Criminal Defense Attorney inRidgeland, SC

Ask us anything

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

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

Getting charged with a crime in Ridgeland 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 Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland, SC

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

  • One-on-One Counsel
  • Education on the Ridgeland 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 Ridgeland
  • Innovative Defense Strategies
  • Effective, Thorough Research and Investigation

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Ridgeland 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 Ridgeland, SC
The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

DUI Cases
in Ridgeland, SC

DUI penalties in Ridgeland 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 Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Ridgeland 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 Ridgeland, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

Criminal Defense Attorney Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Ridgeland 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 Ridgeland, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

Typically, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland 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 Ridgeland 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 Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland
Traffic Violations That CDH Law
Firm Fights

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

Criminal Defense Attorney Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland 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 Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland, SC
 Criminal Defense Lawyer Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland. 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 Ridgeland include:

Criminal Defense Attorney Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland, 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 Ridgeland, SC

Critics slam filthy, crowded Jasper animal shelter as county seeks outside help

National and local animal advocates agreed this week to work with a Jasper County animal rescue group to improve its operations after months of community complaints about overcrowding and poor conditions at the organization’s Ridgeland center.The advocates convened at the Jasper Animal Rescue Mission on Monday afternoon, walking through the county-owned building and suggesting fixes for a safer, more sanitary facility for the 300-plus animals, volunteers and employees. The meeting was organized by Jasper County officials....

National and local animal advocates agreed this week to work with a Jasper County animal rescue group to improve its operations after months of community complaints about overcrowding and poor conditions at the organization’s Ridgeland center.

The advocates convened at the Jasper Animal Rescue Mission on Monday afternoon, walking through the county-owned building and suggesting fixes for a safer, more sanitary facility for the 300-plus animals, volunteers and employees. The meeting was organized by Jasper County officials.

For months, volunteers and former rescue mission board members pushed Jasper County to address concerns about the shelter. Volunteers and former board members told the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette that dogs and cats are left in their own feces, cages are stacked three-to-four high, water bowls are full of algae, and soiled laundry is piled feet-high. They describe the building as “unsafe” for workers and animals, with a rat infestation.

During a July Jasper County Council meeting, Jeanne Francisco — speaking on behalf of the group pushing for change at the rescue mission — presented photos of the group’s facility to council members and detailed what the group says is the building’s unsanitary conditions.

“Safety is our No. 1 priority,” Francisco told council members. “Right now, the safety of the staff, the volunteers, potential adopters, visitors inside and outside this county is in jeopardy.”

She asked the council for help to address the facility’s problems. The mission leases the county-owned building for $1 annually.

Rose Dobson-Elliot, the county’s director of engineering services, said Monday she hoped shelter staff takes advantage of the resources offered. Dobson-Elliot was tasked with handling complaints about the rescue mission.

Among those assessing the mission on Monday was Steve Carriere, Florida State Animal Response Coalition manager. He said the issues identified could be remedied, and he offered temporary volunteer help, suggestions for sanitation and sick animal isolation, and training for the mission’s staff.

Officials of the Hilton Head Humane Association and Beaufort County Animal Services provided advice on tackling the overcrowding that the rescue mission’s executive director, Caitlyn Schake, said has been unavoidable because she cannot turn away cats and dogs brought in by county animal control officers.

“It’s time to fix this before it gets worse,” Carriere said.

On Monday afternoon, over 100 dogs were housed in wire cages or crates outside or in the back of the building, and smaller dogs’ crates were stacked atop each other. Boxes of scooped feces sat outside several of the larger cages. A few of the dogs darted inside a fenced area that was strewn with toys and debris.

An estimated 150-200 cats were spread across the property and facility. Some lounged in beds, others freely walked outside or leapt onto roofs, and dozens were inside the building, with some sectioned off into smaller rooms.

Toward the front of the building — its hallway lined with filled dog crates — food bags, blankets and other donations were piled high. In the back, soiled laundry was heaped near the washer and dryer.

Schake, who’s been at the helm for nine years, said a shortage of staff and resources makes it difficult to keep up with the bursting population while also consistently deep-cleaning parts of the building and creating barriers between sick and well animals. A rescue mission worker estimated seven staff members are at work on a normal day.

On a typical day, the mission will get between two and 15 animals, Schake said. Anywhere from zero to eight animals leave the facility in a day. Currently there is no set animal capacity for the mission.

“How many volunteers would you need?” Carriere asked Schake. She estimated five, and Carriere said it was possible to provide her with that temporary help.

