Estate Planning Attorney inSeabrook Island, SC

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Securing Your Legacy in South
Carolina

Did you know that one in two U.S. citizens have yet to create a plan for their estate? Just about everyone knows they need to get their affairs in order, but most people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. It's an uncomfortable subject to think about. After all, nobody wants to ponder their death and what happens to their assets when they pass. However, working with an estate planning lawyer in Seabrook Island, SC, protects you, your loved ones, and your assets, both while you're alive and after you have died. There isn't a perfect time to plan your estate, but there is a right time and that time is now.

We understand that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to your estate planning needs. That's why, at CDH Law Firm, we make a concerted effort to speak with our clients personally so that we can create an estate plan that is as unique as they are. Our estate plans are comprehensive, cost-effective, and catered to you. That way, your family is provided if you are incapacitated or pass away.

At the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that every one of our clients leaves our office feeling less stressed and more informed. Peace of mind is valuable currency these days. Why worry about the future of your loved ones when you can use South Carolina law to ensure their stability?

Many of the clients in Seabrook Island that walk through our doors have significant questions that require serious answers. They're filled with doubt, stress, and worry. They're worried about their children, their spouse, their relatives, or all the above. They ask questions like:

  • How much does estate planning cost?
  • What kind of results can I expect?
  • How long will this process take?

If these questions sound familiar, know that you are not alone. At CDH Law Firm, we have worked with hundreds of clients just like you. Sometimes, these clients are unsatisfied with their current estate planning attorney in Seabrook Island. Other times, they have been served with confusing papers or documents that leave them feeling overwhelmed. In either case, clients come to our office knowing they need to manage what is often a sudden, foreign situation.

The good news? We sit down with all new clients for an hour at no extra cost. We do so to get a basic sense of their situation and help steer them in the right direction. That way, they can leave our office feeling a little wiser and a lot better about the future.

Estate Planning Law Seabrook Island, SC
Service Areas

Our firm specializes in several areas of estate planning and family law, including:

  • Estate Planning
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Living Wills
  • Heath Care Power of Attorney
  • Living Wills
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Revocable Trusts
  • Retirement Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts

The CHSA Law
Difference

At CHSA Law, LLC, estate planning is like second nature to us. Having worked hundreds upon hundreds of cases, we have the knowledge and experience to assist with all the estate planning needs that you or your family have.

As our client, you will always work directly with your attorney. We do not pass cases off to paralegals or junior associates. Because your concerns and questions don't end when our office closes, we encourage our clients to contact us at any time.

Because we limit the number of cases we accept, we have the time and resources to truly dedicate ourselves to each of our clients. Unlike some competitors, we care about the outcome of every case because we know that our clients' future depends on it.

 Estate Planning Attorney Seabrook Island, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

What is Estate Planning in
Seabrook Island, SC?

The word "estate" might make you think of a sprawling mansion in the French countryside. The truth is, you don't have to be rich to have an estate. In fact, most people already have an estate. An estate comprises the assets that a person owns like cars, bank accounts, real estate, businesses, and other possessions. Everyone's estate is different, but we all have one thing in common: none of us can take our estates with us when we die. When that does eventually happen, you will need legal instructions that state who gets what from your estate in plain terms.That, in a nutshell, is estate planning building a framework in advance that names the organizations or people that should receive your assets after you die. Planning your estate now helps make life much easier for your family down the line.

 Estate Planning Lawyer Seabrook Island, SC
A good estate plan covers more than fiscal assets, however. A comprehensive
estate plan should include the following:
  • If you have children who are minors, instructions as to who will be their guardian when you die.
  • Long-term care insurance if you suffer from an extended injury or illness.
  • Instructions that dictate what happens to you and your financial affairs if you become incapacitated before death.
  • Instructions on the transfer of your business after retirement, incapacity, disability, or death.
  • Instructions on how to provide for loved ones who might need help managing money or who need protection from creditors.
  • Probate and tax avoidance that help minimize court fees, taxes, and legal fees.
  • Planning Medicaid payments.
  • Instructions that help complete or update beneficiary designations.
  • Assist family members who have special needs without disqualifying them from government benefits.

