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Real Deal Countertops | 818 Central Ave Unit A, Summerville, SC 29483

866-707-1414 843-832-0819 sales1@realdealcountertops.com

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The best countertops make a statement in your home that other features cannot. You've worked hard to incorporate unique designs and flavors throughout your home, so why should your countertops be any different?

At Real Deal Countertops, we aspire to combine the beauty and durability of natural stone with unrivaled, personalized attention to all customers. With the highest quality materials and the most helpful customer service, we give our clients the opportunity to make informed decisions that they feel good about for years. Our story in the countertop fabrication and manufacturing industry began more than 19 years ago, when Rafael Quedevez started out as a sales representative in Massachusetts. Working his way up through the ranks, Rafael soon made his way to South Carolina to open and manage his own companies. In 2013, we created real Deal Countertops. Since that time, we are proud to have served more than 5,000 customers in South Carolina and beyond.

Our leadership team combines more than 40 years of experience in the home remodeling service industry. Always striving to create a better product for our customers, we use the latest in robotics technologies and the sharpest minds in the business to craft countertops of unparalleled quality. Unlike other countertop companies in Awendaw, SC, we only source the finest stone slabs in the world.

At Real Deal Countertops, we offer a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, including:

Kitchen Countertop Installation Awendaw, SC

Quartzite

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Awendaw, SC

Caesarstone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Awendaw, SC

Silestone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Awendaw, SC

Marble

 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Awendaw, SC

Sensa

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Awendaw, SC

Pollar White

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Awendaw, SC

Vicostone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Awendaw, SC

Quartz

We are committed to ensuring that granite, marble, and other unique, exotic stones are attainable to all who desire them. If you're in search of a trustworthy counter company with a team of knowledgeable, helpful experts, you have come to the right place!

Most Popular Countertops in Awendaw, SC

Choosing the best countertops for your kitchen is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be a hard one. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is to find out what kind of countertop material you'd like to use. While it's true that material and style trends change over time, there are several counters that have always been top sellers.

Some of the most popular countertops we sell include:

Marble Countertops in Awendaw, SC

There's no way around it - marble adds jaw-dropping beauty to just about any room and is known for its good looks. It is a dense stone that comes in many different hues like greens, browns, pinks, greys, whites, and more. While marble countertops often have otherworldly beauty, they can be susceptible to stains and cracks. Marble is also considered one of the most expensive counters to choose from, though the truth is marble comes in a wide range of qualities and prices.

  • Pros: Stunning beauty, plenty of beautiful choices.
  • Cons: Not always used in kitchens due to chance of staining.
  • Popular Colors: Portinari, Shadow Storm, Super White, Lumen, Calacatta Linconni, Nobulato Honned, Shadow, Grey Imperiale Honed.
Kitchen Countertop Installation Awendaw, SC
 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Awendaw, SC

Granite Countertops in Awendaw, SC

When it comes to popularity, granite countertops take the cake. Granite countertops usually contain a blend of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. Granite can add an edge of elegance and even a country-chic feel to your kitchen, making it a well-rounded stone. Granite is durable and scratch-resistant, though it can require sealing and DIY chip repair.

  • Pros: Luxurious, rich look featuring natural stone that is durable, heat resistant, and scratch-resistant.
  • Cons: Hard material that may require DIY chip repair and sealing.
  • Popular Colors: Blue Jeans, Creama Pearl, Alure, Galaxy White, Luna Pear, Steel Grey, Ubatuba, Oro Brazil.

Quartz Countertops in Awendaw, SC

Quartz is a manufactured material that represents one of our favorite four-letter words: easy! If you're looking to add a high-end feel to your kitchen or bathroom, quartz is an excellent material to consider. Like granite, quartz countertops can add a decadent vibe to any room. Unlike granite, you may not have to seal quartz quite as often (if ever).

  • Pros: Quartz countertops come in plenty of colors to choose from and are easy to clean. They are also strong, scratch-resistant, and don't require sealing.
  • Cons: Quartz is not as heat resistant as other materials like granite counters. Sharp corners tend to crack, but that can be remedied with rounded corners.
  • Popular Colors: Noble Grey, Raw Concrete, Frosty Carrina, Shitake, Pebble, Pietra Grey, Sierra Madre, Arctic.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Awendaw, SC
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Awendaw, SC

Silestone Countertops in Awendaw, SC

A manufactured material made from quartz crystals, Silestone countertops are equal parts gorgeous and practical. Known for being a durable, non-porous choice, Silestone is resistant to stains, scratches, and even some forms of bacteria. Homeowners who choose Silestone do so because they can get a high-end look without having to worry too much about maintenance. Silestone counters look great in many different homes, from contemporary abodes with modern accents to vintage-looking kitchens.

