We aren't guaranteed much as adults, but if there's one thing we can count on, it's that our bodies change as we get older. For men, that's especially true. One day you're lifting heavy weights and nailing your cardio regimen without having to stretch before or after. And then, in what seems like the blink of an eye, you start to slow down a little. You begin to notice aches and pains in places that weren't there before. You can't just go out for a night on the town, imbibe until your heart is content, and expect to wake up refreshed.
And while headaches and achy joints can be treated with ice and anti-inflammatory medicine, other aspects of aging aren't as easy to treat. You've probably guessed at this point what we're talking about: erectile dysfunction, or ED for short. When brought up to most men, those are two words that cause a guttural reaction of fear and trepidation.
While just about every man fears ED, millions suffer from it - almost 10% of the male population between the ages of 40 and 70. So, if you're beginning to have trouble performing in the heat of the moment, you're definitely not alone. You may be experiencing symptoms like:
Trouble Achieving an Erection
Trouble Maintaining an Erection
Less Sexual Pleasure
Inability to Achieve Orgasm
However, at Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine, we understand that stats won't do anything to address the stress and anxiety you're facing in relation to erectile dysfunction. You need a viable solution - a science-backed treatment that doesn't require strange pills or invasive surgeries. As a fully integrated multidisciplinary clinic in Mount Pleasant, we have what you've been searching for: softwave therapy for ED in John's Island, SC.
To fully grasp the benefits of using soft wave therapy for erectile dysfunction, you must first understand what causes ED to begin with. Put simply, erectile dysfunction is the inability to get an erection and keep it throughout sexual intercourse. You should know that it's not uncommon if you have erection trouble. However, if your inability to "get it up" becomes a common occurrence, you may be suffering from ED.
Erectile dysfunction doesn't just affect your penis - it also affects your wellbeing and relationships. It can lower your confidence, cause a large amount of stress that affects your ability to work, and may even cause contention with your partner.
You hear it all the time - as men get older, they often lose the ability to get erect. But why? As men age, the blood vessels in their penis start to fill up with micro-plaques, causing them to deteriorate. When these blood vessels deteriorate, it's more difficult for them to have steady blood flow. And that's the key to ED - having the constant blood flow to get and keep an erection. That's where the science-backed effectiveness of Softwave therapy swoops in to save the day.
Shockwave technology has been around for decades. It has been used at the highest-level research and medical facilities like the Cleveland Clinic and Memorial Sloan Kettering. However, Softwave therapy is a more refined, effective way to treat erectile dysfunction and also advance tissue healing.
Softwave therapy works by using electrohydraulic spark gap technology at its core. Its innovative design features a parabolic reflector applicator that produces very effective, low-intensity shock waves that are unfocused. Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine's Softwave applicator spreads energy to a large area of both superficial and deep tissue, creating a biological response that kickstarts your body's natural healing process.
For men suffering from ED, it is a revolutionary breakthrough treatment that doesn't require harmful surgeries or side effects from pills. In fact, it has been FDA approved for many uses, including improved blood flow, which is often the root cause of erectile dysfunction.Book Appointment
Unlike some more traditional treatment options, Softwave therapy gets right to the crux of the ED issue. It uses shock wave technology on a cellular level, helping to naturally heal body parts, like the penis. Some of the most common benefits of Softwave therapy include:
Additionally, Softwave treatments don't require much prep, don't have any sketchy side effects, don't require any numbing agents or anesthesia, and result in little-to-no recovery time. Sound too good to be true? Contact Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine today to learn just how effective Softwave therapy is for our patients!
Softwave therapy works by using efficient, effective shock waves that cause biological regeneration processes that heal your body using its own healing factors. It works like this: Softwaves are created via a high-energy electrical discharge in water. The voltage is discharged between the plus and minus tips of an electrode. The spark gap or arching causes an equalization of voltage between the opposing tips of the electrode, which causes a hot plasma bubble. This bubble explodes and distributes in every direction, compresses the surrounding water, and generates a pressure > 10 MPa within nanoseconds.
