Drew Martin/dmartin@islandpacket.com

SC - Developers are killing the magic star of South Carolina’s Lowcountry

You can learn a lot in a week spent with 600,000 of your closest friends at Walt Disney World. I learned last week that the we have evolved from a species that walked four miles to school in the snow to one that would ride to the bathroom if we could.

Brigades of parents at Disney World push their children through the theme parks in baby strollers. Two-seaters, three-seaters. With kids eating popcorn with a little fan blowing on them, poor things.

All while the geezers are blasting through crowds on scooters.

They form a don’t-make-me-run-over-you battalion the Marine Corps should consider.

But this is something more important we should consider in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Disney has a plan that largely burst upon the earth with the 1937 debut of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

It’s a plan that works, and they are sticking to it down to each blade of grass.

But back home, we’re failing miserably at something that important.

Along the coast of South Carolina, we’re throwing away our birth right faster than you can say “VRBO.”

We’re throwing away the plans made by our forebears.

We’re building McMansions that block the sun when they told us to build smaller, muted homes that are hard to see in a yard full of trees.

Giant “homes” built for crowds to rent a week at a time are pushing out neighborhoods where people once lived for decades.

Citizens forged meticulous plans for the heart of Beaufort, to preserve its priceless feel and scale. But we now want to stack in hotels and parking garages.

The people spoke as one to protect the rural nature of St. Helena Island, considered ground zero of what’s left of America’s historic Gullah way of life.

Plans and rules to accomplish that were approved. Now St. Helena is being run over with plans for more of the same: gated communities with golf courses.

Developers are raping the rural beauty of Jasper County, a birth right that will soon be replaced by road construction, sterile convenience stores.

Ridgeland leaders are saying the same thing we’ve heard for 60 years. You all know the words, so sing along: It’s going to get ruined anyway, so we might as well be the ones overseeing the fouling of our own nest.

We’re clear-cutting massive swaths and slapping up homes as thick as Brooklyn.

The people doing it don’t care about our communities. They want to turn a quick buck and leave us to ponder where we went wrong while sitting in traffic.

The only hope is for more citizens to fight back.

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