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn't just for adults who are approaching retirement age. Estate planning is for everyone. After all, we're all getting older, and none of us know exactly when it will be our time to go.

The Basics of Estate Planning
in Seabrook Island, SC

Although estate planning can be complicated, a well-rounded plan makes a huge difference in what is left to your beneficiaries. Before you start planning your estate, it's important to know a few common topics that may arise as you detail your needs.

1.

Working with a Tax Advisor and Estate Planning
Attorney in Seabrook Island, SC

Working with a veteran estate planning lawyer is a no-brainer, but you should consider working with a tax advisor too. Your attorney's role is to help guide you through the creation of your estate planning documents. Common documents include your will, health care directives, and power of attorney. Your tax advisor will help guide you through tax issues associated with your estate planning needs.

In this relationship, you make the decisions while your attorney and tax advisor help you understand and think through the options you're considering. As a team, they will help you state your wishes clearly while minimizing mistakes and adjusting your plans as they change. Because significant savings can result from thorough, informed planning, you should seriously consider working with a tax advisor in addition to your estate planning attorney.

 Law Firm Seabrook Island, SC
2.

Maximizing
Your Estate

If there were one overriding theme of estate planning, it would be maximizing what you plan to leave behind. Thinking through how each of your assets will be distributed is crucial to your estate. Your decisions may change depending on the type of asset, its size, how old you are, and several other factors. With an attorney on your side, you will gain a thorough understanding of what actions you should take to care for your family while minimizing expenses like taxes and court fees.

Estate Planning Law Seabrook Island, SC
3.

Inheritance, Estate,
and Gift Taxes

One of the biggest parts of maximizing what you're leaving behind is to minimize taxes. Federal taxes on estates and gifts are incredibly high. Both forms of taxes usually have exemption limits, which means you can give up to a specific amount without being taxed. Your lawyer can achieve that by using the gift tax exemption to move assets while you are still alive. This strategy maximizes how much your beneficiaries will receive.

Inheritance taxes are often based on the value of your estate and paid prior to asset distribution to your beneficiaries.

 Estate Planning Attorney Seabrook Island, SC

Choosing the
Executor of Your Will

The executor of your estate plays a key role in your affairs. Their responsibilities include carrying out the terms of your will and seeing the estate settlement process through until the end. Obviously, such a role demands a qualified person. Choosing your executor isn't an easy decision. The person you select should be great at managing money, be savvy financially, and show an ability to be patient. That's because the executor is tasked with:

  • Collecting Your Assets
  • Paying Outstanding Bills
  • Submitting Tax Returns
  • Petitioning the Court for Documents
  • Distributing Assets to Your Beneficiaries
 Estate Planning Lawyer Seabrook Island, SC

If the person that you choose as executor is inexperienced with the estate settlement process, it is recommended that they lean on an estate planning attorney in Seabrook Island, SC for guidance. It should be noted that you may appoint more than a single executor to your estate. This is common when two individuals have complementary personalities or skill sets.

The Benefits of Estate Planning
in Seabrook Island, SC

One of the biggest benefits of planning your estate is the peace of mind it brings to you and your family. With the help of our expert estate planning attorneys, you have the power to protect your assets, privacy, and children's welfare. You can also potentially save money on taxes or even avoid probate. By having your wishes legally documented before death or incapacity, you can minimize any impact on your beneficiaries and take control of your legacy. Without a comprehensive estate plan, you're leaving the future of your loved ones in the hands of the South Carolina court system.

With an estate plan in place, you can plan for incapacity by using a power of attorney or advanced medical directives. Doing so relieves your loved ones of the burden of asking the court for the authority to fulfill your wishes.

At CDH Law Firm, we are committed to helping you prepare for both the expected and unexpected through years of experience and a fierce dedication to our clients. From establishing trusts to designing business succession plans, we are here to fight for you.

At CDH we offer a "Will Package" that includes 4 necessary documents.

