HWY 41 Alternative Update #1

Like most of you, the Dunes West Board of Directors learned of the new Highway 41 Alternative through the media. At that time, the Dunes West Board immediately began to evaluate this new development and what it means for the future of Dunes West. In that time, we have been reaching out to other stakeholders, residents, senators, council members, the Boards of our neighboring communities and we are requesting a meeting with the Highway 41 design team. We have responded to dozens of resident inquiries both via telephone and email.

A Special Executive Session Meeting of the Board was called to order and conducted this morning.  During that meeting, we evaluated the impacts of this new proposal as well as the differences between the rejected Alternative 7a and this new Alternative we are internally referring to as “7b”. We have identified many areas of concern and have discussed a strategy forward. Portions of this strategy will rely upon you, the resident, to embrace your civil responsibilities and to participate. Don’t worry, we are going to help.

Many of you have asked about our legal options. Yes, portions of this strategy may involve legal options but we cannot disclose them at this time. Rest assured, the Board is evaluating any and all possible actions to take.

We know you are eager to participate and are passionate about protecting this beautiful place we call Dunes West, a place we call home. We are in the process of creating a document that will arm you with fact-based perspectives and talking points as well as the “who to contact” and the “how to contact.” This communication will be lengthy and may need to be vetted and approved for release by our legal counsel. For this reason, please expect to receive this communication tomorrow or Monday. We know time is of the essence.

Some areas of focus will be:
        • Safety & Access – nearly 800 households separated by a 4 lane highway with inadequate crossings and traffic signals
        • Failure of this alternative to improve the hurricane evacuation route as compared to Alternative 1
        • An increase in travel times (even over Alternative 7a) instead of the decreased travel times of Alternative 1
        • Increased pollution, destruction of wetlands, increased noise pollution, and destruction of county park property compared to Alternative 1
        • Significant increase in cost
        • Failure to adequately consider that the county already possesses the right of way for all 5 lanes of the roadway required in Alternative 1
        • Failure to acknowledge that every negative impact identified in the NEPA process that Alternative 7a possessed, this Alternative also possesses and in some cases, worsens
        • Failure to recognize that much of the traffic on Highway 41 will not be Dunes West/Park West residents, but as a result of the explosive development occurring north in Berkley County and their destination will likely be Highway 17

We will provide you with a more comprehensive list that explores these ideas in detail.

We thank you for your patience.

Sincerely,
The Dunes West Board of Directors