Divorce Attorney in Ridgeland SC

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If there were one universal truth it would be that every family is different. We all have our own set of challenges to face and changes to go through. Sometimes those changes are happy like when a new baby is born. Other times these changes involve uncertainty and loss like in the event of a divorce.

If you are having to go through the pain of divorce deal with a complicated custody issue or are handling a different family-related legal matter you might need help. At CHSA Law LLC we understand that family issues are hard. Many of the family law clients that we work for have big questions about the future leaving them over-stressed and full of worry. They are concerned about their children their marriage or both. They are wrestling with uncertainty and anxiety having been served confusing documents that don't make sense. Sound familiar? A family law attorney in Ridgeland, SC can help whether you need a level-headed moderator or a trusted advocate in the courtroom.

At CHSA Law LLC we have decades of combined experience serving the needs of families from divorce proceedings to family formation issues. Our team is fiercely committed to our clients and with a dedicated focus stays up-to-date on the nuanced world of family law in Ridgeland. If you're looking for personal attention unbiased representation and a responsive family law attorney look no further than our law firm.

Divorce Attorney Ridgeland, SC

If you're unsure of whether you need a family law lawyers in Ridgeland" ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you getting married?
  • Are you thinking about divorce?
  • Has your spouse served you with legal papers?
  • Are your kids not receiving the support that they are entitled to?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above know that we are here to help you figure out your next steps. With CDH Law Firm by your side you can have the confidence to face even the most difficult family law issues. All of our attorneys have years of experience are incredibly responsive and fight for your family's rights. We are happy to take as much time as you need to answer questions and help put your mind at ease for whatever lies ahead.

 Law Firm Ridgeland, SC

Our firm specializes in a wide range of family law cases including:

  • Divorce
  • Child Custody
  • Alimony
  • Adoptions
  • Child Support
  • Mediation
  • Property Division
  • More

If you have been left to manage a foreign family law situation it's time to call CHSA Law LLC. We will sit down with you for an hour at absolutely no cost - because we understand what you're going through and know that you need answers not another bill to pay.

To help provide you with a basic understanding of family law keep reading for in-depth explanations on our areas of expertise.

The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

Divorce lawyer in
Ridgeland SC.

At CHSA Law LLC we know all-too-well that a one size fits all approach isn't going to work very well for your unique situation. That's why we approach each divorce case from a personalized standpoint - something that we feel like each of our clients deserves.

 Attorney Ridgeland, SC
Our goal is to help solve your family law issues and focus on your needs when your divorce is finalized. We will help develop a strategy for:
  • Meeting your post-divorce needs and objectives
  • Dividing marital property for maximum benefit
  • Maximizing time spent with your child as part of your divorce's parenting plan
  • Strengthen your role as a decision-maker for your child
  • Navigating your divorce proceedings and minimizing financial and emotional costs

By working together our divorce law firm will help you rebuild your life and secure a better future for your family.

Divorces in South Carolina
- Different Than Other States

Unlike divorce law in other states South Carolina divorce law doesn't allow spouses to receive an instant no-fault divorce. One or both spouses in the marriage must establish a legally acceptable reason for a divorce to happen. Grounds for a divorce in Ridgeland, SC include:

  • Desertion
  • Physical Cruelty
  • Habitual Drunkenness
  • Separation for One Year or More
  • Adultery
 Divorce Lawyer Ridgeland, SC

If you or your spouse do not have the necessary grounds for divorce in Ridgeland our family law firm can file a Separate Maintenance and Support action. This step lets the court order child custody alimony and marital bills until you can file for your divorce. During this period CHSA Law LLC gathers pertinent info on your spouse's character and assets that can strengthen your case should it be necessary.

Common Issues Associated
with Divorces in Ridgeland

A divorce in Ridgeland means more than the end of a marriage. It involves dividing the parties debts and assets determines child support and custody parameters and can establish alimony. At CHSA Law LLC many of our clients are able to reach agreements with their spouse to resolve these issues. Reaching an agreement lets both parties customize the terms of their divorce to conserve resources avoid trial and meet the family's needs.

Sometimes however two spouses cannot or will not come to terms with an agreement. In these situations a trial is possible and litigation is necessary. Our family law attorneys in Ridgeland, SC. are highly experienced litigators and are well-equipped to handle any disputes revealed in the conference or courtroom.

Common divorce issues include:

Divorce Attorney Ridgeland, SC
1.

Child Custody and Visitation

One of the most heart-wrenching difficult decisions for parents going through a divorce is resolving child custody and visitation issues. Child custody refers to how much time each parent will spend with their child and whether they can make decisions for them. According to South Carolina law child custody and visitation time are based on what is best for the child.

 Law Firm Ridgeland, SC
2.

Child Support

Like other U.S states a formula is used in South Carolina to determine how much child support a person must pay. This formula recommends the amount of child support based on factors like how much income the parents make the cost of childcare and the obligation to support children from other relationships.

 Attorney Ridgeland, SC
3.

Alimony

In South Carolina there is no formula to determine how much alimony a person must pay. However courts consider several factors when deciding if alimony is needed how much alimony should be paid and how long a spouse must pay it. Those factors include each spouse's ability and need to pay alimony how long the marriage lasted and any marital misconduct that occurred. To make matters more confusing there are different alimony types including lump sum rehabilitative and reimbursement.