To sum up, Softwave therapy uses low-intensity, unfocused energy that is delivered by a reflector in parallel waves. These waves help open up the blood vessels in your penis, allowing more blood to flow. At Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine, our team of expert physicians will develop a personalized Softwave therapy plan based on your body and needs. With the right number of treatments, you should be able to achieve and maintain firm erections as you did in your prime.
A Softwave therapy procedure averages 10-15 minutes but may be longer depending on treatment area and diagnosis. A gel is applied to the surface area to be treated. The applicator produces pulses as the clinician moves around the treatment area. During therapy, communication with your provider is necessary to identify treatment areas and monitor progress.
Once treatment is over, you may resume your normal day-to-day activities. In fact, most patients can have Softwave therapy while on their lunch break. You don't have to worry about recovery time, side effects, or any downtime at all.
More than 50% of men will experience erectile dysfunction at some point in their lives. If you're over the age of 30, have been suffering from ED, and don't want to rely on pills or surgery, Softwave therapy may be for you. That's doubly true if you've tried traditional treatments like Viagra and even surgery but didn't get the results you hoped for. Many academic studies about shockwave therapy for ED state that this revolutionary technology is successful where PDE5 inhibitors fail.
In fact, many urologists consider Softwave therapy the most promising ED treatment on the market. The truth is, even if you're not battling ED, men can use Softwave therapy as a preventative way to keep the magic flowing in the bedroom. Some of the key reasons to choose Softwave therapy over less effective, traditional treatments include:
If you're curious why Softwave treatments are so popular for ED, the answer is simple. Prescription drugs like Cialis and others that "treat" ED often come with less-that-savory side effects. At best, these effects are just something patients have to deal with. At worst, they can disrupt your day-to-day schedule and may prevent you from enjoying a healthy life. Sure, some men swear by the "little blue pill," but most guys aren't aware of the hidden risks with drugs like Viagra. The following side effects can be common in both short and long-term circumstances:
If you're suffering through erectile dysfunction, it's crucial to understand why it's happening. The primary reason for ED is a lack of blood flow to the penis, which makes erections difficult to get and keep. Rather than relying on prescription and gas station pills for a quick fix, more men are using softwave ED treatment in John's Island, SC for an all-natural solution minus the side effects. With Softwave therapy, you don't have to live with ED, and you don't have to suffer from scary side effects from popping too many pills.Book Appointment
Softwave therapy is often a more effective solution for men with ED than similar but less effective treatments using pressure waves. Softwave therapy from Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine uses acoustic pulses or unfocused shockwaves with fast and steep rise times and high positive pressure. Our unfocused wave design makes it possible to spread energy to a larger area, which affects deep and superficial tissue. By targeting a larger area, a more potent biological response is often achieved, initiating your body's natural healing factors.
By comparison, radial pressure waves use acoustic pneumatic pulses with low steeping effects, slow rise times, and large negative pressures. Radial waves are shallower than the shockwaves used in Softwave technology and focus energy and pressure at the surface of the applicator.
Here's a quick breakdown of the differences between softwave therapy for ED in John's Island, SC, and radial pressure waves:
If you're new to the world of Softwave therapy, chances are you've got some lingering questions you need answered. We'll do our best to answer a few of those questions here for your convenience.
Q. Has the FDA approved softwave therapy for ED in cityname, state?
A. Yes - Softwave therapy is FDA 510(k) approved for:
Q. Is softwave therapy painful?
A. Softwave therapy does not require surgery or any invasive form of treatment. With that said, some patients describe minimal discomfort or pain during our softwave treatments. Should this occur, your medical specialist will make necessary adjustments. Usually, patients do not have to endure any pain at all and only experience a pulse or tapping feeling on their skin.
Q. How long is a Softwave treatment session?
A. An individual session only takes five to fifteen minutes. It's typically recommended that patients have treatment once a week for three to five weeks. The length and frequency of your Softwave therapy sessions will be determined after you visit our medical clinic for a comprehensive evaluation.
