The Advocates

The Advocates: Charleston Height District and West Ashley Revitalization

WRITTEN BY mwaldrop 1 year ago

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New Charleston height district plan advances 
Last night, the City of Charleston’s Planning Commission voted 8-1 to recommend changes to the Old City Height Districts. The changes would convert the current foot-based height restrictions into limits based on number of stories. The most current map includes zones from 2.5 stories up to 8 stories south of the Crosstown with some limited zones allowing up to 12 stories further north primarily along Morrison Drive. The shift to stories will allow for more generous ceiling heights, particularly in mixed use properties with ground floor retail.   

The proposed changes also clarify the Boards of Architectural Review process by adding principles to guide building design and removing the Boards’ authority to limit height on an individual project within a prescribed height zone.

These changes are the result of a deliberative, 2-year process led by City of Charleston Planning Department with Historic Charleston Foundation and the consultant team DPZ Company. The next steps are public hearings and votes anticipated at Charleston City Council meetings on June 20 and July 18.

Review presentations and draft maps from the City of Charleston
Read the Post and Courier’s coverage of last night’s meeting
Chamber members engage in West Ashley Revitalization input
Earlier this month, the City of Charleston wrapped up an extensive public input process on revitalization plans for West Ashley. The Charleston Metro Chamber, Charleston Young Professionals (CYP) and the Metro Chamber West’s Steering Council were highly involved throughout.

In addition to hosting a Business in your Backyard briefing about the project in March and a special Chamber member input session during the week-long planning studio in May, individual Chamber members participated in community input workshops and were invited to stakeholder and technical meetings.

One inspiring story comes from Summer Massey, a CYP leader and member of the West Area Steering Council. Summer used the public input process to teach her 10-year-old daughter about the value of civic engagement and opened her eyes to possibilities of a career in planning. Read their story here.

Information about the process and collected input are available at:
Among the 250+ slides capturing ideas and input collected over the month of public meetings are a number of Chamber priorities including completion of the Mark Clark Expressway, extension of the Glenn McConnell Parkway and better storm water management.

As the process moves from public input to an implementable plan, the Chamber will continue to be closely involved. A subcommittee comprised of members from the West Area Chamber Steering Council, Business Advocacy Committee and Infrastructure Visioning Task Force is already assembled to review and comment on drafts of the plan.

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