In October, six of the mission’s board members resigned, according to a former board member.

Robin Artz, a former vice president of the board who left during the summer, said in a resignation email that the board was not holding themselves “accountable to the animals.” Artz described conditions that included water leaking through the floor and ceiling, mold, and rats. Further, Artz detailed animals in crates upon crates upon crates — “they need space to run and not sit in a 4x2 crate up on another crate,” she wrote.

“Conditions of the shelter are horrendous to say the least,” Artz’s July email read. “There are volunteers, mostly elderly individuals who are putting their health at risk by giving of their time. Most importantly, we are putting our own employees and animals at risk for disease, illness or worse. WE [sic] owe the humans that help us and the animals more.”

Along with a shortage of staff, Schake said Monday the mission’s financial resources were less than its Beaufort County counterpart. According to its most recent 990 tax form, the mission’s revenue was $457,000 in 2022, with expenses at $460,000. Dobson-Elliot said the county contributed $185,000 that year. The nearly half-million in funds is meager compared to the Hilton Head Humane Association, which raked in over $3 million in 2021, according to its most recent 990 tax form.

Beaufort County, with 191,748 people, is also much larger than Jasper, which has 30,324 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

To increase funding, Carriere advised accepting any donation large or small and applying for grant funding. Local animal advocates suggested pushing for support at county council meetings and holding fundraisers to better engage the community.

Dobson-Elliot said she would work with county animal control to ensure the mission had “breathing room” to work to keep its animal population down.

While she could not provide an immediate timeline for when to re-assess the mission’s conditions and the steps to take from there, Carriere said if the shelter staff embraces his suggestions and accepts the temporary volunteer help, changes are typically seen within three to four weeks.

This story was originally published November 15, 2023, 9:30 AM.

Updated: Ridgeland mail mystery. Where are the letters, bills and packages?

At first, Michelle Sands was missing mail a few days a week. But things spiraled downhill to the point where the Lowcountry business owner filed three separate complaints this year with the U.S. Postal Service regarding missing and inconsistent mail delivery out of the Ridgeland post office.Sands’ company, Advanced Lift Solutions, has received its mail at a mailbox in the FedEx Copy and Shipping Center in the Riverwalk Business Park for the past eight years. Sands said she normally receives an average of three pieces of mail eve...

At first, Michelle Sands was missing mail a few days a week. But things spiraled downhill to the point where the Lowcountry business owner filed three separate complaints this year with the U.S. Postal Service regarding missing and inconsistent mail delivery out of the Ridgeland post office.

Sands’ company, Advanced Lift Solutions, has received its mail at a mailbox in the FedEx Copy and Shipping Center in the Riverwalk Business Park for the past eight years. Sands said she normally receives an average of three pieces of mail everyday. However, since February, there have been periods where there is no mail for several days at a time.

Sands filed the complaints via email and the USPS toll-free number. She was given numerous reasons for the mail delay, such as COVID-19, short staffing and recent retirements. Sands received confirmation via email or phone call that her complaints were ultimately closed.

“I’ve made trips to the post office to complain and only received excuses,” she said.

Yet the days between mail deliveries have grown since she filed the last complaint in October.

Ruth Morris and Jennifer Williams, managers at the mail center, have reached out to USPS officials, filed several complaints, and received responses and apologies from officials, but the service continues to be sporadic.

Morris also added, “They put our mail on hold without our permission.”

“We have had to decline customers who request to ship packages via postal service because we do not know if the USPS will pick them up,” said Williams. This has hurt the business.

“They try to deliver the mail at night, after we’ve closed,” she continued.

Other Ridgeland businesses confirmed this is not an isolated issue.

“We’ve actually asked all of our vendors to email our bills because we aren’t getting them in the mail,” said Cindy Malphus of Rosco Industrial Supply.

Last week, Malphrus confirmed her company had gone over a week without receiving mail. In recent days, however, Rosco said the business started receiving mail daily.

Both Sands and Malphrus said that the mailman once assigned to their route is no longer on the route, and when mail does get delivered, it arrives in the evening after their businesses are closed.

Residential customer Carolyn Kelly said her mail service declined a few months ago after her carrier retired. “She was great and would bring the packages right to the door.” Kelly said she has gone up to five days without mail, but in the last two weeks, it has improved.

Tristan Swartz, assistant manager of PJ’s Coffee, located half a mile from the Ridgeland post office, also said that the mail arrives late there. “I think they are understaffed and overworked,” he said of the post office.