 Divorce Lawyer Ridgeland, SC
4.

Distribution of Property

In South Carolina marital property is the property that each spouse amasses from the date of the wedding to the time a spouse files for divorce. That property can often include marital debt. In a South Carolina divorce the courts will order an equitable division of property meaning fair under all circumstances but not necessarily equal.

Divorce Attorney Ridgeland, SC

Understanding Child Custody in Ridgeland, SC.

As mentioned above decisions that involve child custody and visitation can be contentious for parents both emotionally and legally. As experienced empathetic divorce lawyers we understand how difficult this process can be. When we work with clients going through child custody battles we always make it a point to be with them through the ups and downs to help them stay centered. Whether you are the husband or wife in your divorce we share a common goal: finding an effective way to support your children and assure their wellbeing.

In South Carolina child custody is a loaded term. In the most general definition child custody determines when each parent is responsible for the physical care of the child and how much authority each parent has to make decisions in their child's life.

No two child custody cases are the same but a negotiated custody arrangement is usually preferred in the judge's eyes as each parent has input in the process. If the parents cannot come to an amicable resolution their fate is left in the hands of a Family Court Judge in South Carolina. The focus of child custody law is always on what is in the best interests of the child. What the judge determines to be the best interests changes depending on the judge.

There are different variations of custody in South Carolina (or custody arrangements) each with varying degrees of authority. When you consult with our family law attorneys at CHSA Law LLC we will go over the child custody process in detail and touch on each distinction to eliminate any confusion you have.

  • Help develop cooperative solutions to disputes or mediate when needed
  • Create an equitable parenting plan
  • Discuss the implications of the different forms of joint and sole custody
  • Problems related to child support
  • Modify court orders if you or your child's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of visitation and custody agreements
  • Much more
Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry. <

Many of the family law clients that walk into our office have big questions that are leaving them full of stress and worry.

 Law Firm Ridgeland, SC

Understanding Child Support
in Ridgeland, SC.

When children are involved in divorce cases child support is often ordered. Several factors can impact whether child support is ordered like the income-earning potential of the child's parents any custody arrangements that are created and what needs the child may have.

At CHSA Law LLC we have years of experience with child support issues relating to:

  • Cases where child support is needed for stay-at-home parents
  • Modifications and enforcement of child support mandates
  • Resolving support and custody disputes
  • Mediation arrangements to reach an agreement on child support. Compared to litigation going
  • the mediated route often means less stress and is more cost-effective than trial.

When you trust our family law firm in Ridgeland for representation we can help calculate an estimate of how much child support you or your spouse may be ordered to pay. We can also perform a needs-based analysis in cases that involve large amounts of income. At the end of the day our goal is to make this frustrating process as stress-free as possible for you so that you can focus on living life and caring for your child.

Understanding Alimony in
Ridgeland, SC.

Alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance) is ordered by the court or negotiated between parties. This kind of spousal support has many factors like the income of both spouses how long they were married and the age of each spouse. Like child custody and child support trusted legal guidance is strongly recommended if you are facing potential alimony payments. Our family law attorneys will help you reach amicable arrangements for fair and appropriate alimony payments.

At CHSA Law LLC your family law attorney in Ridgeland, SC will help protect your interests and rights regarding:

 Attorney Ridgeland, SC
  • Alimony and business assets
  • Permanent or long-term alimony
  • Significant alimony in high-asset divorces
  • Modifications to alimony arrangements when you or your spouse's circumstances change
  • Enforcement of spousal support mandates when needed

Understanding Division of
Property in Ridgeland, SC.

When there are no children marital property or issues of alimony divorces often proceed smoothly between amicable spouses. However most divorces in South Carolina are much more complex. Typically divorce involves a union between spouses that lasts for years and involves substantial marital property. This property can be personal property real estate family businesses debts out-of-state property debts bank accounts and more.

In these nuanced situations the applicable parties need assistance dividing their property. This help most often comes from seasoned family law attorneys like CHSA Law LLC.

When it comes to distribution of property certain types of properties that are controversial even under the property division rules in South Carolina. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state meaning that marital property is divided equitably but not always equally.

If you are going through a divorce it's important that you are aware of the following assets and the common issues their division presents:

 Divorce Lawyer Ridgeland, SC
Pensions

Pensions:

Generally pensions are the second-largest asset in a marriage. When there are sufficient alternative income sources to compensate the non-pension holder South Carolina divorce courts may leave the pension rights with the spouse who earned it with future distribution available. Otherwise a divorce court may enter a Qualified Domestic Relations Order requiring the pension administrator to pay both the former spouse and worker.

Family Home

Family Home:

The family home or the primary residential property owned by the divorcing couple is usually considered a marriage's biggest asset. Dividing this kind of property can be complex and frustrating especially when there are kids involved.

Many divorcing couples have a hard time reaching an agreement on property division. Because the division of property depends on the complexity of you or your spouse's assets and liabilities it is crucial to consult with an experienced family law attorney to provide guidance.

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

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