Q. How long does it take for Softwave therapy to work?
A. Every patient we treat is different, and as such, will have different treatment recommendations. Often, patients notice the results of Softwave therapy after the first session. However, for the longest-lasting effects, most patients need between three and four treatments, with a week of non-treatment after every session.
Q. Can I combine Softwave therapy with other treatments from Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine?
A. It's hard to give a definitive answer to this question since every patient is different. It's important for you to have a full evaluation to determine the scope of your needs and the appropriate therapies. However, Softwave therapy often works very well with other treatments. In fact, other therapies offered at our medical clinic like massage therapy and chiropractic care can make Softwave treatment even more effective.
Remember - our team at Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine is always happy to answer any questions you may have about ED or our ED treatments. Give us a call today - it would be our pleasure to get to know you better!
Unlike some wellness clinics, our experienced providers work together to optimize treatment for men suffering from ED. We always strive to make sexual wellbeing an accessible part of your everyday lifestyle.
That's why, at Elite Healthcare Physical Medicine, our mission is simple: to correct the root cause of your erectile dysfunction by taking a comprehensive, total body approach to healing and treatment. We want to address your ED problem without having to resort to chemical-based medications or unnecessary surgeries. Instead, we focus on all-natural, effective solutions like shockwave therapy for ED in John's Island, SC.
By discovering what's best for each person's individual body and needs, we can help create a healthier future for those in our community through our holistic physical medicine practices. Contact our office to learn more about Softwave therapy and how we can solve the underlying causes of your unique ED situation.Book Appointment
The South Carolina Environmental Law Project is urging people to request a public hearing for a potential bridge to be built over Pennys Creek.Published: Tue Mar 07 2023JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Environmental Law Project is urging people to request a public hearing for a potential bridge to be built over Pennys Creek.Pennys Creek separates a portion of land from Johns Island between the creek and the Stono River. The two-lane bridge would be 33-feet-wide by 570-feet-long.Conservationists say t...
The South Carolina Environmental Law Project is urging people to request a public hearing for a potential bridge to be built over Pennys Creek.
Published: Tue Mar 07 2023
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Environmental Law Project is urging people to request a public hearing for a potential bridge to be built over Pennys Creek.
Pennys Creek separates a portion of land from Johns Island between the creek and the Stono River. The two-lane bridge would be 33-feet-wide by 570-feet-long.
Conservationists say that kind of construction work would affect the water quality and health of the salt marsh ecosystem. Betsy LaForce is with the Coastal Conservation League.
“We’re thinking about- runoff from cars and stormwater runoff that would go right into the marsh, but also just some of the shading and then the impacts from the piling,” she says.
The applicant is Mike Blanchard of Charles Blanchard Construction Corporation. The proposed name for the bridge is the Blanchard Family Bridge. The application is to build at Fenwick Plantation Road and St. Paul’s Parish Lane. That intersection sits inside a quiet Johns Island neighborhood. According to DHEC’s public notice, the purpose is to provide car access to private property where “access to public roadways is otherwise infeasible.”
South Carolina Environmental Law Project is concerned that the bridge will impact the estuarine ecosystem including some marsh habitat. The organization is also submitting a letter on behalf of the Coastal Conservation League. While the private bridge would access private property, the project argues that the negative impacts to the public waterway and ecosystem held entrust by the state are not worth it.
LaForce says there are a lot of questions about this bridge.
“There are kind of more questions than answers that have been provided in the application in the letter of intent as to why the applicant really needs this bridge to this island that’s already been under the same ownership for quite a long time and access via a separate bridge hasn’t been needed to date,” LaForce says. “So that’s part of the reason why this public hearing will be so important…to ask them to ask the applicant to provide a little bit more background on why this access is needed to the tip of this marsh island.”
The letter argues that there already is access to the land via Rushland Road. “The applicant does not appear to have detailed why this is an infeasible route for access” and that “their proposed access is not a necessity,” according to the letter. The applicant says he has been denied access through that avenue.
In a statement, the applicant explains his family has owned the land since the 40′s and sold off most of it reserving six remaining acres for their grandchildren to use. He says there used to be more bridges and causeways that fell into disrepair and have not been replaced. He says they have secured a permit in the past, but let it expire before being able to build.
