Ravenel neighbors pushed to breaking point over nearby dirt mines

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Over 70 neighbors on Hyde Park Road in rural Charleston County have signed a petition to present to county leaders asking for changes regarding several nearby dirt mines.

Andrea Dunn, a Hyde Park Road resident who’s leading the charge, says she and her neighbors, many of them senior citizens, have been dealing with issues stemming from the placement of the mines since 2007.

“This is the most diabolical situation that any senior citizen could ever be put in. We have nowhere to go,” said Dunn.

According to Dunn, a few of the problems include after-hours noise from the mines, speeding dump trucks creating safety hazards for drivers and killing wildlife, dirt/dust lining roads creating safety hazards for drivers when kicked up, rocks and dry chunks of mud on roads damaging cars, and more.

One mine, which became operational in 2016, is 150 yards from Dunn’s property line. The mine, owned by The Hyde Park Preserve, LLC, has a special exemption permit by the county to operate in a residential area. A list of conditions must be met by the mine, one of them being hours of operation. Per the permit, the mine is allowed to operate between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Dunn says many days she hears several dump trucks lined up along Hyde Park Road as early as 4:30 a.m. idling and leaving a smell of diesel fuel.

“We have water pumps running 24 hours a day, we got blasting going on,” said Dunn.

She says she has reached out to Charleston County hundreds of time over the last five years and does not believe the county is handling the problem appropriately. She also believes they should not have approved the mining applications in the first place as the road has over a hundred residents.

“They made a decision for this mine to operate and in their assessment of their letter to us, they decided that the activity of this mine would not be disruptive, and would not affect the community to any extent, and it would not affect the wildlife, and it would not affect the condition of the roads,” said Dunn. “That’s not the kind of activity Charleston County would allow in an established subdivision anywhere.”

News 2 reached out to Charleston County and received the following statement in response:

“Charleston County officials have been in contact with Andrea Dunn several times regarding her complaints against The Hyde Park Preserve, LLC. To address Mrs. Dunn’s allegations that the company has been operating outside of business hours, our Zoning and Planning Department issued them a notice of violation on March 3, 2021. Zoning and Planning has sent code enforcement officers to the site numerous times over a three-week period outside of business hours. During their inspections, code enforcement did not witness the company violating the zoning ordinance. The Hyde Park Preserve, LLC remains subject to ongoing, unscheduled inspections to ensure compliance. The County will suspend their operations should the company break any zoning ordinances.”

Charleston County

We also reached out to the owner of The Hyde Park Preserve, LLC and have not received a response.