If a husband and wife each purchase reciprocating will packages we give a discount. Reciprocating just means the husband names the wife and the wife names the husband. Those four documents are:

  • Last will and testament
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Durable power of attorney
  • living will

Common Documents Included
in Your Estate Plan

As mentioned above, everyone's estate planning needs will be different. However, most plans include one or more of the following documents:

1.

Will

Your will is an essential piece of documentation and is often considered the cornerstone of a proper estate plan. Generally speaking, your will is a document that dictates the distribution of your assets after your death. Having an iron-clad will is one of the best ways to make sure that your wishes are communicated clearly. As is the case with most estate planning, it is highly recommended that you work with an estate planning attorney in Seabrook Island, SC, to create and update your will.

The contents of a will typically include:

  • Designation of the executor, who is responsible for adhering to the provisions of your will.
  • Designation of beneficiaries the people who will be inheriting your assets
  • Instructions that dictate how and when your beneficiaries will receive assets.
  • Instructions that assign guardianship for any minor children.

Without a will in place, the State of South Carolina will decide how to distribute assets to your beneficiaries. Allowing the state to distribute your assets is often an unfavorable route to take, since the settlement process may not include what you had in mind for your survivors. Having a will drafted that reflects your wishes will prevent such a situation from happening.

 Law Firm Seabrook Island, SC
2.

Living Will

Despite its name, a living will does not instruct your survivors on what assets go where. Also called an advanced directive, your living will allows you to state your end-of-life medical wishes if you have become unable to communicate. This important document provides guidance to family members and doctors and solidifies certain issues like whether you should be resuscitated after an accident.

For example, it's common to direct that palliative care (care to decrease pain and suffering) always be administered if needed. Conversely, you may state that certain measures are not allowed, like CPR.

Estate Planning Law Seabrook Island, SC
3.

Trusts

Traditionally, a trust is used to minimize estate taxes and maximize other benefits as part of a well-rounded estate plan. This fiduciary agreement lets a trustee hold your assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are many ways to arrange a trust to specify when and how your assets are distributed.

With a trust in place, your beneficiaries can avoid going to probate. That means they may be able to gain access to your assets quicker than when they are transferred with a standard will. Assets placed in a trust can pass outside of probate, which will save you and your family time, money, and stress.

There are two distinct trust categories that you should be aware of: revocable and irrevocable.

 Estate Planning Attorney Seabrook Island, SC

Revocable Trust:

Also called a living trust, a revocable trust helps assets circumvent probate. With this trust, you can control your assets while you are still alive. These trusts are flexible and may be dissolved at any point in time. This type of trust becomes irrevocable upon your death. Revocable trusts can help you avoid the pitfalls of probate but be aware that they are usually still taxable.

Irrevocable Trust:

This kind of trust transfers assets out of your estate so that they are not taxed and do not have to go through probate. However, once an irrevocable trust has been executed, it may not be altered. That means that once you establish this kind of trust, you lose control of its assets and cannot dissolve the trust. If your primary goal is to avoid taxes on your estate, setting up an irrevocable could be a wise choice.

When drafted with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Seabrook Island, SC, your trust can also:

Protect Your Legacy:

When constructed properly, a trust can protect your estate from your heirs' creditors. This can be a huge relief for beneficiaries who might need to brush up on money management skills.

Privacy and Probate:

Probate records are made available for public consumption. With a trust, you may have the choice of having your assets pass outside of probate court so that they remain private. In the process, you may also save money that you would lose to taxes and court fees.

Control Wealth:

Because you can specify the exact terms of a trust, you have more control over who receives your assets and when they receive them. As an example, you can set up a revocable trust so that your assets are attainable while you're alive. When you pass, remaining assets are distributed, even in complex situations involving children from multiple marriages.

The Top Estate Planning Law Firm in the Lowcountry

If you know that you need to provide for your family and loved ones after your death, it's time to develop your estate plan. With CDH Law Firm by your side, planning your estate doesn't have to be difficult. However, it does need to be accurate and executed exactly to your wishes something that we have been helping clients achieve for years. Don't leave your legacy up to chance contact our office today and secure your future generations.

