Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sorry Mt. P, you're not a quaint coastal town, you're a sprawling suburb

With love

Posted by Chris Haire on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Proposed development along Coleman Blvd. at Shem Creek - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Proposed development along Coleman Blvd. at Shem Creek

Hey Mt. Pleasant,

It's me Chris Haire. I don't know if you know me or not, but I'm the guy who finally figured out how you got your name. And I know you probably found it a little bit embarrassing to learn that you're named after lady parts, but it's really no more embarrassing than the fact that the economic center of your town is a shopping mall with a P.F. Chang's and a Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

I know, I know. That's what suburbanites like. That's what they're used to, whether they're transplants from Atlanta or Cleveland. They need Longhorn Steakhouse. They need Ann Taylor. They need Banana Republic. And if they don't have it, well, things get all zombie apocalypse-like real fast. Highway 17 is bad enough as it is without a horde of soccer moms wandering aimlessly about, desperately looking for something to do during the workday hours. Not even yoga class can fix that.

Which is why I'm confused about this chatter that Mt. Pleasant is some kind of quaint coastal town like, I don't know, Sag Harbor,  Kennebunkport, or hell, Amity Island.

For starters, you don't have a coast. No seriously, you don't. Yes, you're surrounded by marsh, and Shem Creek is a wonderful and charming place to get schnockered on a Saturday afternoon, but your streets aren't exactly packed with bikini-wearing teens and bermuda shorts-wearing grandpas with more back hair than a honey badger who lost all his teeth. The last time I drove down Coleman Boulevard I saw folks lined up at Page's Okra grill, not in lines sunbathing. Face it, Mt. Pleasant, you're not Haleiwa Town. You're Alpharetta Lite.

And so, I really don't get all this hate directed toward The Boulevard development. I mean, you guys have never really cared about over-development before, so why do you give a flip now — pardon my French? Johnnie Dodds is less a street than it is a strip-mall parking lot, and Coleman's not much better. Heck, The Boulevard is the best solution that's been proposed to address the problems with sprawl you've never addressed before. In Mt. Pleasant, development is like a rash that has been left untreated, and The Boulevard is a high-density salve that aims to cure what ails you.

Now look, you're well within your rights to demand height-restrictions along Shem Creek and Coleman Boulevard, and in the case of Shem Creek, they're welcome. I mean, we don't want high-rises blocking our Mich Ultra sunsets. All I'm saying is just admit what you are, and what you are ain't a quaint coastal town.


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