Part of the statement reads:
“This property is landlocked and the only available access is by a bridge. We tried for 50 years to get access through the neighboring land between our property and Rushland Landing Road to no avail. We have met all of the regulations and were granted a bridge permit 3 times. If we can’t build a bridge, we cannot access our land.”
LaForce says they are also worried about development pressure.
“Some of the infrastructure that’s being proposed for such a sensitive ecosystem…so on our Sea Islands, we want to be really cognizant of these piecemeal kind of applications that are being considered whether it’s for new roadways, new bridges, and sort of the cumulative impacts that each of those individual budgets has on the bigger picture,” LaForce.
South Carolina Environmental Law Project urges people to submit a request for a public hearing to learn more about the reason for the bridge and potential impact to the environment. Neighbors say they are confident they will meet the 20-request requirement for a public hearing.
Public comments end on March 8th. For more information, click here.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Some Johns Island neighbors like the new traffic light, and some say it’s causing traffic issues on the island, but city officials say they’re working to make sure this new light doesn’t become a problem for drivers moving forward.The new traffic light at the intersection of Maybank Highway and Fenwick Hall Allee is causing quite a controversy a...
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Some Johns Island neighbors like the new traffic light, and some say it’s causing traffic issues on the island, but city officials say they’re working to make sure this new light doesn’t become a problem for drivers moving forward.
The new traffic light at the intersection of Maybank Highway and Fenwick Hall Allee is causing quite a controversy amongst Johns Island neighbors. Some are appreciative of the addition.
“This light I feel like it does help a lot,” Johns Island resident Liz Jannetta said, “especially for this community.”
Some believe it’s the cause of increased commute times across the island.
“Little bit of a negative coming back because it starts to bottleneck,” Johns Island resident Marek Pawulski said. “People coming onto Johns Island and leaving Johns Island.”
But Charleston City officials say because the new light has only been in operation for a week, no one can definitely say it’s the reason for the congestion.
“I would say it’s speculation,” Robert Somerville, director of traffic and transportation for the City of Charleston, said. “We really need to get some data collected.”
Somerville says Charleston County has already begun the process of gathering that data.
“They have counters placed on Maybank so we can look at the volumes,” he said, “and compare it to pre-installation of the signal to the volumes that we’re seeing now.”
With more than 80 accidents at the intersection, including multiple fatalities, neighbors in the Fenwick Plantation subdivision would like others to see why this new light is needed.
“I have three teenage kids,” Jannetta said, “two who both drive now and putting them, before this light came, having them make lefts out of this neighborhood it was gut-wrenching. I don’t even know what else to say.”
And though some people see the new light as a main cause for backups on the island, they understand it was installed for everyone’s safety.
“If this light came in for the purpose to prevent accidents and save lives then I think it’s a good thing,” Pawulski said. “But like you said, I think they need to set up the timing a little bit better so it doesn’t bottle up towards Headquarters or way past River Road.”
Charleston City officials say they will continue working on the timing of the light, and they’re urging all drivers to be patient during that process.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
The South Carolina Office of Resilience has announced they will be giving several million dollars to the City of Charleston to improve drainage on Johns Island.Published: Mon Mar 20 2023JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Office of Resilience has announced they will be giving several million dollars to the City of Charleston to improve drainage issues affecting around 500 acres of Johns Island.Stormwater Management Director Matthew Fountain said Monday the city is trying to build a naturalized area and a new s...
The South Carolina Office of Resilience has announced they will be giving several million dollars to the City of Charleston to improve drainage on Johns Island.
Published: Mon Mar 20 2023
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Office of Resilience has announced they will be giving several million dollars to the City of Charleston to improve drainage issues affecting around 500 acres of Johns Island.
Stormwater Management Director Matthew Fountain said Monday the city is trying to build a naturalized area and a new stream near the homes of the Barberry Woods neighborhood off Maybank Highway to reduce flooding.