When asked about the claims of missing mail, Ridgeland postmaster Tonya Williams, declined to comment. Instead, she offered the name and number of the USPS Communications Specialist Nikki Johnson.

During an initial phone call to Johnson, she said she would not comment until the claims could be investigated. Additional requests for comment and clarification went unanswered.

After initial publication of this report earlier today, the U.S. Postal Service reached out by phone to respond to questions regarding delivery, and staffing.

According to U.S. Postal Service Strategic Communications Specialist Nikki Johnson, businesses like the FedEx shipping center in Ridgeland have what is known as a central box unit, where mail can be delivered after hours. “If the business is closed, the carrier has access to the CBU.”

Johnson confirmed that there has been a staffing constraint at the Ridgeland post office, but more staff has been brought on board in the last two weeks.

“The area has grown and the volume has increased.” Johnson said. She further explained the Riverwalk area is the last on a very long route, it is 30 minutes away from the post office, and the carrier has other stops along the way.

“We are asking the people in the community to be patient,” Johnson said. “The mail carriers are out there delivering mail, but the times may vary and it may not be when they (the customers) want.”

Additionally, Johnson offered, “I am extending an apology to the community for any inconvenience. We take pride in our mail delivery service. And in the midst of this very busy season, the employees are working tirelessly to service the customers and to meet and exceed the expectations of service at the Ridgeland post office.”

Johnson also advised that should anyone be looking for an opportunity to work for the USPS, they can check the career website for openings in the area, which updates every Tuesday.

This story was originally published December 22, 2023, 11:05 AM.

Vote looms on Ridgeland’s 3,000-acre development plan for rural land. Opposition is fierce

Motorists have seen the rallying cry in large lettering, posted on homemade signs along Jasper County roads: “Keep Chelsea Rural.” Under the same name as its three-word mantra, a grassroots group of concerned residents is kicking their preservation efforts into high gear as their fight against a “tsunami of development” on a large swath of rural land comes to a head.Ridgeland is nearing the end of its campai...

Motorists have seen the rallying cry in large lettering, posted on homemade signs along Jasper County roads: “Keep Chelsea Rural.” Under the same name as its three-word mantra, a grassroots group of concerned residents is kicking their preservation efforts into high gear as their fight against a “tsunami of development” on a large swath of rural land comes to a head.

Ridgeland is nearing the end of its campaign to acquire about 3,000 acres of the Chelsea Plantation, a roughly 5,200-acre tract near the center of Jasper County that was purchased for $32 million in 2019 by the Missouri-based investment company Legacy Land Holdings. Officials are working with developer Michael Quinley on a plan that would use the annexed land for approximately 2,000 new residential units.

The proposed annexation goes against the wishes of county officials and has sparked criticism from area natives, who cite preservationist concerns and potential traffic woes, particularly on the winding Snake Road and nearby S.C. 462. Organizers with Keep Chelsea Rural argue the tract is an “unwise” annexation choice because of its distance from Ridgeland’s other suburban areas, claiming that construction on the remote land will be inefficient and expensive due to a lack of existing infrastructure.

Following the first public hearing on the controversial plan set for Thursday at 6 p.m., the Ridgeland Town Council will cast a final vote on the annexation at its April 4 meeting. The annexation would incorporate the land into Ridgeland town limits, a move some officials deem necessary to accommodate rapid growth across Jasper County. Ridgeland alone will welcome an estimated 40,000 new residents by 2044, a 1000% increase from its current population, according to town-contracted consulting firm Four Waters Engineering.

The town’s decision to consider incorporating the three parcels is in defiance of Jasper County’s development moratorium, which asked Ridgeland and Hardeeville to forgo annexation efforts while the county revised its comprehensive plan to bolster rural zoning standards and prepare for imminent development efforts. The nine-month moratorium began in May 2023 and county council members voted March 4 to extend the pause through July 31.

But the moratorium was not legally binding for the county’s municipalities, giving Ridgeland the opportunity to introduce its ordinance to annex the land on Jan. 18. Despite a pair of measures passed at a town council meeting March 7 that would ostensibly slow down the process — a required feasibility study and update to the town’s comprehensive plan — Jasper County residents and officials alike have chided the town for fast-tracking the annexation process.

“We had hoped the town and city would allow us the time to complete our work we undertook as part of the moratorium to determine what is best for the county as a whole in this area,” County Council chairman Marty Sauls told The Post and Courier.

