closed.

The Town was incorporated a fourth time after a referendum on April 24, 2012. The City of Charleston determined that it could not successfully challenge the Town by May and the deadline for a challenge passed on July 17. Former Mayor Bill Woolsey led the incorporation effort and was unopposed in the election held on July 31, 2013. He was subsequently re-elected July 29th.

The town limits have never incorporated the entire island of James Island, as the City of Charleston has annexed land on James Island before the original incorporation of the town and between subsequent re-incorporations. There were approximately 18,000 residents in what were the town boundaries and approximately 20,000 in Charleston's city limits as of the 2010 US Census. The Town currently includes a population of 11,500. Approximately 6,000 residents remain in unincorporated Charleston county, and 20,000 in the City of Charleston. These overlapping jurisdictions, and the lack of a fully functional municipality, often leave citizens of the town competing with other county residents for resources critical to public safety, health and welfare.[citation needed] Often these services are not provided, and in addition to crime, poor drainage is a serious problem.[citation needed] Perhaps this is one reason property values in the town are significantly below the state average.[citation needed] Many[who?] feel the town is more of an oligarchy than a democracy, and of the 9,000 registered voters, Town Council was elected by an average of 860 votes. The Town of James Island does not solicit criticism or allow it to be posted on its social media page.[citation needed] On a brighter note, after 14 years, Town officials were finally able to put up a few town limit signs.[citation needed]

James Island is the home of many historical events and areas, most of which are not actually in the Town of James Island. In fact, there is very little of significant historical value in the Town and Town Hall is located in a strip mall between a dollar store and a thift shop.[citation needed] McLeod Plantation, a former Sea Island cotton plantation, was recently sold by Historic Charleston Foundation to the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission. Ft. Johnson is reported[citation needed] to be the site of the first shot of the Civil War, but that is disputed. The remains of Ft. Lamar are nearby. Recent renovations of historical places include the Seashore Farmer's Lodge on Sol Legare Road. During the Revolutionary War, 15,000 British Redcoats marched across James Island and invaded the City of Charleston.

The Fort Johnson/Powder Magazine, Fort Pemberton, Lighthouse Point Shell Ring (38CH12), Marshlands Plantation House, Seashore Farmers' Lodge No. 767, and Unnamed Battery No. 1 are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2] Date regarding cost of living and property values is taken from the City-data website and the Charleston County Sheriffs Office incident report.

Prominent people[edit]

William W. (Bill) Woolsey, Mayor of the Town of James Island and Professor of Economics at the Citadel Military School. Claims to be a Libertarian but virtually all of his family income comes from politics and institutions which are funded by governmental agencies.

Neighborhoods[edit]

One of James Island's oldest neighborhoods, Riverland Terrace, was developed in the 1940s. Originally planned to include a large resort like hotel, the Terrace is located 10 minutes west of downtown Charleston, South Carolina along Wappoo Creek and the inland waterway. The neighborhood boasts a public boat landing, Charleston Municipal Golf Course, a playground, five restaurants, and antique shops. Leading into the neighborhood is the Avenue of Oaks, consisting of 73 live oak trees believed to be over 100 years old. They once led to Wappoo Hall Plantation on the Stono River. A Civil War fortification known as Fort Pemberton, built in 1862, remains today. Riverland Terrace has long been one of the hottest real estate markets on the Island. Of course this subdivision is not really in the Town of James Island. More upscale neighborhoods that are actually in the town include Stiles Point, Eastwood, Harborwoods, and Parrot Creek. Oddly, crime is prevalent in some of these areas. Even Mayor Woolsey and a town councilman's home were broken into in broad daylight.[citation needed] And there was recently[when?] a strong armed robbery within a block of the Town Administrators residence. Perhaps one reason theft is so pervasive in the town is that the cost of living there is over twice the national average.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bill Woolsey". Libertarian Party. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  3. ^ "Stephen Colbert donates ATV to Charleston turtle nesting program". WBTV. July 2, 2010. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ McClure, Vaughn (May 17, 2014). "Roddy White's brother shot dead". ESPN.com. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ "World knew him as Porgy-he died a beggar". The Tuscaloosa News. Google News. December 24, 1989. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Stormin' Thomas reconnects with Lowcountry roots, Citadel baseball". WCIV. February 18, 2013. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ Mehring, Chris (March 4, 2014). "Gorman Thomas is special guest for 2014 Leadoff Experience". Minor League Baseball. Retrieved May 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°44′16″N 79°56′34″W / 32.73778°N 79.94278°W / 32.73778; -79.94278