Conservation Development

harrell farm meggett pecan orchard

Our motivation for conservation development

South Carolina natives have never been shy to take up the cause of its gorgeous and prosperous state. Amidst shifts in the global and national economy, South Carolinians have historically  held to the view that the health and wellness of their people and places require a measure of personal responsibility. This wise outlook from a generation of hard knocks threatens to lose potency in a day of the quick dollar, but belief that South Carolina can still make important moves toward a thriving future, motivates our conservation development work at Holcombe, Fair & Lane.

The Connection Between Resource Management and Real Estate Brokerage

In the words of one of our founders, Jimmy Holcombe, conservation development is “letting the land tell you where to build (and where not to)”. It is letting the grand trees, the natural rise and fall of elevation, and the wildlife habitat areas speak for themselves rather than in-filling and clear-cutting for cookie cutter communities. Conservation development is a unique planned development concept that allows limited residential development while permanently protecting what is beautiful, wild and/or culturally, historically, or ecologically valuable about the landscape.

There is a real fear that property owners in Coastal South Carolina will allow the quick dollar to bulldoze long-term quality of life for all. Health, comfort and happiness are elements that can easily rise and fall based on one’s physical location and surroundings. For example, the quality of an employee’s work environment, a child’s neighborhood playground or, a state-of-the-art space to host business and community events, all have an obvious impact on quality of life.

At Holcombe, Fair & Lane, we recognize that the sale or lease of a Coastal South Carolina property is a crucial time in determining the trajectory of an asset. Our agents are local Charlestonians who grew up enjoying the charm of Charleston and the beauty of the outdoors. They have a passion for promoting the responsible development of both natural and commercial resources along the Coast. Keep reading to learn about more about just a few of the conservation development projects we have contributed to.


Selkirk Plantation on Wadmalaw Island is an 800+ acre property with established wildlife habitat areas and a scenic tree line on Leadenwah Creek, a popular public waterway. In the late 1990’s, the owner, Ms. JoAnn Parker, reached out to Charles Lane, the Broker in Charge at Holcombe, Fair and Lane, with interest in selling the land while at the same time, preserving its legacy as a cattle farm and recreation retreat. Lane proposed a unique conservation community concept for Selkirk Plantation that would be protected with a conservation easement, and Ms. Parker gave him release to run with the project.

30-Lot Conservation Development of Selkirk Plantation

Charles Lane eventually got approval for a 30-lot maximum conservation community with a pervious road. Selkirk has enforceable standards on construction setbacks, docks, structures and more. As a crucial part of the plan, Selkirk Plantation was permanently protected by a conservation easement from the Lowcountry Open Land Trust in 1997. To this day, the conservation and property values have increased and the protected landscape provides significant public benefit. Furthermore, the sale of the lots gave Ms. Parker a profitable return and an enduring legacy.

selkirk plantation
Scenic tree-lined frontage on Leadenwah Creek
Look out for Turkeys crossing Selkirk Plantation Road


About three-fourths down the scenic, oak canopy of Maybank Highway on the 3-mile Sea Island of Wadmalaw, lies Allandale Plantation Road. It is located on along Leadenwah Creek, right across from Selkirk Plantation.

allandale conservation property
Allandale Plantation Road Property on Wadmalaw Island

This property, comprising 87 acres of highland purchased on March 2022 for $2,000,000 is zoned AG-15, which allows subdivision into several lots – especially around the critical line. The agent, Huger Sinkler II, assisted his buyer in approaching the Lowcountry Land Trust, which holds the majority of the conservation easements on Wadmalaw Island. Together, they formalized an easement document that would permanently preserve traditional use and low-density limited development on the property.

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHT : Gregorie Neck Plantation

When the largest undeveloped waterfront parcel in South Carolina came to market in 2023, in a rare and widely publicized sale by private owners, the property’s future, along with the future of the surrounding area came into question.

The brokers at Holcombe, Fair & Lane recognize that the sale or lease of any property, especially along the Coastal Plain directly impacts the quality of its natural and commercial resources for future generations. Rarely has the area seen such an example.

Empowered by a combination of federal and private funding, The Nature Conservancy, a globally-recognized environmental organization, secured a contract and engaged the Open Land Trust in an agreement to place a conservation easement on the entire property. This easement will protect the property’s conservation values through limits on use, development, and subdivision.  The Brokers at Holcombe, Fair & Lane worked with the Seller and the Buyer to creatively envision a permanent outcome for the property that the Buyer may retain or sell.

Gregorie Neck will soon be the newest extension of two nationally recognized conservation jewels: the ACE Basin (Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto) and SOLO (Southern Lowcountry) Basin, comprising 500,000 acres of preserved lands.


Interested in Conservation Development?

The first step towards an investment in conservation development in South Carolina may be learning more about the process. For this reason, we have provided several topics for further reading: