Criminal Defense Attorney inLadson, SC

Ask us anything

or Homes-for-Sale-phone-number 843-936-6680

CDH Law Firm: Giving Hope to
Criminal Defense Clients in
Ladson, SC

Getting charged with a crime in Ladson can be a traumatic experience. Even "petty" crimes can cause an individual's life to fall apart professionally and personally. Spending time in jail is bad enough, but the ramifications of a criminal record run deep, resulting in loss of employment, loss of friends, and even family. For many people, having a zealous criminal defense attorney in Ladson, SC, to defend their rights is the only shot they have of living a normal life.

That's why, if you have been charged with a crime, you need the help of a veteran criminal defense lawyer early in the legal process. That's where CDH Law Firm comes in to give you or your loved one hope when you need it the most.

Our criminal defense law firm was founded to help people just like you - hardworking men and women who are looking at diminished employment opportunities and a possible lifetime of embarrassment. But with our team of experts fighting by your side, you have a much better chance of maintaining your freedom and living a normal, productive life. When it comes to criminal law in Ladson, we've seen it all. With decades of combined experience, there is no case too complicated or severe for us to handle, from common DUI charges to complicated cases involving juvenile crimes. Unlike some of our competition, we prioritize personalized service and cutting-edge criminal defense strategies to effectively represent our clients.

Criminal Defense Attorney Ladson, SC

Clients rank CHSA Law, LLC as the top choice for Ladson criminal defense because we provide:

  • One-on-One Counsel
  • Education on the Ladson Legal Process and Its Risks
  • Ardent, Effective Representation
  • Commitment to Our Clients and Defending Their Rights
  • Prompt Inquiry Response
  • Robust Experience with Criminal Law Cases in Ladson
  • Innovative Defense Strategies
  • Effective, Thorough Research and Investigation

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Ladson can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. Our firm has represented thousands of clients in the Lowcountry, and we're ready to defend you too. Some of our specialties include:

 Law Firm Ladson, SC
The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

DUI Cases
in Ladson, SC

DUI penalties in Ladson can be very harsh. Many first-time DUI offenders must endure a lifelong criminal record, license suspension, and the possibility of spending time in jail. Officers and judges take DUI very seriously, with 30% of traffic fatalities in South Carolina involving impaired drivers, according to NHTSA. Criminal convictions can have lasting impacts on your life, which is why CDH Law Firm works so hard to get these charges dismissed or negotiated down. In some cases, we help clients avoid jail time altogether.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Ladson, SC
When you hire our DUI defense firm, our team will always work towards your best interests and will go above and beyond to achieve the best outcome in your case. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI charges, we will investigate whether:
  • Your DUI stop was legal
  • You were administered a field sobriety test correctly
  • The breathalyzer used was calibrated correctly and properly maintained
  • Urine and blood tests were administered and collected properly

The bottom line? Our criminal law defense attorneys will do everything possible to keep you out of jail with a clean permanent record. It all starts with a free consultation, where we will take time to explain the DUI process. We'll also discuss your defense options and speak at length about the differences between going to trial and accepting a plea bargain.

DUI Penalties in Ladson, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Ladson depend on a number of factors, including your blood alcohol level and how many DUIs you have received in the last 10 years. If you're convicted, the DUI charge will remain on your criminal history and can be seen by anyone who runs a background check on you. Sometimes, a judge will require you to enter alcohol treatment or install an interlock device on your automobile.

If you're on the fence about hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Ladson, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

Criminal Defense Attorney Ladson, SC

First Offense

Offense

48 hours to 90 days

in jail

with fines ranging from

$400 to $1,000

Second Offense

Offense

Five days to three years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$2,100 to $6,500

Third Offense

Offense

60 days to five years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$3,800 to $10,000

Additional consequences can include:

1

Alcohol or Drug Treatment

When convicted of DUI in South Carolina, most offenders must join the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. This program mandates that offenders complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow the recommended treatment options.

 Law Firm Ladson, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Ladson may choose to complete community service in lieu of jail time. Community service hours are usually equal to the length of jail time an offender would be required to serve.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Ladson, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

Typically, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Ladson, their driver's license is restricted or suspended. The length of restriction or suspension depends on how many prior DUI convictions an individual has.

First DUI Offense

First-time DUI offenders must endure a six-month license suspension. Drivers convicted with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or more do not qualify for a provisional license. However, sometimes they may still drive using an ignition interlock device.

Second DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a second DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for two years.

Third DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a third DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for three years. That term increases to four years if the driver is convicted of three DUIs in five years.

Immobilized Vehicle

For offenders with two or more convictions, the judge will immobilize their vehicle if it is not equipped with an IID. When a judge immobilizes a vehicle, the owner must turn over their registration and license plate. Clearly, the consequences of receiving a DUI in Ladson can be life-changing, and not in a good way. The good news is that with CDH Law Firm, you have a real chance at beating your charges and avoiding serious fines and jail time. Every case is different, which is why it's so important that you call our office as soon as possible if you are charged with a DUI.

Traffic Violation Cases

Most drivers brush off traffic law violations as minor offenses, but the fact of the matter is they are criminal matters to be taken seriously. Despite popular opinion, Traffic Violation cases in Ladson can carry significant consequences like fines and even incarceration. If you or someone you love has been convicted of several traffic offenses, your license could be suspended, restricting your ability to work and feed your family.

Every driver should take Traffic Violations seriously. If you're charged with a traffic crime, it's time to protect yourself and your family with a trusted criminal defense lawyer in Ladson, SC. Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC is ready to provide the legal guidance and advice you need to beat your traffic charges. We'll research the merits of your case, explain what charges you're facing, discuss your defense options, and strategize an effective defense on your behalf.

Common Ladson
Traffic Violations That CDH Law
Firm Fights

There are dozens and dozens of traffic laws in Ladson, all of which affect drivers in some way. Our Ladson defense attorneys fight a full range of violations, including but not limited to the following:

Criminal Defense Attorney Ladson, SC
  • Driving Under Suspension: If you drive while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you could be looking at 30 days in jail and fines up to $300.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol is illegal and often results in jail time and fines.
  • Reckless Driving: You could be ordered to pay up to $200 in fines or jailed for up to 30 days if you drive with wanton disregard for the safety of other people.
  • Racing: You can be cited and fined if you aid or participate in street racing.
  • Hit and Run: When you leave the scene of an accident that involved injury to another party, you can be arrested. This serious charge can lead to up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000 for first-time offenders.
  • Disregard Traffic Signals: Drivers must obey all traffic signals and control devices, less they be ticketed and sometimes fined.

As seasoned traffic violation lawyers, we know how frustrating it can be to get charged with a Traffic Violation. While some traffic charges can be minor, others are severe and can affect your life for years to come. Don't leave your fate up to chance call CDH Law Firm today for the highest-quality Traffic Violation representation in Ladson.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Ladson, SC

At Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC, we understand that children are still growing and learning about the world around them. As such, they may make mistakes that get them into trouble with the law. Children and teens who are arrested in Ladson can face much different futures than other children their age. Some face intensive probation, while others are made to spend time in jail.

This happens most often when a child's parents fail to retain legal counsel for their son or daughter. Cases referred to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice often move quicker than adult cases, so finding a good lawyer is of utmost importance. With that said, a compassionate criminal defense attorney in Ladson, SC, can educate you and your child about their alleged charges. To help prevent your child from going to a detention center, we will devise a strategy to achieve favorable results in their case.

 Law Firm Ladson, SC
 Criminal Defense Lawyer Ladson, SC

Juvenile Detention Hearings

Unlike adults, juveniles don't have a constitutional right to a bond hearing. Instead, once your child is taken into custody a Detention Hearing is conducted within 48 hours. This hearing is similar to a combination of a Bond Hearing and a Preliminary Hearing. Unfortunately, there is little time to prepare for these hearings, which is why you must move quickly and call CDH law firm as soon as possible.

Our team gathers police reports, petitions, interviews your child at the DJJ, speaks with you about the case and talks to the prosecutor to discover if they have plans for detention. In most cases, we strive to avoid detention and seek alternatives like divisionary programs or treatment facilities. This strategy better addresses your child's issues and keeps them out of the juvenile legal system in Ladson. If your child is charged with a crime, and South Carolina decides to prosecute, your child will appear before a family court judge, who will find them delinquent or not delinquent. There are no juries in juvenile cases in South Carolina, which is why it's crucial to have a lawyer present to defend your child if they go in front of a judge.

Common penalties for juveniles charged with crimes in Ladson include:

Criminal Defense Attorney Ladson, SC
  • Probation: Children charged with probation are released to their parents or guardians. Depending on their charges, they must abide by certain stipulations while at home and may be subject to random drug screenings. Violation of probation often results in jail time.
  • 90 Days in Juvenile Detention Center: When probation is not a viable option, prosecutors may push for 90 days of jail time in a juvenile detention facility.
  • Juvenile Detention: Children who commit very serious crimes can be sent to a juvenile detention center for a long time. These sentences can last up to the child's 21st birthday.
  • School Expulsion: When a child is convicted of a crime, their school is notified of the offense. Sometimes, the administration may decide to expel the child from school for the misdemeanors or felonies they commit.

We Fight to Protect
Your Rights So You Can
Provide for Your Family

Whether you are facing a DUI charge or a serious traffic violation, CDH Law Firm is here to fight for your rights so you can continue living life. The future might seem bleak, but our criminal defense lawyers in Ladson, SC, have the tools, experience, and strategy to win your case, as we have with so many others. Don't lose hope call our office today and maintain your freedom tomorrow.

Ask us anything

Call Now 843-936-6680 PH

Latest News in Ladson, SC

Berkeley Co. deputies investigating after shooting leaves 1 injured in Ladson

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a shooting in Ladson left one person injured.The shooting occurred on Miami Street, off College Park Road.Just after 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, Berkeley County Communications received a 911 call about a shooting that occurred with one person injured. Responding deputies located the victim in the parking lot of Food Lion after the victim attempted to have someone drive them to an emergency room.The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment....

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after a shooting in Ladson left one person injured.

The shooting occurred on Miami Street, off College Park Road.

Just after 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, Berkeley County Communications received a 911 call about a shooting that occurred with one person injured. Responding deputies located the victim in the parking lot of Food Lion after the victim attempted to have someone drive them to an emergency room.

The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate this case.

Dar Shokri and Fred Robinson each hit a hole-in-one in January to start 2024 off with a bang at Goose Creek’s Crowfield Golf Club

Sign up for updates!

Get weekly headlines from The Gazette (Goose Creek) in your inbox.

Email

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The Post and Courier, 148 Williman Street, Charleston, SC, 29403, US, https://www.postandcourier.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

Goose Creek Mayor Greg Habib, left, was joined by John Matthews of the Goose Creek NAACP at city hall to officially proclaim Monday, Jan. 15, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the city of Goose Creek. King was born Jan. 15, 1929, and the day has been celebrated as a federal holiday for 38 years. The proclamation praises King for “working alongside people of all ages, races and backgrounds” and encouraging Americans “to come together to strengthen communities and empower the impoverished.”

Sign up for updates!

Get weekly headlines from The Gazette (Goose Creek) in your inbox.

Email

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The Post and Courier, 148 Williman Street, Charleston, SC, 29403, US, https://www.postandcourier.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.

What drives you crazy? The intersection of Lincolnville Road and Ladson Road

LADSON, S.C. (WCBD) – Are you frustrated with traffic backups in Ladson? One resident has what they feel would be a simple fix to help alleviate a major intersection.The traffic pattern and potholes at the intersection of Lincolnville and Ladson roads have been a source of frustration for many drivers in the Ladson area. The area sees backups during the morning and afternoon rush hours often.One News 2 viewer who drives through the intersection daily believes a turn lane could make all the difference.Karen Fonkert ...

LADSON, S.C. (WCBD) – Are you frustrated with traffic backups in Ladson? One resident has what they feel would be a simple fix to help alleviate a major intersection.

The traffic pattern and potholes at the intersection of Lincolnville and Ladson roads have been a source of frustration for many drivers in the Ladson area. The area sees backups during the morning and afternoon rush hours often.

One News 2 viewer who drives through the intersection daily believes a turn lane could make all the difference.

Karen Fonkert said that with so many neighborhoods on Lincolnville Road – and even more being built – backups in Ladson are only getting worse. Especially at the Lincolnville/Ladson Road intersection. She said what is normally an eight-minute commute with no traffic, is often much longer.

“Usually, it’s about a 20-minute wait, just at the light. It backs way up, about a half mile, normally. And so if there’s an accident anywhere along there, it’s even worse,” said Fonkert.

As it stands now, cars move left to leave space for those turning right. But instead of a right turn lane, cars have to traverse a mess of dirt and potholes where the road drops off.

In fact, Fonkert said she once saw a truck break its axle when its tire fell into a pothole. But she says some new pavement could solve the problem.

“What I really think would help, and a lot of people have said this too, if there were a right turn lane. That would allow traffic to keep going through, and it maybe wouldn’t back up so far back on Lincolnville Road,” she said.

The roadway is maintained by the state. News 2 asked officials with the South Carolina Department of Transportation if they would be willing to look into paving a legitimate turn lane – but unfortunately, they only came up with this response:

“There are not any upcoming projects planned for this intersection.” They encouraged any concerned residents to reach out to their customer service center.

If this intersection drives you crazy, you can let SCDOT know. And if there’s any other roadway issue, you’d like for us to look into, send an email to mfee@wcbd.com.

Leidos announces new manufacturing facility in North Charleston, South Carolina

Facility will insource production of key security products and bring new jobs to the region(RESTON, Va.) July 6, 2023 – Leidos (NYSE:LDOS), a FORTUNE® 500 science and technology leader, today announced plans to establish a new security systems manufacturing facility in North Charleston, South Carolina. This will be the company’s third security systems manufacturing location in the U.S., expanding its presence and support to customers. Le...

Facility will insource production of key security products and bring new jobs to the region

(RESTON, Va.) July 6, 2023 – Leidos (NYSE:LDOS), a FORTUNE® 500 science and technology leader, today announced plans to establish a new security systems manufacturing facility in North Charleston, South Carolina. This will be the company’s third security systems manufacturing location in the U.S., expanding its presence and support to customers. Leidos will invest $31.7 million in the new facility, creating up to 170 new jobs in the region over time.

“This facility brings more manufacturing back into the U.S. and expands Leidos’ global security capabilities for the aviation and critical infrastructure markets,” said Jim Moos, Leidos Civil Group president. “We’re thrilled to expand into the North Charleston area and look forward to making a positive impact in the community.”

The new facility will produce security systems for Leidos’ Security Enterprise Solutions (SES) operation. SES offers a comprehensive suite of fully automated and integrated products for aviation, shipping ports, border crossings and critical infrastructure customers. These systems provide threat detection by screening baggage, cargo and people at checkpoints around the world.

“Leidos’ $31.7 million investment in their new facility here in the Lowcountry will lead to significant job growth and economic development,” said Congresswoman Nancy Mace (R-SC-1). “We congratulate them on their expanding operation and thank them for putting their faith in South Carolina.”

Located in Ladson Industrial Park, the new 150,000-square-foot facility will enable Leidos to onshore more manufacturing increasing the company’s critical capacity to support its growing customer base. The new plant will optimize manufacturing efficiency, quality and safety through application of best-in-class manufacturing processes. The facility is currently under construction and is expected to be fully operational by the first half of 2024.

About Leidos

Leidos is a Fortune 500® technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, civil, and health markets. The company’s 46,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $14.4 billion for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2022. For more information, visit www.leidos.com.

Certain statements in this announcement constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These statements are based on management’s current beliefs and expectations and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. These statements are not guarantees of future results or occurrences. A number of factors could cause our actual results, performance, achievements, or industry results to be different from the results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the “Risk Factors” set forth in Leidos’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2022, and other such filings that Leidos makes with the SEC from time to time. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. Leidos does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect the impact of circumstances or events that arise after the date the forward-looking statements were made.

Ladson defense manufacturer making weapons for Israel, U.S.

A major foreign defense manufacturer has been operating in Charleston County for more than six months, but it has disclosed very little about the nature of its work since the facility first opened for business.Elbit Systems America — a subsidiary of Israeli-owned Elbit Systems Inc., which has 10 sites in the U.S. mostly located on the East Coast — officially started operations in Ladson in May. As a whole, the company supplies up to 85% of land...

A major foreign defense manufacturer has been operating in Charleston County for more than six months, but it has disclosed very little about the nature of its work since the facility first opened for business.

Elbit Systems America — a subsidiary of Israeli-owned Elbit Systems Inc., which has 10 sites in the U.S. mostly located on the East Coast — officially started operations in Ladson in May. As a whole, the company supplies up to 85% of land-based military equipment to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Elbit has recently seen growing demand from the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD) for its “solutions,” according to a Dec. 18 press release. The company’s American subsidiary also offers products and services related to commercial aviation, homeland security monitoring and night vision technology.

The S.C. manufacturing facility stands at the end of Sightline Drive, a short road just off Ladson’s Palmetto Commerce Parkway. The building is buffered from the parkway by a line of trees, equipped with a traffic light. In other words, it doesn’t stand out as a defense manufacturing plant. And yet, Elbit’s Ground Combat Vehicle Assembly and Integration Center of Excellence is exactly what it sounds like — a plant that builds truck-mounted artillery systems and command post support vehicles.

Longtime Charlestonians might remember General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) — known before a buyout as Force Protection, Inc. — as a defense plant also in the Ladson-area industrial zone. The company, once a major Charleston manufacturer, supplied millions of dollars of contracted equipment to the U.S. Department of Defense and foreign armed forces, profiting from high demand for Iraq and Afghanistan war-era battlefield vehicles. GDLS spokesperson Robin Porter told the Charleston City Paper the plant was sold to Pegasus Steel, LLC., a company first established in South Africa in 1994.

Elbit America planned to invest approximately $31 million into its project, including construction costs, according to its Charleston County contract, which the City Paper obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. Elbit’s facility uses 135,000 square feet of a 175,500-square-foot building. The remainder of the space is currently available for rent. The $31 million also accounted for machinery and site design, consisting of “36-foot cast-in-place, tilt walls … [and] 14 overhead cranes used to add armor to military vehicles,” wrote Choate Construction, the group contracted to build the plant.

Charleston County first became involved in Elbit’s relocation project in 2019, when it entered negotiations with Elbit under the company’s requested code name, “Project Thunder.” Code names are a common statewide practice of assigning a made-up project name to keep relocation deals anonymous. Charleston County Council described Project Thunder as a “leading global source of innovative, technology-based systems for diverse defense, homeland security, and commercial applications.” Elbit America would use this name to “begin its tax incentives process.”

In September 2021, the S.C. Coordinating Council for Economic Development authorized Charleston County to use a $700,000 set-aside grant to assist Elbit in business operations. The county and the state’s Department of Commerce also created an “attractive package” for the project. Incentives included a fee in lieu of tax credits, known as a “FILOT,” and Special Source Revenue Credit (SSRC), two tax-lowering incentives regularly applied to major businesses.

The Elbit site qualified for FILOT, which is available to companies that invest at least $2.5 million. The FILOT can save 40% or more in property taxes. FILOT savings are even greater when, as applies to Elbit, a business is designated inside an industrial park.

The SSRC incentive is taken from FILOT revenue: Counties “award credits to taxpayers to be applied against their property taxes.” Essentially, companies get more tax credits from the tax credits they already have. Dollars saved provide a competitive advantage to relocated businesses, but at a price. A 2019 fiscal year report disclosed that companies’ extra revenue diverted $423 million from public schools across the state, disproportionately low-income schools with mostly Black and brown students.

Elbit publicly announced its 135,000-square-foot Ladson site in November 2021. Project Thunder was not revealed as Elbit until a March 2022 “public hearing prior to final action.” This was several months after the county’s economic development director had committed to granting the subsidiary tax incentives.

In earlier council discussions, county officials projected that Project Thunder would bring 302 full-time jobs to the area “during annual operation,” but Elbit America Communications Specialist Amy Hartley told the City Paper on Dec. 6 that the site had only around 50 full-time workers.

Hartley declined a City Paper request to tour Elbit’s Ladson plant “given heightened security concerns.” In recent weeks, there have been pro-Palestine demonstrations outside some of its locations. A security guard, however, said the South Carolina plant hasn’t had any recent issues.

Another statement from Hartley explicitly mentioned the site’s contract with the U.S. Army to manufacture Command Post Integrated Infrastructure trucks, despite recent press releases indicating that its main operation was fulfilling contracts from the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) to build an automated vehicle mounted with an artillery system called a howitzer.

Elbit advertises the South Carolina-built howitzer vehicle as having “high firepower and long-range lethality.” The IDF reportedly has used the vehicle to launch white phosphorus artillery strikes in “densely populated areas of Gaza,” which Human Rights Watch says “violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life.”

In March 2019, Elbit America received $125 million from IMOD to build “automatic self-propelled howitzer gun systems” for the IDF over a 12-year period, and the group secured a $200 million “further to” the 2019 contract one year later. In November 2023, Elbit announced that it was increasing deliveries to IMOD from various sites, including U.S. subsidiaries, to support the IDF’s invasion of Gaza.

That same month, a United States Field Artillery Association news release reported that, while the Ladson site is continuing production and delivery of U.S. Army vehicles, “Elbit America has recently started production of the Sigma-Next Generation Howitzer at their Charleston, South Carolina facility and will begin deliveries to the Israeli Defense Force in 2025.”

Help keep the City Paper free.

No paywalls.No newspaper subscription cost.Free delivery at 800 locations from downtown to North Charleston to Johns Island to Summerville to Mount Pleasant.