  • Pros: Silestone countertops are non-porous, meaning germs and bacteria can't lodge themselves inside this material. This makes Silestone counters great for kitchens and bathrooms alike. This material also comes in a wide variety of colors and resists scratches and chips. Overall, Silestone is an excellent choice if you want to make a solid long-term investment without much upkeep.
  • Cons: While Silestone is great if you're looking for a low-maintenance counter option, it can be sensitive to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Silestone is also not recommended for outdoor use since the resins used to make the material do not do well with UV light.
  • Popular Colors: Daria, Gray Expo, Lagoon, Calacatta Gold, Arctic, Blanco City, Gris Expo, Desert Silver

Quartzite Countertops in Awendaw, SC

Not to be confused with quartz countertops, which are manmade, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried much in the same way that granite is. If you're a fan of marble counters, quartzite mimics its looks without as much upkeep. Like granite, it is a very durable choice and adds an upscale feeling to almost any room you choose.

  • Pros: Since it doesn't require any special cleaners, quartzite looks great without much maintenance. When it gets dirty, soap and water should be all you need to clean. Quartzite is also a great long-term option since it doesn't wear down quickly at all.
  • Cons: Heat is required to form quartzite. However, you should avoid putting hot pots and pans on your quartzite countertops. Because quartzite comes in many different varieties, some forms of quartzite need to be sealed more often than others.
  • Popular Colors: Maya, Fusion, Locomotion, Callacata, Airy Concrete, Cocada White
 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Awendaw, SC

Which Countertop is Right for You?

If you're just beginning your search for new countertops, it can be a little overwhelming trying to whittle down your options. We've got good news - with over 19 years in the industry, our team of experts has learned a thing or two about countertops. When you come to the Real Deal Countertops showroom, one of our goals is to educate you about our products and your countertop options, so you can make an educated purchasing decision.

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Awendaw, SC

How Will You Use Your Countertops in Awendaw?

The first and perhaps most crucial part of your countertop choice should stem from how you and your family use your countertops. For example, if you have kids, your counters will probably see a lot of activity. Between standard eating times and "in-between" meals that teens are known for, your counters might double as food prep stations. As such, you might need a countertop material that is resistant to most food and beverage stains. If you own a rental property that sees a lot of foot traffic from strangers, you might want to consider an economical material that is also durable.

  • Do you cook a lot?
  • Do you host a lot of parties?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
Once you figure out exactly how you'll be using your countertops, you can begin to narrow down your choices.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Awendaw, SC

How Much Upkeep Is Too Much?

Be realistic and honest with yourself about this question. Before you fall in love with how a countertop material looks, be sure you understand how much upkeep is needed. Some materials require more care, while others don't need much at all.

Keep these points in mind:
  • Materials like quartz only need to be wiped down occasionally.
  • Materials like granite, marble, and limestone will need to be sealed at least once a year.
  • Some materials may be durable but aren't stain resistant.

The bottom line is this: Assess the maintenance demands that come along with the materials you're looking at. Marble countertops in Awendaw, SC are elegant, but if you'e unwilling to keep them looking their best, why bother buying the material?

You should be aware that most countertop materials will require some form of upkeep, even if it' minimal. To help keep your counters in pristine condition, consider these care and precaution tips:

  • Many common foods contain acids that will dull or even damage the surface of stone countertops.Use coasters to protect your counters, especially if you'e drinking something with citrus juices or alcohol.
  • Do not place scalding hot pots or pans directly on your countertops.
  • Use mats or trivets to place under hot dishes.
  • If you spill liquid on your countertops, blot the spill with a paper towel ASAP. Wiping the spill will cause it to spread.
  • Use mild soap and plain water to clean up stains.

Which Colors and Materials Match Your Home's Aesthetics?

For many homeowners, this question is almost always top-of-mind. After all, you want to choose colors and materials that fit well with other features in your home. When selecting your countertop materials, try to choose a tone that contrasts with your other amenities, like your cabinets. Don't go for a perfect match. As an example, black granite is a beautiful contrast to white cabinets.