“Getting this grant in helps close the funding gap,” Fountain said. “We’ve seen some huge cost increases over the last three to four years as everybody knows in construction, especially.”
Fountain said the $4.6 million grant from the state will cover about half of the project’s $10 million price tag. He added the city has invested a couple million dollars alone buying up nearby vacant properties.
Neighbors also shared videos of how extreme the flooding was during Hurricane Ian in Barberry Woods, with one neighbor who could be seen taking his children on a kayak ride along the street.
Fountain said the state’s grant money will help cover some of the construction costs, including tree clearing, digging out soil and reshaping the land. The project also calls for a 20-to-25-acre area complete with walking trails.
“The water can basically act like in a natural wetland system over the top of the stream banks and hold in the wetland areas instead of being in people’s roads and streets,” Fountain said.
A few years ago, the city, in conjunction with the Dutch embassy, brought over experts from the Netherlands, Europe and across the country to recommend ways to address flooding. Fountain said this project was one of those recommendations.
“How do you restore the ability of the land to handle the water like it used before you basically did all this development in the area,” Fountain said. “This project is directly looking at how do we take land that could be developed into something – commercial or homes – and basically convert it back into wetlands and streams like it would have been hundreds of years ago potentially to help manage the flooding challenges that are currently affecting the developed properties around it.”
Neighbors like Brian Mack said they are glad a potential solution is underway.
“We get a lot of the drainage from neighborhoods up the road, and it tends to pool down here in the middle of the road and come out toward our house and the back of the neighborhood,” Mack said.
Mack said his neighbors have to prepare in case of heavy rain, so they’re not stuck.
“Some cars have to park in the front and either walk barefoot through or put galoshes on just to get to their homes,” Mack said.
Fountain said he expects to receive these state funds in the next month or so, and they’re on track to start construction in about a year to a year and a half.
“It’ll take a little bit of time, but upon completion of the project, one of the advantages of something like this is you’ll see immediate improvements,” Fountain said.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
A new elementary school planned for Johns Island is making its way through the approval process with the City of Charleston.Published: Mon Feb 06 2023CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A new elementary school planned for Johns Island is making its way through the approval process with the City of Charleston.The construction plan went before the design review board for the second of its three times, on Monday. It’s a standard, but lengthy, process any builders go through with big projects in the city.Executive Directo...
A new elementary school planned for Johns Island is making its way through the approval process with the City of Charleston.
Published: Mon Feb 06 2023
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A new elementary school planned for Johns Island is making its way through the approval process with the City of Charleston.
The construction plan went before the design review board for the second of its three times, on Monday. It’s a standard, but lengthy, process any builders go through with big projects in the city.
Executive Director of Capital Programs Jasmeen Shaw explains the school is going to be state of the art and offer STEAM – science, technology, engineering, arts and math – education.
“The island truly deserves a brand-new school and we’re able to bring them a brand-new school which as well as alleviates some of the overcrowding that’s been caused by growth in the area – which is a great thing,” Shaw says.
The elementary school will be off of River Road. It is planned to be two stories and serve 700 2nd through 5th graders.
During community meetings last year – some people expressed concern about traffic. Part of the construction also includes building a roundabout on River Road to enter the school property. The project also includes adding a left turn lane from River Road to Brownswood Road and adding a right turn lane from Brownswood Road onto River Road.
“We’re going to bring several road improvements to the area, which is not only going to benefit the school which operates Monday through Friday for the most part, but even on weekends and as a whole, this particular school is going to be an asset to the entire community,” Shaw says.
Stephanie Yesil and her husband live in a neighborhood off River Road.
“Maybe it will help with the development of River Road and turning it into a safer place. Maybe adding some sidewalks, maybe adding some additional controls, maybe some new lights, maybe some new signs to make it even more family friendly. So, this could be a really good thing if it’s done well,” Yesil says.
She is a former education who says she doesn’t have kids yet, but supports investing in education.
“My husband and I hopefully one day will be parents but for now, I mean, we love our neighbors and almost every single one of them have new children and it would be really nice to make sure that this is more of a community-oriented place rather than having a bus kids all over the place,” Yesil says.