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Latest News in Seabrook Island, SC

Editorial: We dodged a bullet on Seabrook. Make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Everyone who cares about southern Johns Island should be pleased that a controversial annexation was pulled from the Seabrook Island Town Council’s agenda last week in the face of mounting opposition over what the annexation would help create — a new boat dock, private clubhouse, boathouse, pool house and 10 rental cottages — and the likelihood that it would add more traffic and pollution to the rural side of Charleston County’s urban growth boundary.But those same folks, particularly leaders on Kiawah and Seab...

Everyone who cares about southern Johns Island should be pleased that a controversial annexation was pulled from the Seabrook Island Town Council’s agenda last week in the face of mounting opposition over what the annexation would help create — a new boat dock, private clubhouse, boathouse, pool house and 10 rental cottages — and the likelihood that it would add more traffic and pollution to the rural side of Charleston County’s urban growth boundary.

But those same folks, particularly leaders on Kiawah and Seabrook islands and Charleston County Council, should not get complacent. Instead, they need to work together on better planning to guide development in and around where those two sea islands meet up with southern Johns Island.

It’s unclear when, or if, the developer’s annexation request might resurface. Even if it doesn’t, there undoubtedly will be other development plans that will expose the tensions between those living on rural Johns Island and those living beyond the gates at Kiawah and Seabrook. This moment offers an important reset, one that should begin with getting all these local governments to recommit to the vision of an urban growth boundary — a line past which suburban development would not be supported through zoning, infrastructure or other local policies.

Such a recommitment wouldn’t bind future councils any more than their respective comprehensive plans do, but it would send a unified message about their mutual commitment to respect the natural beauty and environmental sensitivity of the area.

It’s clear that development pressures at Kiawah’s and Seabrook’s doorstep are increasing. A fresh series of new developments, including a senior living facility and an emergency medical facility, is cropping up. Elected officials, neighborhood leaders and county planners need to come up with a mutually agreed-upon zoning overlay for the area, one that would guide future development to ensure new uses and the size and scale of new buildings are appropriate. Such an overlay also would prevent developers from trying to play one jurisdiction against another to get the permits they seek, a tactic sometimes used in other parts of the tri-county area.

The mutual interests of everyone became clear during this recent annexation controversy, as the mayor of Kiawah Island took the unusual step of sending a letter to Seabrook’s mayor and council urging them to reject the annexation and respect the urban growth boundary, which Mayor John Labriola noted “serves as a guide to direct appropriate urban and suburban development while preserving and cherishing the rural charm of the Sea Islands that we all hold dear.”

Given what we’ve seen this summer, the existing urban growth boundary line may not continue to be enough on its own, and we believe a joint planning effort could help pin down the following: to what extent commercial development in the greater Freshfields area should be allowed to inch its way north on Betsy Kerrison; whether the towns should annex any more of Johns Island; whether any upzoning in the area might be appropriate; and how new building would affect the net traffic and drainage needs around Kiawah and Seabrook. While residents live only on Kiawah or Seabrook or in the unincorporated area, they have a stake in the answers to all those questions. This area deserves a new zoning overlay and conservation goals that offer a shared vision of how the southern part of Johns Island will — and will not — change.

Regional planning needs to take place on a large scale — such as our greater metro area from Seabrook to Awendaw to Summerville and Moncks Corner — but it’s also necessary on a smaller scale, especially in those places such as southern Johns Island where multiple local governmental jurisdictions meet.

Decades ago, the city of Charleston and Charleston County came up with the urban growth boundary across Johns Island and other areas where the suburbs ended to ensure their zoning and other policies worked together to protect rural areas that residents wanted to remain rural. Kiawah and Seabrook were once seen as too distant to bring into the conversation about that line. That’s not the case any more.

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Editorial: Seabrook Island, other beach towns, should respect Johns Island growth boundary

There are several powerful reasons why Seabrook Island Town Council should reject a proposed annexation that would pave the way for a new boat dock, private clubhouse, boathouse, pool house and 10 rental cottages near the town’s northern limits.The additional boat and car traffic would create more congestion on Betsy Kerrison Parkway in particular and Johns Island in general, as well as more pollution to the otherwise pristine Bohicket Creek. But the biggest reason Town Council should reject the 18-acre annexation is the dangero...