Consider these questions when choosing your countertop materials:
  • Are there one or two colors that you love more than others?
  • Does your choice go well with the color of your kitchen's walls?
  • Do you want to switch up your kitchen's style or keep it the same?
  • Will you be painting your kitchen a different color in the future?
  • Will you be replacing your appliances soon?
 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Awendaw, SC
Kitchen Countertop Installation Awendaw, SC

Real Deal Countertops Pro Tip:

Because your home's accessories and paint job may change with time, your countertops should have a versatile color. That way, you won't have problems matching them with new paint colors or appliances.

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Awendaw, SC  Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Awendaw, SC

Countertop Remodeling Done Right

At Real Deal Countertops, our #1 priority is your satisfaction. Unlike some countertop companies in Awendaw, we make it a point to exceed our customer's expectations. We strive for excellence with every transaction we complete and pledge to faithfully implement innovative techniques to ensure that our products remain affordable. With the help of Real Deal Countertops, remodeling your kitchen and bath will be painless and easy.

The appearance of a kitchen or bath depends on the right countertop selection, proper fabrication, and expert installation. Are you interested in granite countertops in Awendaw, SC? Maybe quartzite is a better choice for your family. Whatever you choose, know that our skilled installers and fabricators will make a template so that all custom pieces fit perfectly in your home.

What Clients Say About Us

Ready to get started? Have questions about our inventory?

We're here to help answer all your questions. Please feel free to give our office a call today at 866-707-1414 Before you know it, you will be ready for your new set of Real Deal Countertops!

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Latest News in Awendaw, SC

Awendaw, afraid of becoming Mount Pleasant, halts most new subdivisions

AWENDAW — Just stop all the rapid home construction and let us catch our breath.That's the message this small coastal town is delivering to developers with a temporary ban on most new subdivisions.In the fastest-growing state in the nation, Awenda...

AWENDAW — Just stop all the rapid home construction and let us catch our breath.

That's the message this small coastal town is delivering to developers with a temporary ban on most new subdivisions.

In the fastest-growing state in the nation, Awendaw is among an increasing number of local governments adopting moratoriums that halt some types of development for a short time or for many years.

The justification for such moratoriums is typically to create time to update local development rules, usually to make them more strict once the moratorium is lifted. That's the case in Awendaw.

The rural village of about 1,400 residents in Charleston County sits just above Mount Pleasant, and the towns share a municipal border. Mount Pleasant became South Carolina's fourth-largest municipality after decades of suburban development and has about 94,000 residents.

Mount Pleasant residents eventually got fed up with rapid growth, more traffic and crowded schools. The town now has limits on annual building permits, high development impact fees and a moratorium on multi-family construction that has been in place for seven years.

Awendaw Councilman Kent Prause had a front-row seat for much of Mount Pleasant's love/hate relationship with growth because he was the town's zoning administrator. Prause has been leading the push for Awendaw's moratorium on zoning changes and subdivisions.

“Volume builders and tract home builders are coming in," he said. "They pretty much built out Mount Pleasant and now they are coming here."

“The people didn’t like it and that’s why the moratorium is in place," said Prause. "They don't want it to be Mount Pleasant."

Boom & Balance

The Awendaw moratorium hasn't been finalized, but it took effect in January under what's known as the pending-ordinance doctrine. That means the rules took hold as soon as Awendaw's council gave initial approval to the measure, although a final vote at a meeting scheduled for March 7 is still needed.

The ordinance states that "Town Council finds that the increase in the number and size of large-scale residential developments in the Town pose a risk to public health, safety, welfare, and quality of life in Awendaw..." for many reasons.

The moratorium wouldn't halt developments that have already been approved. What it would do is:

Of course, moratoriums can also be extended, as Mount Pleasant has done multiple times with its ban on new multi-family housing.

And Awendaw's moratorium rules could change before they get final approval. The town's Planning Commission recommended a 10-parcel cutoff for new subdivisions, instead of five, and allowing zoning changes on parcels of less than 10 acres.

At a Town Council hearing Feb. 22, no one spoke in favor of the Planning Commission's recommendations. Several residents urged the council to approve the moratorium without changes.

"We've already approved so many homes in this town," said Susan Cox. "We need to stop it, and figure out what is going on."

Developers paid limited attention to Awendaw for a long time because the town lacks a sewer system. New developments need to use septic systems, which require state permits and are more likely to fail in places where the water table is high.

But the Charleston area's population growth and Mount Pleasant's limits on development and lack of available land have increasingly pushed development up the coast.

SC Climate and Environment News

In 2022, Awendaw approved a 204-home subdivision on 148 acres near Seewee and Bulls Island roads over objections that its more than 200 septic systems could fail and send raw sewage into the waters near Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge.

