Narrow Search

  • Show Only

  • Category

  • Narrow by Date

    • All
    • Today
    • Last 7 Days
    • Last 30 Days
    • Select a Date Range
    • From:

      To:


Comment Archives: Stories: News+Opinion: Election Guide

Re: “On election day, vote 'Yes' on affordable housing

You watch, the city will keep coming back for more money.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Randall Floyd on November 7, 2017 at 3:11 PM

Re: “On election day, vote 'Yes' on affordable housing

@factoryconnection, thank you for your constructive comments. I understand (for clarity, I'm not the person you referenced) that this plan is intended to help working individuals and families. Unfortunately, I think the ends are still very poorly met by this design.

Developers want to build affordable units and high end units and medium units. The problem here is a math and a zoning one. Vacant land in West Ashley inside 526 is worth $300,000 to $1+ million an acre, generally cheaper further out and more expensive towards downtown. The most common zoning has a maximum of 7 units per acre, but then all kinds of setback and frontage requirements that really restrict lots to 1/4 to 1/3 acre. So the "floor" for a single family residence in about every West Ashley neighborhood is $100k, just for the land, before you even count the value of the house.

This isn't something that can be legislated away or ignored, it's the common price people are willing to pay to live here.

A household with takehome pay of $50,000 would be paying 1/3 of their income on housing (including tax & insurance) on a 30-year mortgage of a $250k home. The only way for a builder or developer to get the price of units down to around $250,000 is to be able to put more units on that same 1/3 acre lot.

**City and county zoning regulations are the only thing standing in the way**

I have personally inquired about building new or creating a duplex on three separate properties with city planners **where there were already duplexes on the same street**. Every time, the answer is "no, that would not be allowed". The current duplexes were built before the zoning was in place and are grandfathered in but new development would not be permitted.

On another lot, the original house was built up right next to the street because the lot was very shallow. Going forward the city refused to relax the setbacks (even though the other properties on the same street didn't follow the setbacks) requiring something like a house that could only be 15' deep. Ridiculous.

To be fair, I live in a property that had two houses on it (legal non-conforming, grandfathered in) and the Board of Zoning Appeals let us subdivide and create two lots even though one didn't meet minimum requirements. The City supported this because it was already non-conforming to zoning and they viewed the new non-conforming part (narrower lot frontage than neighboring properties) to be less-worse than existing non-conforming (multiple houses on one lot).

Maybe the Board of Zoning Appeals would approve the placement of duplexes or a relaxation of setback requirements where it fits the neighborhood on those other properties, but that is a lengthy and expensive process. That adds cost, time, and uncertainty to the process, which ultimately results in higher, less affordable housing prices.

Citizens are concerns about dense developments going where there's already undersized infrastructure. The answer is to allow development close to major roads and closer to downtown. Guess what: those are the places where the city zoning is the most restrictive. You could put 10 units on Magnolia Rd. in West Ashley with no impact on traffic whatsoever. Amenities are already there to support the new families.

We don't need to spend $20 million patching self-inflicted wounds, we need to stop shooting ourself in the foot.

Side note: i'm not sure we really need to do anything for working one-person households. You can share apartments and rent rooms in group houses. This is the norm in every moderately expensive city, and there's absolutely no reason taxpayers, with thousands of other pressing priorities, should be allocating scarce resources to helping a few individuals upgrade from their mom's basement or shared house to a studio or one-bedroom apartment. Families with children do need consideration, although, again, city developers are probably the least effective at meeting their needs.

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by natehertel on November 2, 2017 at 10:31 AM

Re: “On election day, vote 'Yes' on affordable housing

Jeff Barnes I think you're confusing "affordable" housing to accommodate more levels of the workforce and a housing project. The problem being addressed is that workers in the city, ones with jobs and incomes and everything, are unable to afford to live here. Pushing the working-class person farther and farther out into the hinterlands, extending their commute 15-20 minutes per year places an outsized burden on low-income earners. This city thrives on tourism, an industry designed to use lots of low-wage workers in kitchens, cleaning staffs, you name it. Expecting people to spend half of their income on housing makes it all a house of cards.

There are legitimate arguments to be made about the best way to address the problem of workforce housing scarcity, but be clear: this is a program for WORKERS.

5 of 7 people like this.
Posted by factoryconnection on November 2, 2017 at 9:28 AM

Re: “Getting behind affordable housing and deciding the future of James Island and West Ashley

There is already plenty of affordable housing in Charleston, all one has to do is work a full 40 hour week at minimum wage to afford one night in any of the ever growing number of fine hotels downtown...VOTE NO unless you are an idiot riding a unicorn!

7 of 14 people like this.
Posted by EmpireInvisible on November 2, 2017 at 8:04 AM

Re: “On election day, vote 'Yes' on affordable housing

There is already plenty of affordable housing in Charleston, all one has to do is work a full 40 hour week at minimum wage to afford one night in any of the ever growing number of fine hotels downtown...VOTE NO unless you are an idiot riding a unicorn!