Now in partnership with the Coastal Conservation League, the Keep Chelsea Rural movement has seen large waves of support relative to the small community of Ridgeland. Dating back to the fall of 2022, when another annexation effort targeted the Chelsea-adjacent Tickton Hall, a number of resident-led petitions against development in the area have amassed upward of 1,500 signatures.

Grant McClure, the Coastal Conservation League’s south coast project manager, said development plans like this “threaten the health of the Port Royal Sound — a world-class estuary.”

“We understand Ridgeland’s desire to grow; however, sensitive large tracts that are far from the town’s core and which lack infrastructure are simply the wrong place to site thousands of new homes,” McClure said.

Organizers from the Coastal Conservation League are urging Ridgeland residents to “strike while the iron is hot” and attend the public hearing Thursday in opposition to the annexation plans.

This story was originally published March 21, 2024, 1:17 PM.

Ridgeland council accepts annexation petition, despite county development moratorium

Ridgeland council votes 4-1 to accept an annexation petition despite concerns the property is within the county's moratorium which is in effect until MarchBluffton TodayRidgeland could see more growth in the near future after its Town Council voted 4-1 on Jan. 18 to accept a petition for an annexation that would include about 3,000 acres if it reached final approval.The annexation request now goes to the town's planning commission for review, Ridgeland officials said.Councilmen Tommy Rhodes and Bi...

Ridgeland council votes 4-1 to accept an annexation petition despite concerns the property is within the county's moratorium which is in effect until March

Bluffton Today

Ridgeland could see more growth in the near future after its Town Council voted 4-1 on Jan. 18 to accept a petition for an annexation that would include about 3,000 acres if it reached final approval.

The annexation request now goes to the town's planning commission for review, Ridgeland officials said.

Councilmen Tommy Rhodes and Bill Fishburne, Councilwoman Josephine Boyles and Mayor Joey Malphrus voted in favor of the petition. Councilwoman Libby Malphrus opposed it, stating her concern centered on Jasper County having a development moratorium in place that includes the area being considered for annexation.

"By even accepting a resolution, to spend town money to investigate this, it seems like we are not respecting the moratorium," Malphrus said during the meeting. "It feels like we are not being respectful in that and the way in which we work with our neighbors."

Town of Ridgeland Administrator Dennis Averkin said a development agreement is also being considered.

"It will also require public hearings and an ordinance. It should be noted that the two processes will run in unison," Averkin said. "There will be no annexation without a development agreement, nor a development agreement without an annexation."

Council was asked during the meeting to consider approving a resolution to accept the annexation petition of Chelsea Plantation, LLC and Keeling Cattle, LLC on three parcels.

"While this is still 'proposed,' and not yet approved, the applicant desires to annex three parcels, Chelsea North, Chelsea South and Chelsea West, totaling approximately 2,946.3 acres," Averkin said.

There is only one area proposed for development as of now, Averkin said, which is referred to as “Chelsea South” and is owned by Chelsea Plantation, LLC. He said it comprises 166.6 acres of upland and 125.1 acres of jurisdictional wetlands.

Michael Quinley, who represented the landowners at the meeting, informed the council that 3,000 acres would consist of residential, commercial, civic and recreational uses.

"Our overall gross density is less than one unit an acre," he said. "We plan to put over 45 percent of the development in our properties in a conservation and mitigation space."

Averkin added following the meeting that the proposed development includes single-family residential, multi-family residential, mixed-use commercial, and community recreation and amenities bordering SC Highway 170 North.

"Chelsea North is also owned by Chelsea Plantation, LLC, and consists of approximately 2,442.1 acres. Chelsea West is owned by Keeling Land and Cattle – COMM, LLC and consists of approximately 212.5 acres," Averkin said.

Chelsea West is contiguous to Ridgeland's corporate town limits, Averkin explained. That parcel touches the other two parcels requested for annexation, making the two eligible for inclusion in the petition request. Chelsea North and South are owned by Chelsea Plantation, LLC.

A large group of concerned citizens attended the meeting, with many asking the council to consider delaying the request until the county's development moratorium expires in March. The land that developers are seeking to have annexed is part of what is listed within the moratorium as the Euhaw Broad River Planning Area.

The Jasper County moratorium includes a temporary pause on new commercial and residential development in areas along the Broad River, S.C. Highways 170 and 462, Bees Creek Road, and the area known as the Okeetee Club, according to the county's ordinance. The county previously said the moratorium was enacted to allow time for a partial update of the future land-use map, which provides a roadmap for growth and development.