Awendaw can't ban septic systems because there's no other option for treating household sewage, but in 2023 the town made it more difficult to build dense subdivisions where each house has a septic system. Awendaw adopted rules for minimum lot sizes, distance from wetlands and other regulations.

"It seems the less stringent rules are letting developers come in and have their way with the town," Planning Commission member James Gardner told council members at the time.

The pending development moratorium is the latest result of a change in attitudes and leadership in Awendaw. In the earlier 2000s the town aggressively sought to grow its boundaries through annexations — prompting court challenges — and approved some large subdivisions.

"Managed growth is the key to Awendaw's future," reads the first sentence of a large, framed copy of the town's vision statement, on the wall where Town Council meets.

Reach David Slade at 843-937-5552. Follow him on Twitter @DSladeNews.

Awendaw homeowners concerned about ditch maintenance: ‘It’s a nuisance’

AWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - Some homeowners in Awendaw say they are concerned severe weather may be bringing severe problems to their properties.Community members living on Seewee Road claim more recent storms in the Lowcountry have caused drainage issues for roadside ditches along the six-mile stretch of rural road.“My backyard is just totally covered with water,” neighbor Stephen Flagg says. “My front yard has been totally covered with water. I mean, something just needs to be done.”Flagg lives on th...

AWENDAW, S.C. (WCSC) - Some homeowners in Awendaw say they are concerned severe weather may be bringing severe problems to their properties.

Community members living on Seewee Road claim more recent storms in the Lowcountry have caused drainage issues for roadside ditches along the six-mile stretch of rural road.

“My backyard is just totally covered with water,” neighbor Stephen Flagg says. “My front yard has been totally covered with water. I mean, something just needs to be done.”

Flagg lives on the same portion of land as his grandmother, Lillie Swinton. The family has called Seewee Road home since the 1960s. They say they have noticed the problem for decades.

Both Swinton and Flagg say taking care of the ditches along the property is one thing, but they believe fixing the ditches along the wooded areas and uninhabited spaces would make a big difference.

“Anytime we have heavy rain, the water settles. The ditch drain, there’s nowhere for it to go,” Swinton says. “When summer comes, we’re going to have a lot of trouble with mosquitos, and moccasin snakes.”

At one end of Seewee Road sits the Town of Awendaw Town Hall. Town Administrator Gregory Saxton says he has heard the concerns of neighbors and relayed them to the South Carolina Department of Transportation for assistance.

Seewee Road is a state road and therefore maintained by SCDOT through work orders.

“We just want something to be done. Because after all, we’re taxpayers, just like others. We should be able to have access to things, just like the other communities,” homeowner Alberta Goodwine says. “When it’s raining, the water just settles into the ditches and overflows in the yard. It’s a nuisance.”

Goodwine worries parts of the neighborhood community have been neglected. She adds it is a problem that affects her social life and her daily routines.

“When I step out, I’ve gotta have a boot on coming off the step. To protect myself,” Goodwine says. “Put pipes or something, so drainage will go somewhere, not on my property.”

SCDOT spokesperson Ginny Jones released the following statement:

We had a crew work on ditches along Seewee Road Jan. 2-5. Last week, the crew had to work on storm recovery efforts, but we have employees back out there today. The crew will not be onsite tomorrow due to a regularly scheduled safety meeting, but they will return on Thursday and Friday, as well as next week if necessary. Our crews are digging along approximately 9,100 linear feet of roadway, so it is taking some time, but we will continue to work on it as needed.

Regarding a work order, the answer is both: A citizen may enter an online work request, or a municipality may enter a work request on behalf of a citizen. Online work requests can be submitted here: https://apps.scdot.org/mwro/

We have been in touch with the Town of Awendaw about this work. Please let us know if you need any further information.”

When asked for clarification on how uninhabited portions of the road are maintained, Jones released this response:

SCDOT maintains what is in our right of way. If the land belongs to a municipality, county, or other party, we often work with those folks to plan for maintenance, but there are a lot of different ways that can look.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Major land expansion coming to Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge in Awendaw

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A $5 million federal investment will soon add 446 acres of land along the South Carolina shoreline.Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is currently made up of 22 miles of barrier islands. Sarah Dawsey, the refuge manager, has been working with nature preservation since she was in high school and joined the Youth Conservation Corps.“This has been a lifelong goal for me. I mean, I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am to get this money. We have barrier islands, the refuge is barrier island...