CARTA’s plans to build facility at fairgrounds sparks controversy

LADSON, S.C. (WCSC) - Representatives of the Coastal Carolina Fair are voicing their concerns about Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority’s plans to build a park-and-ride facility at the fairgrounds.This park-and-ride facility is a part of CARTA’s Lowcountry Rapid Transit Plan – the first-ever large-scale transportation project in the region.CARTA Chairman Mike Seekings, says this $600 million plan is the result of over a decade of regional planning.“Large-scale transit projects are a ...

LADSON, S.C. (WCSC) - Representatives of the Coastal Carolina Fair are voicing their concerns about Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority’s plans to build a park-and-ride facility at the fairgrounds.

This park-and-ride facility is a part of CARTA’s Lowcountry Rapid Transit Plan – the first-ever large-scale transportation project in the region.

CARTA Chairman Mike Seekings, says this $600 million plan is the result of over a decade of regional planning.

“Large-scale transit projects are a function on the front end of planning - a lot of planning - identifying the needs of a community, and seeing how we can meet those needs by planning out the alignment, finding the funding, and we’ve done all those things. So, we’re a good ways down the road right now,” Seekings says.

If plans go through, the facility will take up about six acres of the 180 acres available for parking on the fairgrounds. Mike Jernigan, a member of the Exchange Board as well as the former president of the Coastal Carolina Fair, says that their initial discussions with CARTA were about leasing an acre to an acre and a half of land for a bus stop, but he said that CARTA wanted more land to either purchase or take by eminent domain.

Seekings is surprised by this response. He says that they spoke with the leadership of the fairgrounds early in the process and have had conversations over many years about this area of land.

Officials with the Coastal Carolina Fair say that their issue is not the size of the facility, though, but the location. The park-and-ride facility would be located in lot 2A of the fairgrounds which is adjacent to Highway 78 and Gate 2 – one of the major entrances of the fairgrounds.

“We feel like supporting public transportation is a good thing. We’re not opposed to that in any way,” Jernigan says. We just feel like this location is the wrong location. That there are other options that are available adjacent to our property, or even at a different place on our property, but not to take our prime parking spot.”

Seekings says that throughout the conversations over the years, they have changed the intended location of this facility twice, and lot 2A was what was agreed upon.

“We’ve identified, through cooperative meetings with the Exchange Club, a number of different spaces. This last one we actually had a public hearing over at their request in August,” Seekings says. “So, we’re a long way down the road. It’s not signed, sealed and delivered, but it’s unlikely that we’re going to change the routing and change the manner in which we’ve gone through a long planning process. And now, at the eleventh hour, we’re ready, we’re ready to go implement this project - cooperatively, fairly to the benefit of all citizens in the region, including but not limited to those who are aligned with the Exchange Club and those who like to go to the fair.”

Jernigan disagrees. He says that they believe the location of the facility would disrupt patrons’ ability to enter and exit the fair, hurt fair revenue generation and impact the future success of the fair as well as their ability to support their community partners.

“This lot that would be affected by this potential park-and-ride disrupts our ability to park people efficiently. It would eliminate our ability to use one of our primary gates, and we feel like the effect of that on our parking means that we have less revenue and then less money to give away to the charities that depend on the profits from the fair,” Jernigan says.

The Coastal Carolina Fair supports about 70 different nonprofit organizations and charities in the area. CARTA and the fair representatives are not seeing eye-to-eye on this park-and-ride project. Seekings said they believe this project will actually have the opposite effect and be beneficial to the fair.

“Having access to the fair from public transit brings more people to the gate, enhances gate revenue, makes it more convenient, gives you many more local connections,” Seekings says. “It will be a very cooperative and beneficial experience for both sides of this and for the region.”

Jernigan says they just want to have more conversations about these plans and alternative solutions.

“We feel like there’s too much at stake here for the community, the charities we support and the long-term future of the fair to not have more discussion about other options which we feel like are available to CARTA in this general area - but you know, potentially even on the backside of the fair property - that need to be given consideration,” Jernigan says.

Jernigan says that even though the land is privately owned, the decision is ultimately not up to him, though, it is up to government officials.

Seekings says they want to make the plan work for everyone and enhance the experience for the community, but that it is unlikely much will change now that they are this far along. He says they want to implement this plan cooperatively and fairly and he believes there is some misunderstanding here. He says that this project is world-class public transit that works for everyone.

If plans go through, construction is slated to begin in 2026 and be completed by 2029.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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.