There are several powerful reasons why Seabrook Island Town Council should reject a proposed annexation that would pave the way for a new boat dock, private clubhouse, boathouse, pool house and 10 rental cottages near the town’s northern limits.

The additional boat and car traffic would create more congestion on Betsy Kerrison Parkway in particular and Johns Island in general, as well as more pollution to the otherwise pristine Bohicket Creek. But the biggest reason Town Council should reject the 18-acre annexation is the dangerous precedent it would set, a precedent that would erode the rural character of southern Johns Island.

Decades ago, local governments, led by the city of Charleston and Charleston County, agreed on an urban growth boundary across Johns Island and other areas. The big idea was to ensure their zoning and other policies were synchronized to allow suburban development to continue to spread, but only up to a point, beyond which the existing rural nature would be preserved. The boundary has generally worked well, but as with so much other conservation work, it needs to be embraced and reaffirmed by each new generation.

Seabrook Island’s potential move would mark one of the first and most dramatic annexations by a municipality into the rural portion of the island; if it succeeds, it almost assuredly wouldn’t be the last, and it could hasten the unraveling of the boundary line — and increase development pressures on the shrinking amount of land on the rural side of the boundary.

Robby Maynor of the Coastal Conservation League agrees that annexing and rezoning this property on the rural side of the urban growth boundary would set a disastrous precedent on the county’s Sea Islands and could lead to annexation battles such as those that are playing out along the most rural stretches of the upper Ashley River, whose rural historic district remains in jeopardy from encroaching homes, stores and the traffic they bring. Approving the marina project would be “like kicking an anthill and hoping you don’t get bit,” he says.

The case that the property’s owner and other supporters have made for the annexation is that it would give Seabrook Island future control of the site and limit future development there, according to reporter Warren Wise. But the proposal appears to us as designed to facilitate development, not to curb it. Annexing the site, which is next to Bohicket Marina, would allow it to tie into the town’s sewer system.

Unfortunately, Seabrook Island’s Planning Commission has recommended annexing the site and rezoning it for a mixed-used development. We urge Town Council members to reject that move when they consider the matter Aug. 22.

As Mr. Wise noted, the project is a scaled-down version of a 30-year-old Andell Harbor project that state environmental regulators rightly and mercifully rejected. While this is smaller, with only about 4 acres of development near the creek and the rest set aside for open space, it still would represent an unwelcome and disturbing encroachment into the rural area between the barrier islands of Kiawah and Seabrook and the suburban growth from the city of Charleston.

Last year, we urged elected officials, neighborhood leaders and planners with Charleston County and the two beach towns to come up with a mutually agreed-upon overlay for their shared area at the southern tip of Johns Island. That overlay should guide future development toward the kinds of uses — and the sizes and scale — residents of all three jurisdictions would most like to see, and help address growing real estate pressures in a way residents prefer. We repeat the call for regional cooperation, and Seabrook Island’s rejection of this annexation would be an important first step.

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Plans for yacht club concerns sea island residents

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The potential for a new yacht club and several docks on Seabrook Island is concerning Sea Islanders and environmental advocates.Town of Seabrook leaders discussed those plans Wednesday, which would include the annexation of a portion of Charleston County into Seabrook island.The town’s planning commission voted 4-1 to recommend moving forward with the annexation to the town council.The nearly 18-acre site, called the “Andell Tract,” sits between Bohicket Marina and Betsy K...

SEABROOK ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The potential for a new yacht club and several docks on Seabrook Island is concerning Sea Islanders and environmental advocates.

Town of Seabrook leaders discussed those plans Wednesday, which would include the annexation of a portion of Charleston County into Seabrook island.

The town’s planning commission voted 4-1 to recommend moving forward with the annexation to the town council.

The nearly 18-acre site, called the “Andell Tract,” sits between Bohicket Marina and Betsy Kerrison Parkway on Johns Island.

the plan includes a private Yacht Club and amenities such as a boat house, pool house and detached hotel containing 10 two-story cottages, according to town documents.