The elementary school is meant to help with the crowding at the Angel Oak Elementary, which is operating at 129% capacity over operating ability. The $53.5 million dollar brand new school will offer STEAM programs. Then, the Angel Oak Elementary building will be converted to serve as a head start and 1st grade center, so all levels are included. The goal open date for the school is the start of the 2024-2025 school year.
“I think education is always a great idea. I think there’s always going to be a need for it. I can’t speak to other city planning. I can’t necessarily speak to any other kinds of businesses that we should have over here. But you’ll always get a yes vote for me when it comes to bringing in good teachers, good people and giving more and more space for kids to go to places to learn,” Yesil says.
Monday, the design review board approved the conceptual plans and submitted the information to staff for a further focused review. The board made some aesthetic suggestions to the plans like more fencing around the back of the building, but overall supported the designs. Charleston County Schools says the project is on track and they expect to start site prep work in March.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
Nearly 200 historic trees on Johns Island were on the chopping block at a Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Dec. 7, and the debate surrounding their removal is stirring up questions about preserving the island’s natural habitat while planning for booming population growth at the city’s outer edges.Developers requested permission to cut down 193 “grand” trees across two developments in cases heard before the board, which reviews projects that need special exceptions to city ordinances.The grand c...
Nearly 200 historic trees on Johns Island were on the chopping block at a Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Dec. 7, and the debate surrounding their removal is stirring up questions about preserving the island’s natural habitat while planning for booming population growth at the city’s outer edges.
Developers requested permission to cut down 193 “grand” trees across two developments in cases heard before the board, which reviews projects that need special exceptions to city ordinances.
The grand classification means the trees are more than 24 inches in diameter, likely indicating that they are well over 100 years old. As a result, they are protected by city ordinance. Not only are the trees considered an aesthetic trademark of the once entirely rural island but they are also a key component of the area’s ecosystem and a natural flood prevention tool.
“The trees help us for resilience, absorbing water, supplying shade and wildlife habitat,” John Zlogar, chair of the community group Johns Island Task Force, told The Post and Courier. He is one of nearly 30 residents who submitted comments to the zoning board in favor of saving as many trees as possible amid development.
The board ultimately approved both tree removal plans with some caveats.
Developers of the first project, a 71-home planned community near Fenwick Hall Plantation, requested permission to cut down 21 trees. The zoning appeals board reduced that to 15. They also stipulated that the developers of the property must hire an arborist to create a protection plan for the remaining trees and plant 151 new native trees with at least a 2½-inch diameter.
The developers argued that after having an arborist evaluate the trees on the property, the ones slated for removal were already in poor health.
“We designed the proposed concept plan which ultimately preserves 36 grand trees and impacts grand trees only with a health grade ‘D’ or lower,” wrote Jenna Nelson in a letter to the zoning board. Nelson leads the development’s engineering team, Bowman Consulting Group.
If those trees fell naturally, however, they would have returned organic matter to the ecosystem, promoting other forms of plant life that provide food for animals and insects, said Philip Dustan, an ecology professor at the College of Charleston.
“When (the tree) falls down. it slowly rots and releases its nutrients,” he said.
Tree removals at the second project on Johns Island, called Wooddale, were also approved by the board. Instead of removing 172 trees as originally requested, the developers revised the plan to remove 124. They must also develop a protection plan for the remaining trees and plant about 500 native 2½-inch or wider trees. They also have plans to establish a conservation easement along the southern portion of the property, meaning it will be protected from development moving forward.
“Multiple layout alternatives have been explored by following the natural contours of the site by placing most of the density in the highest area to minimize the cut and fill needed as well as minimize the tree and environmental impacts,” wrote Jason Hutchinson, an engineer for the development with firm Thomas & Hutton.
The Wooddale project has been in the works since 2013 because of a lawsuit that hinged on disagreements between the city and the developer about how to zone the development. As proposed, it includes single-family homes, offices, an assisted-living facility and other amenities, according to site plans. Because it is south of the island’s urban growth boundary, it is subject to stricter limitations than the northern tip of the island. The boundary was established decades ago as a way to preserve the island’s rural origins.
