Council Votes to Allow Kuwait-owned Firm to Develop Island

The Charleston County Council rejected protests from Charleston Jews and conservationists and voted preliminary approval to a zoning change to allow a Kuwait-owned corporation to develop a barrier island near Charleston into a luxury resort. Local environmental and Jewish groups had lobbied strongly against the proposal since the Kuwait sheikhdom and Kuwait investors purchased the 5500-acre Kiawah Island for $17 million in 1974.

The vote last Thursday by the council members, acting as the council’s finance committee, apparently cleared the way for a full council approval next month of a change in the classification of the island from general agricultural to a planned development area.

Frank Epstein, attorney for the Kiawah Defense Fund, which was organized by local environmental groups to battle the Kuwait project, said that the issue might be taken to the courts. In response to objections from the Charleston Jewish community, the Kuwait-owned corporation issued a non-discrimination pledge, which was made part of the preliminary approval vote by the council.

NEXT STORY