It also has public spaces including a boardwalk, pathways and a community crabbing dock.

Dana Beach, the founder of the Coastal Conservation League, said his two main concerns about the proposal are the environmental impacts on the water, and the crossing of Charleston County’s Urban Growth Boundary.

He said if The Town of Seabrook annexes this portion of Charleston County into their town for development, it could set a precedent for other local municipalities to do the same.

“The town may say ‘this is only a 20-acre parcel that in itself isn’t a big deal,” Beach said. “That’s what Charleston could say if it wanted to coming down from the north, that’s what Kiawah could say as it comes in from the East, even Folly Beach could say that.”

Robby Maynor, the Communities and Transportation Program Director for Coastal Conservation League echoed Beach’s point while addressing the planning commission at Wednesday’s meeting.

“There is an ongoing effort for collaboration between the municipalities on the sea islands to reaffirm that growth boundary to help strike a balance between development and preservation, this annexation would be a step in the wrong direction,” Maynor said.

The majority of the 544 written comments and 10 in person comments were against the development, although some community members spoke in its’ favor.

“I believe a Yacht Club is an amenity that fits perfectly within our diverse group of people,” Seabrook resident, Jackie Helline, said.

Mike Shuler, the Owner and Managing Partner for Bohicket Marina Investors, said he respectfully disagrees with the fear that this annexation may set a precedent for other municipalities to cross Charleston County’s Urban Growth boundary.

“What we are annexing is part of Seabrook’s comprehensive plan. Whether it crosses an Urban Growth Boundary, in my opinion, isn’t relevant here,” Shuler said. “Not to mention, further expansion beyond the property we are contemplating here is not possible because of conservation easements that are in place.”

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Planned yacht club advances after Seabrook Island board OKs annexation, land use change

SEABROOK ISLAND — Three decades after a plan to create a 400-slip marina through a canal and lock project on Johns Island was rejected, a scaled-down proposal calls for a private yacht club on nearly 18 acres in the same general area on Bohicket Creek.Conservationists and several area ...

SEABROOK ISLAND — Three decades after a plan to create a 400-slip marina through a canal and lock project on Johns Island was rejected, a scaled-down proposal calls for a private yacht club on nearly 18 acres in the same general area on Bohicket Creek.

Conservationists and several area residents oppose the development called Andell, but Seabook Island’s Planning Commission voted 4-1 on July 12 to recommend annexing the site and zoning the property for a mixed-used development. Town council will have final say.

Bohicket Creek Investors LLC of Charleston wants to build a boat dock with a private clubhouse, boathouse and poolhouse along with outdoor amenities and 10 rental cottages for members and the public at 4484 Betsy Kerrison Parkway.

“Annexing gives Seabrook future control of the site,” said Mike Shuler, the property owner’s principal and managing partner. “It will substantially limit future development of the site.”

The property, currently zoned for agricultural and residential use in unincorporated Charleston County, would allow “a variety of agricultural and light industrial uses ... which could have significantly greater impact on the existing natural features than the proposed development,” according to the town’s planning staff, which recommended conditional project approval.

Real Estate

Among those opposing the project is the Coastal Conservation League.

Robby Maynor, the Charleston-based environmental group’s communities and transportation program director, said the project is outside the region’s “urban growth boundary” and called the proposed development “a step in the opposite direction” of protecting rural acreage.

He also cited potentially adverse effects from pollution runoff into Bohicket Creek, increased boat traffic and encroachment into critical habitat areas.

A half dozen others cited similar concerns before the Planning Commission’s vote. The board also noted it had received more than 500 comments about the proposal with the vast majority in opposition.

Proponents of the project said that the property’s current zoning allows multiple uses than what’s being proposed, that the town will have more control over the property if it is annexed and that the development will provide recreational opportunities.

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The project’s name is similar to a proposed development from 30 years ago called Andell Harbor that called for a massive earth-moving operation with a man-made channel connecting to a large marina. State environmental regulators eventually nixed the idea in the mid-1990s.