The Woodale tract sits not too far away from Charleston Executive Airport where conservationists secured a win earlier this year. The Charleston County Aviation Authority signed off on a deal to place just under 100 acres in a legally binding conservation easement. An agreement with Lowcountry Land Trust will keep 94 acres from ever being developed there.
As growth continues within the boundary’s limits, some residents are trying to advocate for developments with as little ecological impact as possible on the southern side of the boundary line.
Dustan, who lives near Wooddale, is not pleased with the upcoming development. The most ecologically sensitive solution, he said, would be to build elevated homes on pilings and keep all the existing trees intact.
By removing the native trees, the surrounding area is robbed of parts of a centuries-old root network, which can affect the health of surrounding trees.
“A lot of the trees that you see are actually related to each other,” he said.
Although the development follows the city’s storm water standards, Dustan is concerned that runoff created by the new development will overflow nearby Burden Creek during major ran events.
After hurricane Ian came through in September, water was about a foot below breaching the banks of the creek, he said.
“The curious thing is ... if we keep building like this, we might start flooding the new communities, too,” he said.
Johns Island is seeing a massive influx of growth in ways that is not possible in more developed areas of the city. As a result, the island is seeing a patchwork of new developments separated by stretches of farmland and forests. Longtime residents want to see the city use modern planning tools to lessen the impact of new development on the environment and flooding.
“The area inside the urban growth boundary is only 20 percent of the island, let’s contain the growth in that 20 percent to make sure it’s smart,” Zlogar said.
A citywide water plan, which is currently in the works, will look at the city as a whole to see what types of flood mitigation are needed most and where they would have the most impact. Instead of tackling flood concerns on a project-by-project basis, the city is looking at ways to stop development that increases flooding and identify which flood projects need to be prioritized first.
Instead of trying to drain water as quickly as possible, the city’s main strategy is shifting toward effectively storing floodwater, such as in detention basins, and letting it slowly disperse. One advantage of this approach is that it helps prevent a sinking effect called subsidence. Shifting ground levels due to the movement of groundwater threaten buildings’ foundations and worsen flood risk. Forrest are a natural asset in this type of flood prevention, Dustan said.
“The best way to solve a problem is preventing it from happening in the first place,” he said.
The water plan will be worked into a new citywide zoning ordinance that Charleston officials are also currently drafting.
In the new version, officials want the zoning maps — the guide for what can get built where — to be based on elevation. High ground near major roadways will be fair game for high-density development, in most cases. Low-lying areas and wetlands will be restricted to little or no use at all. The ground rules for development will vary in each area of town. It’s an opportunity to set the framework for how Johns Island can grow in a sustainable way.
As these changes come down the pipeline, Johns Island residents will also have a new advocate in City Hall.
From 2010 to 2020, census data shows the island’s population within Charleston city limits doubled from nearly 5,300 residents to almost 12,000. As a result, in recently approved City Council redistricting maps, Johns Island will get its own council member for the first time in 2024.
How the city approaches tree preservation will need to be tailored to Johns Island, too, Zlogar said. The existing tree ordinance was designed with more developed areas of the city, such as the peninsula, in mind. There, developers are typically requesting to remove one or two trees in an already built-out neighborhood. But on Johns Island, developers are purchasing lots with upwards of 100 acres of land.
“We have a tree ordinance but to my knowledge there is no forest ordinance and that is the problem,” Zlogar said.
Every tree removed affects the overall ecosystem of a forest. And replanting smaller trees, even of the same variety, doesn’t have the same ecological benefit.
“It’s the equivalent of tearing down an apartment building and putting up a woodshed,” he said.
The other concern from Dustan and other community members is that the tree ordinance does not take a holistic view of the island. Saving contiguous swaths of forest is more effective strategy than saving groups of trees on a lot-by-lot basis. Having interrupted clusters of forest reduces storm water absorption and splits up wildlife habitats as well.
“We’re not seeing the forest for the trees,” Dustan said.