Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Charleston City Council Slapfest Over Land Planning

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 4:16 PM

569f/1239739799-tim_mallard_corrected_resized.jpgTension is sure to run high this evening, as the Charleston City Council prepares to vote on a resolution that one council members says is an effort to embarrass him for making comments counter to the city’s planning agenda.

On its face, the resolution is to reaffirm the city’s commitment to the urban growth line, a regional agreement that limits growth outside its boundaries. But, attached to the resolution was a transcript of comments made by City Councilman Timmy Mallard in a Feb. 9 Charleston County Planning Commission meeting. Mallard was speaking in support of developers outside the boundary that wanted more than the one home for every eight acres the area is zoned for.  

In his comments to the commission, Mallard said the city and others “want to cram the density on the little triangle of the City of Charleston on Johns Island with these live, work, play five- and six-story developments are not only going to ruin the island, but they’re going to ruin the traffic and bog the island down to a point where traffic will not move unless some common sense decisions are made.

He also said he would be happy to welcome the development into the city. The resolution for consideration Tuesday also states that the city has been approached to annex the development several times and refused.

Mallard says that he absolutely thinks the measure is meant to embarrass him. He goes on to say that the urban growth boundary supported by the city is an arbitrary line that is only important to the city when it’s convenient.

“In the last 30 to 40 days, the line has become some sacred holy grail,” he says. “Maybe it depends on who the developer is.”

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