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A $5 million federal investment will soon add 446 acres of land along the South Carolina shoreline.

Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge is currently made up of 22 miles of barrier islands. Sarah Dawsey, the refuge manager, has been working with nature preservation since she was in high school and joined the Youth Conservation Corps.

“This has been a lifelong goal for me. I mean, I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am to get this money. We have barrier islands, the refuge is barrier islands, and they’re only accessible by boat,” Dawsey says.

Coastal Expeditions does run a ferry to Bulls Island for a fee so those interested can visit for the day. There is a public dock on the island for those with boats to use as well.

“This money will allow us to have a tract on the mainland, where we can have trails, we can have hunting, fishing, environmental education, everything that we do on the islands, but to a greater extent and you don’t have to have a boat so it’s really exciting,” Dawsey says.

She also notes that a mainland tract is a step toward a future corridor connecting the refuge to the Francis Marion National Forest.

Durwin Carter is the project leader for Cape Romain, Ace Basin, Santee and Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuges. He says any addition of land is a huge win for conservation efforts, wildlife and the people nearby who can enjoy it.

“It ties directly into what our mission is. Our mission is essentially working with other partners to conserve these lands and habitats and the critters that use it, for the public to enjoy,” Carter says.

Dawsey and Carter pointed out how erosion from storms and sea level rise are threatening the barrier islands and, in their time at the refuge, they have seen the saltwater breach into ponds on Bulls Island and encroach further into the land each year.

“With the threats happening with development and habitat fragmentation and sea level rise, any additional lands that we can conserve are going to be beneficial. We do what we do for the wildlife, for the habitats and for people to enjoy. But we also do it for future generations to enjoy,” Carter says.

The funding comes from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. The fund is made up from the sale of Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as Duck Stamps, and import taxes.

The refuge has a visitors center located off Highway 17 where people can learn more about the conservation work and migratory bird protection the islands offer. Dawsey says people are always welcome to visit Bulls Island as long as they come with respect for the wildlife and leave it as they found it.

“If you see birds flying around or acting unusual or dive bombing you, that’s a signal that you’re close to their nest and they’re just trying to protect their babies,” Dawsey says.

Cape Romain is home to more than 290 bird species that migrate through the area as well as other animals like alligators, deer and sea turtles.

“We are just winding up our field season, so we have a really big loggerhead sea turtle project, it’s seven days a week. We do a lot of posting for birds and stewarding to keep people out of the bird areas and educating people on why it’s important,” Dawsey says.

Carter says his staff and volunteers are grateful for the land the refuge currently gets to take care of. They are looking forward to the expansion once the sale is finalized and eventually to hosting wildlife and visitors on the new mainland tracts.

“We’re really lucky to have the jobs that we have because they really enjoy their time out on the water of Cape Romain; really enjoy their times out on the trails, enjoy their times out appreciating the refuge, doing birdwatching, fishing, hunting, whatever it is, we’re constantly reminded of how great our jobs are because we get a chance to see this every day,” Carter says.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

A History of Awendaw’s First Residents

Charleston is a region steeped in history, and every corner has its own story that contributes a piece of the Lowcountry’s historical tapestry.The Town of Awendaw, located along U.S. Highway 17 N between Mount Pleasant and McClellanville in Charleston County, has Native American roots through the Sewee tribe.The Sewee tribe lived along the lower part of the Santee River, along the coast to the westward divide of the Ashley River, in present-day Moncks Corner and Dewees Island. Sewee, which means “Islanders,” w...

Charleston is a region steeped in history, and every corner has its own story that contributes a piece of the Lowcountry’s historical tapestry.

The Town of Awendaw, located along U.S. Highway 17 N between Mount Pleasant and McClellanville in Charleston County, has Native American roots through the Sewee tribe.

The Sewee tribe lived along the lower part of the Santee River, along the coast to the westward divide of the Ashley River, in present-day Moncks Corner and Dewees Island. Sewee, which means “Islanders,” were one of more than two dozen Native American tribes that occupied the South Carolina coast long before European settlers stepped foot on the coastal soil.

In 1696, settlers who retreated from Salem, Massachusetts, after the Salem Witch Trials founded “Wappetaw,” which is now known as Awendaw.

Like most Native American tribes, the Sewee people were impacted by diseases and warfare. However, their mark on the land still stands today in the form of a shell mound.