Within the moratorium, there has been a request that local municipalities honor the planning effort by not entertaining any annexations within the Euhaw Broad River Planning Area while the county moves forward.

"We were not consulted on a moratorium," Averkin said during the meeting.

Averkin said following the meeting that the annexation request from developers was submitted before the county passed its moratorium.

"To set the record straight, it should be noted that applicants contacted the town before the moratorium was passed by the county," he said. "The Town does not control if or when an applicant files an annexation petition. We don’t have the option to simply put an annexation petition back in the mail and 'return to sender' because the timing is inconvenient, we don’t like it or because someone at a neighboring jurisdiction doesn’t like it."

The newly approved petition will now go to the town's planning commission for review, Town of Ridgeland Planner Heather Spade said during the meeting. She said the earliest the final request for annexation could be considered would be at the April 4 council meeting, with that timeline subject to change.

Informational meeting to be held Feb. 8

There will be an informational meeting concerning the petition held in conjunction with the Keep Chelsea Rural Committee and the Broad River Task Force. Speakers will share details of the petition and possible annexation in the future of the three Chelsea properties at 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Port Royal Sound Maritime Center, 310 Okatie Highway in Okatie.

"It is important for citizens within this area and throughout the county to attend this meeting so that they understand what could possibly happen in the area into the future," Keep Chelsea Rural member Smittie Cooler said. "The speakers will be providing important information for those who attend on topics such as the environmental impact, the traffic impact, the stormwater impact and how water and emergency service would be affected by annexation."

Okatie area restaurant scene growing with 2 new places to eat. Here are the details

Two new restaurants are giving Okatie residents some new dining out options along S.C. 170.The restaurants, both with Ridgeland mailing addresses but just over the Beaufort County line, are not connected and offer widely varied menus. One is open in the mornings and one in the evenings.What they do have in common is that they are signs of escalating retail and residential development along the heavily traveled corridor.Brothers Te Riley and Trent Riley opened ...

Two new restaurants are giving Okatie residents some new dining out options along S.C. 170.

The restaurants, both with Ridgeland mailing addresses but just over the Beaufort County line, are not connected and offer widely varied menus. One is open in the mornings and one in the evenings.

What they do have in common is that they are signs of escalating retail and residential development along the heavily traveled corridor.

Brothers Te Riley and Trent Riley opened Half Day Cafe in mid-December at 2633 North Okatie Highway, as S.C. 170 is known. Te said he and Trent both felt there was a need for this type of establishment.

“There’s nothing else along this corridor that serves a homemade breakfast,” he said.

Trent owns Sunset Pizza and Full Moon Saloon located next door to Half Day Cafe. Te said diners can expect the same quality of food at Half Day Cafe.

“We do not duplicate anything from next door, and we put a fresh twist on everything,” he said.

Five different types of flapjacks, breakfast burritos, chicken and waffles, breakfast bowls, fresh fruit and sandwiches named, “The Killer,” “The Low-Bottom,” and “Cherry Point,” are on the breakfast line up.

Half Day Cafe offers a brunch menu on the weekends that runs all day, featuring shrimp and grits or biscuits and gravy. Te said both the spicy syrup and biscuits are homemade.

A few of the lunch items are chopped chicken salad, blueberry chicken salad, pattie melt, “The Wedge,” a hummus Feta plate and soup.

Te said that there will always be a soup of the day for lunch, which is decided that day. “We never know what soup we are going to do.”

Ralphie’s Pizza and Eatery opened in the Riverwalk Business Park within the last week.

“I’m from New York, and I’ve always wanted to have a pizza place down here,” said owner Joel Mathis, who has lived in Bluffton for seven years.

“We are excited to serve everybody, offer a great product with fresh ingredients, and be a part of the community,” he said.

And he looks forward to expanding to Ralphie’s to lunch hours, with a special lunch menu of two slices and a drink.

House, veggie, white and meat pies are just a portion of the pizza options offered in personal, large or extra large sizes.

In addition to the cauliflower crust option, there is a pie called “The Endicott,” which is topped with marinated grilled chicken breast and described as an “Upstate favorite.”

The appetizer offerings include mozzarella sticks, garlic knots and bruschetta.

Other menu choices are baked haddock, calzone, hippie rolls and eggplant parmigiana.

Along with adding lunch hours soon, Ralphie’s will serve alcohol as soon as its liquor license is approved.

Half Day Cafe

Ralphie’s Pizza and Eatery

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.