A Greenwood developer behind Break on the Lake – whose name is attached to an environmental permit regulating construction of a much larger venture – is seeking relief from state regulators, saying his portion of the work has been completed.
Builder Hugh Moseley said he’s being penalized for sediment discharges, runoff and other byproducts generated from the construction of cottages for the Villages at Palmetto Crossing, a mixed-used venture taking shape on 15 acres nearly Highway 72/221 East.
“Bill Gilbert is fixing to build two houses. How do I stop it? It’s my permit, I haven’t done any building in a year and a half,” he said. “I want him to build 100 houses, because I want the customers. But I want him to do it under his name. I want him to stop, yesterday.”
Moseley made the remarks during a Wednesday meeting hosted by state Department of Health and Environmental Control officials, who invited nearby property owners and county leaders for a discussion about the agency’s role in monitoring the project.
Gilbert, who was not in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting, said he and Moseley met earlier this month with DHEC officials.
Gilbert said he can assume control of Moseley’s permit or file for his own once state regulators have approved all conditions of Moseley’s project.
Meanwhile, a model cottage is under contract to close in mid-July, with construction expected to begin on two other units within weeks.
Gilbert said he also hopes to lure a breakfast restaurant and other merchants to the development.
“Yeah, there were problems with this project, and DHEC recognized that. There were things we weren’t seeing. The plan called for a sequence of events that were supposed to happen and weren’t happening,” said Chris McCluskey, DHEC’s regional director. “We continue to do inspections at various times through the life of it, and we have not gotten to the end portion yet. This is an active, ongoing project. We’re continuing to do our inspections until the permit is terminated.”
McCluskey said the project was referred to DHEC’s enforcement section based on issues discovered through various site visits and concerns raised by surrounding property owners.
“The person that DHEC is holding responsible is the person that’s holding the permit,” McCluskey said.
Wednesday’s meeting followed a March listening session hosted by County Council, where many of the same residents expressed worry over a plan by Gilbert to install dozens of boat slips near the lake’s shoreline.
Already, there are 32 county-owned boat slips in front of Break on the Lake, with plans to add 32 more.
Gilbert got permission from the county last year to add 64 more, pending state and federal approval.
“Here’s where I am. I’ve got everything to do with it and nothing to do with it. I haven’t had a bulldozer out there in I can’t remember when,” Moseley said.
Moseley said Gilbert is “doing everything right,” but is frustrated that the environmental impact of the entire project falls on him.
DHEC officials acknowledged the setup was “atypical,” with multiple parties having ownership interests on a single parcel of land.
“This is not normally what we see,” said Jill Stewart, director of dam safety and storm water permitting for DHEC.
Officials said Moseley’s request can be fulfilled, but not without more paperwork and analysis.
Until that happens, another option is also on the table – though it would require County Council approval.
“Would it be to our advantage to have some review before we issue building permits where you have a plan, and before we issue a single building permit on that plat, we have some kind of review that you are satisfied?” County Council chairman Steve Brown asked. “I think we have the authority under the building codes with what I’ve heard here, until this is clear, since this plan is still active, we may need to put some pause in there.”