The Awendaw Sewee Shell Mound is one of the oldest and northernmost mounds found along the Carolina coast and is comprised mainly of oyster shells. Similar Native American shell rings can also be found in Mount Pleasant and Hilton Head Island. According to archeologists, the Sewee mound is believed to be roughly 4,000 years old. While it is generally thought that the mound was a dumping ground for old oyster shells, there are theories that the shell rings served a ceremonial purpose.

The Sewee Shell Ring is located near a preserved freshwater marsh, and the site can be seen from a new trail in the Francis Marion National Forest that reopened in 2022, replacing the wooden boardwalk with a fiberglass structure that is designed to last longer and withstand storms. The one-mile self-guided trail features five interpretive stops and views of wildflowers, salt marsh and tidal creeks. It’s a perfect way to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Lowcountry and experience the land where the Sewee once lived.

While little information remains about the daily lives of the Sewee people, local historians and the Town of Awendaw have made an effort to research and remember these Native Americans who lived, hunted and fished in this area. The Sewee name can be found at various establishments throughout Awendaw, such as the Sewee Outpost store, the See Wee Restaurant, the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center.

Whether you’re just visiting the area or taking up permanent residence in Awendaw, be sure to plan a trip to the Francis Marion National Forest and allow yourself to walk in the woods, be surrounded by the unspoiled beauty of the Lowcountry, and visit the historic shell ring to pay tribute to Awendaw’s first residents.

Editorial: Awendaw must rise to challenge of new development

The town of Awendaw was incorporated more than three decades ago, not so much to provide municipal services but to let residents control their planning and zoning decisions rather than relying on county government. In recent years, however, that job has become increasingly challenging because Mount Pleasant is running out of large developable sites, our region's continued growth is creating dramatic demand for more housing and Awendaw's location helps it retain much of its rural charm, wedged as it is between two environmental treasures of n...

The town of Awendaw was incorporated more than three decades ago, not so much to provide municipal services but to let residents control their planning and zoning decisions rather than relying on county government. In recent years, however, that job has become increasingly challenging because Mount Pleasant is running out of large developable sites, our region's continued growth is creating dramatic demand for more housing and Awendaw's location helps it retain much of its rural charm, wedged as it is between two environmental treasures of national significance: the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and the Francis Marion National Forest.

It's more important than ever that town officials recognize the growing importance and intensity of their planning work — and rise to the occasion to protect the relaxed, rural ambiance that has defined this part of South Carolina's coast.

There are some encouraging signs.

A year ago, we lamented proposals to develop two large subdivisions, with 249 and 204 homes respectively, to be served by individual septic tanks since there are no sewer lines in the town. Those are still in the permitting stages and we hope they will be scaled back if they're built at all. They certainly underscore the need for state regulators to consider the cumulative impact of large subdivisions with dozens, even hundreds, of septic tanks that can compromise nearby waterways, as they have done along Shem and James Island creeks.

But the encouraging news is when yet another septic-tank subdivision was proposed recently, the Awendaw Planning Commission voted unanimously against Sewee Landing's 72 homes on 50 acres. At the same meeting, the commission recommended an update of the town's planned development ordinance that these subdivisions had relied on.

Awendaw Town Council could consider both the subdivision proposal and the ordinance rewrite as early as this week, and we urge council members to follow their planning commissioners' advice.

Even when a septic system is well-maintained, it can face problems if the water table is too high, and rising groundwater can carry the resulting contaminants to rivers and marshes, a problem that's expected to grow more acute as climate change pushes sea levels higher. Awendaw's proximity to the pristine Cape Romain makes it a desirable place to live, but too many septic tanks too close to the refuge (and too close to each other) could taint the very thing that makes the area an attractive place to visit and to live.

These developments don't pose a threat simply because they would rely on septic systems. They also would increase the amount of impervious surface and stormwater runoff, exacerbate habitat loss and degrade the community's rural character.

Awendaw is a small town that seems to have been pushed around at times. Its deal for a new park to be created by then-Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey in exchange for Mr. Summey's right to mine dirt on the park site ended badly. The mining stopped in 2019, but the town had to sue to try to get an accounting of what was done there; the park itself is still a distant dream. In another part of town, the King Tract mine was allowed to expand even though it had been hit with more than a dozen water quality violations.

So we're encouraged that there's a proactive solution in the works. Awendaw is drafting a new comprehensive plan to replace one that's 13 years old. This process will provide town leaders, residents and others a perfect chance to forge a shared vision of how the town should manage growth, and they should make sure they make the most of this chance.

After all, the pressures on their town are only expected to intensify in the years to come.

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