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Summerville Facility Update

By Charleston Soccer Club Staff, 04/08/21, 2:15PM EDT


Dear CSC Families,


We hope you all are doing well and enjoying the spring season! It’s hard to believe that it’s April and the end of the season is quickly approaching. Over the next few weeks you will see our club roll out evaluation dates and locations, parent information meetings and additional programming options that will enhance our club! There is a lot to be excited about as we head into the summer months. 


On that note, we wanted to update you all on our Summerville Soccer Complex and below is a letter from our Executive Director, Melissa. 




Charleston Soccer Club Players and Families,


As some of you likely have seen, Dorchester County has taken some very disappointing actions lately, including notifying us that they have voted to terminate our contract for the use of Summerville facility. The important thing for you all to know is that we have a valid and current exclusive land use agreement, signed by Dorchester County, that is in effect until 2046.

We would like to provide you all with first some facts (all of which are documented and substantiated). I understand this is lengthy, but we want you to be fully informed. Feel free to share with anyone interested.


- We have a land use agreement (legally binding contract) that is in effect until 2046.

- The ONLY way the County can terminate the agreement is if we are in violation of the terms, and do not correct it within 30 days.

- We have, and always will, operate in accordance with the terms of the agreement. 

- The terms of this agreement are the same as governed Summerville Soccer Club's use of the facility, so this youth soccer club (and our predecessor) has been operating in that facility, in accordance with those terms, for about FORTY YEARS.

- The county first approached SSC in 2015 about supporting a new athletic facility (originally at a different site). They approached us again in 2018, where we agreed to support the redevelopment project and over several years assisted in the planning and sent representatives to support the vote.

 - The funding the county decided to use for a new sports facility complex (TIF money) apparently has extensive legal restrictions around where they can spend it (that is why, earlier this year, councilmen began referring to the property as "abandoned"). 


- Last year they told us they are moving forward with the construction, so whether we like or it or not, our lease is "going away" so we needed to agree to a Memorandum of Understanding and agree to end our current contract (FYI, MOUs are NOT legally binding). Here is the language for the MOU they are trying to force us to sign. It would allow them to terminate any time with 30 days notice. We cannot replace 25 more years of stable use for something that can be canceled on the whim of the council. 



- When I spoke with council members and expressed my surprise about being told they were going to find a way to terminate our lease, I was told "now, now, sugar, don't get your panties in a wad."

- When I pointed out the clause in the MOU that would allow them to cancel any time, I was told "don't get too caught up in the WORDS of the document." That is when we hired a legal team.

- In January 2021, the county informed us that having the facility gated was a violation of our contract and we had to leave the facility open. We immediately opened the gates, locked them in an OPEN position, and provided written notice to the county that we had done so.

- Note: In July of 2015, SSC requested county approval to install the fence and gates to lock it when not in use, due to vandalism and for the protection of the kids there. THE COUNTY APPROVED THE FENCE AND GATE before it was even installed. Regardless, we left it open.

- In February, we received a follow on letter stating that we hadn't complied with the demands of the first letter. (Note: gate was still locked open, and we had written notification to the County of such on 2/5/2021, which they also confirmed receipt). See below:



- This week we received a letter saying that due to us not providing" documentation" that we had met their demands (which is an out of line request and not required by our contract, but we did it anyway as we were still coordinating with them regularly on what a revised use contract may look like that we could agree with).


While I cannot speculate on their motives, we feel very misled that we were asked to support this project from day one, while the County planned to use funding that would ultimately conflict with our club's use of the facility that has housed youth soccer in Dorchester County for decades. Were they unaware of the legalities around the funding type they chose, or did they think they could easily trick or bully a "little soccer mama" (which is something I was also called by a council member) into signing away 25 years of use for 30 days?


We remain committed to the kids and families in this area (and also all the areas of this region who send their teams to play at our facility in Summerville). We have always tried to be good stewards of the legacy that SSC entrusted to us, and will continue to be good neighbors to the county. 


While we are moving forward with appropriate legal action, here's what you can do. Email the council members and other county officials involved. Express frustration, discuss the role this facility and club (and SSC) has played in your and your family's lives, note if you have seen the facility has been open. If you live in the county, you may also be frustrated that money intended for use on "blighted areas" would be spent sprucing up an already perfectly functional sports facility (we hosted SCYSA State Cup). I imagine there are far worse "blighted areas" where the county could spend millions of taxpayer dollars. 


If you were one of the Dorchester County parents who showed up to the TIF council votes to express support for the project, we understand how misled and upset you are and please reach out. Since all of you are part of the club and they asked us to support the project under false pretenses, express how you feel about that too. Anything you'd like them to know as they continue to serve in a leadership capacity making decisions with your tax dollars. If you send any emails, please copy Thanks so much, we love this soccer family!






Mrs. Harriet Holman

(843) 563-0196


Mr. David Chinnis

(843) 801-2326


Mr. George Bailey

(843) 563-2314


Mr. Todd Friddle

(843) 832-0196


Mr. Eddie Crosby

(843) 832-0196


Mr. William (Bill) Hearn (Chairman)

(843) 442-5787 


Mr. Jay Byars (Vice-Chairman) 

(843) 324-6732


Daniel T. Prentice <-This is who has sent us the MOU and letters

Deputy County Administrator

Dorchester County Government

201 Johnston Street, St. George, SC 29477

Office: (843) 563-0103



Can also email Daniel's boss Jason Ward

County Administrator

Dorchester County Government



Rebecca Vance <- worked with her on the original co-branded concept years ago, she's still involved now but is the Town Administrator of Summerville. 


Town Administrator

Phone: 8438716000


Eric Davis <- was part of the fence/gate approval in 2015, and also worked with us since 2019 on the original project and concept, with Rebecca.

Parks and Recreation Director

Dorchester County

201 Johnston Street St. George, SC 29477

Office: (843) 563-0193



John Frampton, <- the county's attorney, who should be aware of how inappropriate this whole thing is and how much time and money will be spent fighting.

County Attorney

Dorchester County


Brad Mitchell 

Deputy County Attorney

Dorchester County


Thank you for your support and passion for Charleston Soccer Club. 


All the best,


Melissa Britton - Executive Director

Charleston Soccer Club