The yacht club site is beside Bohicket Marina, which also is owned by Shuler’s group, and the two would be connected by a boardwalk and road. The planned entrance to the new development is across from Kiawah Island Town Hall.

Cottages would flank both sides of the drive leading to the yacht club.

Plans show the development on about 4 acres of the site near the creek. The rest of the property would be set aside as open space, including a 75-foot wooded buffer next to the parkway and a 20-foot vegetated area next to the northwest parcel in the county.

The site also would include a public boardwalk, pathways and a community crabbing dock.

Bohicket Creek Investors bought the tract in 2021 for $5.6 million, according to Charleston County land records. Nearby properties include Freshfields Village Shopping Center.

The 4 Most Snake-Infested Rivers in South Carolina

South Carolina is known for its barbecue, warm temperatures, and welcoming beaches. But did you know that it’s home to plenty of different species of snakes? The hot, humid climate, combined with the marshy, wet areas and grasslands that make up the Low Country, make an excellent home for serpents. The Piedmont, the hilly region at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, also contains plenty of snakes. ...

South Carolina is known for its barbecue, warm temperatures, and welcoming beaches. But did you know that it’s home to plenty of different species of snakes? The hot, humid climate, combined with the marshy, wet areas and grasslands that make up the Low Country, make an excellent home for serpents. The Piedmont, the hilly region at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, also contains plenty of snakes. South Carolina has 38 different species of snakes, and they’re all native to the state! Let’s take a look at which rivers are home to the most snakes.

1. The Savannah River

The Savannah River is home to plenty of different species of snake. One dangerous serpent you might find here is the Copperhead. This species is the most venomous snake in the state. You can tell the Copperhead apart from others by its brown hourglass crossbands and over a pinkish or tan-colored background. These snakes enjoy the mountains as well as coastal hardwood floors.

They tend to live in grasslands, rolling pine hills, sandy coasts, and longleaf pine flatwoods. This means you might come across one at any point. The Savannah River, which borders Georgia, is home to these snakes and rat snakes. The black rat snakes have a telltale hint of white along their scales and are found in the mountains and Piedmont regions of central Georgia and South Carolina. You can find yellow rat snakes along the coast, and gray rat snakes tend to live in the Savannah River in Southern South Carolina.

2. The Pee Dee Rivers

The Little Pee Dee and Great Pee Dee rivers are home to the brown watersnakes. They’re various shades of brown with dark brown square blotches and a lighter belly. Though they tend to roam the Pee Dee rivers, you could come across one of these anywhere in the state. They enjoy life in flowing water, so rivers are their favorite spots. They’re very common snakes and are fantastic swimmers! Their bites are known to be especially painful, though they aren’t venomous.

3. The Edisto River

Another harmless snake you might come across is the Garter snake. They’re well-adapted to living around people and can often be found in city parks, as well as suburban lawns and gardens. While it’s rare for them to bite, they will defecate and release a foul smell to defend themselves!

The Edisto River makes its way through a large part of the Lowcountry in South Carolina. Much of it is wet and marshy, making it a great home for serpents. Cottonmouths can also be found in palmetto thickets, pine forests, dune areas, and prairies, as well as slow-moving streams, swamps, marshes, ponds, and rivers. This snake is incredibly dangerous and venomous. They vibrate their tails and expose the white interior of their mouths when they hiss.

4. The Broad River

Besides brown watersnakes, you will likely come across banded and northern watersnakes in the Broad River. You might also see Queen snakes, commonly confused with watersnakes due to similar coloration. Unlike watersnakes, though, these won’t typically bite you! Though banded watersnakes aren’t venomous, they give off an awful stench when threatened. Northern watersnakes make up the majority of these species found here and are often confused with copperheads due to the dark brown or reddish bands and blotches on their backs.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Michiel de Wit/Shutterstock.com

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I'm a 36-year-old mother of 2 and military wife. I have 2 dogs and a cat that I'm thoroughly obsessed with. When I'm not writing for work, I'm writing as a hobby. You can find me knee deep in a pile of books or way too invested in a video game.

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