Land Surrounding "Angel Oak "To Be Residential/Retail Development

The land surrounding one of Charleston's most beautiful and inspiring natural treasures "The Angel Oak" will be cleared for a development plan endorsed by Mayor Joe Riley and the Charleston City Council. Recently released plans call for the land immediately surrounding the small Angel Oak Park to be developed into "low end" housing and commercial/retail space.

A reader sent the following comment about The Angel Oak which I would like to pass on:

"... I am currently working to save The Angel Oak from being developed around. The City of Charleston and Mayor Riley have approved development on 3 sides of her to include "low end" housing and commercial/retail space. The construction, destruction of surrounding forest and high density population will be devastating for her. Can she survive it?
Please sign our petition at
on-johns-island-sc or click this link>
Thank you everyone!"

Although I realize the development plans for the land surrounding Angel Oak have already been approved by Charleston City Council, I have signed this petition in the hope of saving a few more "Grand Old Trees" at the location from being destroyed. I hope you will consider doing the same.

For a recent (June 23,09) update about the Angel Oak Village Development and a new painting, click here.


Save The Angel Oak said...

Posted 8-5-08 by "Save The Angel Oak"


Congratulations!! Thanks to your support, our campaign to protect the Angel Oak and its surrounding forest has achieved its first small victory!

The variance hearing to determine the fate of 55 grand oaks has been deferred due to the voice of over 1,000 petitioners!

REMEMBER: It’s not over yet! We still have a long road ahead toward preserving the legacy and timeless beauty of our Angel Oak!

J O i N * T H E * M O V E M E N T


Posted 8-2-2008:

The Charleston City Council has just approved a development plan to build 600 homes, shops, and offices on 42 acres of land immediately surrounding the majestic Angel Oak on Johns Island.


1) Sign the petition!

**Click the ISLANDERS FOR RESPONSIBLE EXPANSION web link listed at the bottom of this page...

Follow the link to the SAVE THE ANGEL OAK PETITION!
(IRE homepage:

2) Come to the public hearing on WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2008 @ 5:00 PM, held @ 75 CALHOUN STREET across from the main library.


In order to convince the Board of Zoning Appeals to listen to us, WE ARE ALL GOING TO HAVE TO SHOW UP. Fifty people won't sway the BZA's decision; we must have so many people we are overflowing into the hall -- and then some! Please bring your families and friends!

3) Call your city council members and tell them this is a BAD PLAN.

Charleston City Council contact information available @:

P& C News Hound said...

What a shame the City of Charleston didn't purchase this 44 acre tract of land to protect and enlarge the Angel Oak Park when it had the chance in 2000.

Here's more information about the Angel Oak development project from an article in the Chas.SC Post and Courier Aug.7,2008...

"Despite coming to the issue belatedly, (Samantha Siegel of Johns Island) has been able to quickly gather more than 1,400 signatures on her online petition, which is primarily aimed at defeating a request for permission to cut down 34 grand trees on the property.

"It's good that people are concerned about it, but it's a shame they're coming in so late," said Nancy Vinson of the Coastal Conservation League.

The Coastal Conservation League does not oppose the plan, which includes many concessions aimed at protecting the park and the tree, such as a 7-acre conservation zone, a 150-foot buffer around the park, and studies by an arborist and a hydrologist.

"I think these are pretty thoughtful developers," Vinson said. "It's a very much improved plan, and we don't oppose it."

The Coastal Conservation League opposed an earlier plan that called for a big-box grocery store. The approved plan eliminated the large store and added more housing.

In response to Siegel's Save The Angel Oak petition, the developer postponed a Board of Zoning Appeals hearing on the tree-cutting request and set up a meeting with Siegel.

"In an effort to educate them about the plans over the past three years, we're going to defer the issue," said Robert DeMoura of Clement, Crawford & Thornhill, a managing partner in Angel Oak Village Development LLC.

Among her petition signatories are many from out of state, and more than a few from other countries, some of whom left comments indicating they believe the Angel Oak itself is in danger of being cut down.

The city of Charleston and the developer say a great deal of care has been taken to protect the Angel Oak and its surroundings.

Plans for Angel Oak Village approved by City Council call for a densely built collection of shops, offices and multi- family homes at Maybank Highway and Bohicket Road.

"In all the work on this plan, the first consideration was the protection of the Angel Oak," Mayor Joe Riley said. "You won't be able to see the Angel Oak from Angel Oak Village, and you won't be able to see Angel Oak Village from the Angel Oak."

In 2005, the city pressed hard to protect the tree, threatening to buy the development property if the developers did not agree to the city's conditions.

After the conditions were agreed upon, the development plans moved ahead with little opposition, until now.

DeMoura said proposed tree-cutting would remove trees identified as weak or diseased by the project's arborist. He said the development was planned around healthy trees.

"They protected 94 or 95 grand oaks," said Vinson of the Coastal Conservation League. "There were 34 that weren't in good shape, and those are the ones they want to take out."....

Sounds like a compromise to bulldoze irreplaceable natural recourses once again.
How sad.

Anonymous said...

Site plans can be seen for this terrible endeavor at

KMS said...

For more information about Angel Oak and other significant Live Oaks around Chas. click the "Live Oak" category in the Art Category list on the right of this page.


Katherine Muschick Schneider said...

Over 100 people attended the Charleston Zoning Board meeting Oct 1 2008, to consider requests to remove 25 more "Grand Trees" and to allow construction encroachments around 5 other "Grand Trees" within Phase One of the Angel Oak Village development.

After hearing comments from 2 arborists, a hydrologist (all employed by the developer of Angel Oak Village) and concerned citizens against the variance requests, the Zoning Board voted 4 to 2 in favor of the developer on all variance requests.

Charleston City Councilwomen Kathleen Wilson requested that the board seek additional information on "critical root zone issues" for Angel Oak before additional concessions are allowed.

Hopefully, this wise request for additional advice from impartial professionals based on data more relevant to the unique concerns of the Angel Oak will be considered by the Zoning Board and Charleston City Council in the future.

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