New waterfront signage prompts anger from residents


Ann Ladson Stafford is a regular on the trail off Mary Ellen Dr. in Wagener Terrace.

“We’ve been walking our dogs down here as long as we’ve lived in this neighborhood,” said Stafford, a nearby resident.

Stafford has been living in the area for nearly seven years.

Now, a new sign threatens her ritual.

The sign reads “PRIVATE PROPERTY,” and explains the trail belongs to homeowners only.

It warns non-homeowners using the trail will be trespassing.

“I absolutely don’t think it’s fair,” said Stafford. “I think the people in Charleston should have public access to the waterfront.”

Stafford isn’t alone.

Almost immediately after the sign was installed, people took their complaints to Facebook.

Some posts garnered more than 100 angry comments.

The homeowner’s association didn’t respond to our request for an interview. But a representative said over the phone one reason they installed the sign was because of a high volume of drug deals and criminal activity in the area.

Live 5 News requested every police report within a half-mile radius of the sign for the last month. There were 6 reports in total. Only one was drug-related, which happened 5 blocks away from the sign.

The only report on Mary Ellen Drive was a hit-and-run which had nothing to do with the path.

We also reached out to the City of Charleston asking for a comment on the installation of sign.

A spokesperson said everyone was surprised when the sign went up and their legal team is now looking into the issue.

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