2 of 7 people like this.
Posted by EmpireInvisible on November 2, 2017 at 7:58 AM

Re: “On election day, vote 'Yes' on affordable housing

Why would we ever trust the local government to effectively manage this program? The County Council just had to buy a property for $33 million after signing bad leases...that the City of North Charleston had bought for $2 million 5 years ago. As far as has been reported, there weren't any extensive renovations or infrastructure work that justified the $31 million markup, just idiocy.

Meanwhile, developers want to build housing, and want to even build affordable housing. But affordable housing is dense housing in areas where the land underneath is so valuable. The problem is that local zoning won't allow builders to erect affordable housing.

What would ever allow the city to spend $20 million and meaningfully address the issue?-- an exemption from the rules for their projects!

Why not just change the rules that exist for current developers and let them build affordable units without putting taxpayers on the hook for the poor management of inept officials.

4 of 6 people like this.
Posted by natehertel on November 1, 2017 at 7:30 PM

Re: “On election day, vote 'Yes' on affordable housing

This is a huge tax increase on the backs of lower and middle class working people, which will be pocketed by our political hacks cherry picked developers who in turn contribute to the politcal hacks. A few cheap apartments get built, they move people in who don't work dont even live in Charleston now, nor do anything. In 10 years the apartments are trashed and they come back to steal more money from you. Don't fall for it. This is a tax increase on working families to pay for non working people's apartments

11 of 19 people like this.
Posted by Jeff Barnes on November 1, 2017 at 3:19 PM

Re: “On election day, vote 'Yes' on affordable housing

Does anyone else think it's a bad idea to let government raise bond money to build housing? And if they do, would you want the City of Charleston as a landlord?

9 of 12 people like this.
Posted by Ima Oldman on November 1, 2017 at 1:10 PM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

By the way, I can spell but I was ranting into my microphone.

0 of 2 people like this.
Posted by SHADY on November 12, 2015 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

Right on CIAculinarykid!!!as a person it's lived here my whole life, I am so sick of all these people moving down here. I never see anybody I knew growing up when I go out. Instead, people or actually amazed to meet somebody that actually grew up and is from here because that is all they know. We might as well run a shuttle service from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts. And I'm the one that can't afford to live in my own town. It's fucking ridiculous and I'm sick of it. Screw the sidewalks .... That will just cause more delays in traffic. Give me some roads and No more development. PERIOD. If you want to move to Charleston then buy house between Somerville and Holly Hill or move your ass out the Walterboro.

0 of 4 people like this.
Posted by SHADY on November 12, 2015 at 8:49 PM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

Epic fail!

1 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Allison Lee Avinger on November 4, 2015 at 5:11 AM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

CIACulinaryKid speaks the truth as I see it.

4 of 4 people like this.
Posted by Charlie Morrison on October 30, 2015 at 2:44 AM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

I like Ginny. I like John too. But whoever gets in is in for a few years of real miserable work and lots of whining from all of us that live here. We want to get off and on the damn peninsula in a car every once in awhile without sitting in bumper to bumper on Meeting Street for 45 minutes (Wednesday this week at 8 AM). I would like to use East Bay without a kayak to get over to my family's shack on Sullivans so I can go to the OD and drink lots of beers and eat oysters with all the other "elite". We are sick to death of expensive taxpayer funded stupid studies from stupid people from somewhere else telling us stupid shit we already know and giving us stupid recommendations that we don't use anyway. We don't want any more assholes moving here, we have enough of them, asshole quota has been filled until 2020....so fuck pumping money into tourism and "economic growth" for a few years. Pump that money into fixing the damn infrastructure. I have decided to be more vocal and less polite in 2016 and say what I really think at city meetings instead of Heyhowareyoulookinggood. I am looking forward to participating, no matter who gets elected, and to being escorted out each time. Somebody has to do it.

20 of 21 people like this.
Posted by CIACulinaryKid on October 29, 2015 at 7:24 PM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

So if she is elected is she going to actually buy a house in the City of Charleston or is she going to stay at her West Ashley crash pad and just 'summer' on the Island?

5 of 9 people like this.
Posted by nofaith on October 29, 2015 at 11:12 AM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

Fish,

Financial filings for all the candidates are available at the SC Ethics Commission site.

http://apps.sc.gov/PublicReporting/Individ…

Ms. Deerin's filings are pretty dull. She's definitely taking money from quasi-legal donors contributing more than the legal maximum by hiding behind LLCs (something the CP covered awhile back), but it's definitely not at the level Stavrinakis reached.

5 of 5 people like this.
Posted by mat catastrophe on October 29, 2015 at 9:58 AM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

Laurin, could you please supply a link to the publicly available list of contributors. I'm not as impressed with prolific fund raising by political candidates. It usually means they are selling themselves to the highest bidders. If Ginny believes that Leon has been bought by the Beach Co., then how can she argue that she has not been corrupted as well?

If Sullivan's Island wants to be part of Charleston, they should become part of Charleston and pay the same taxes as everyone else.

4 of 6 people like this.
Posted by Fish Pimp on October 29, 2015 at 7:51 AM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

Fish Pimp, campaign disclosures are publicly available, so you can see for yourself who Ginny's donors are. It's a broad, diverse set. Arguably her biggest strength in terms of campaigning brass tacks is that she's a prolific fundraiser. That's the main reason I knew she could be competitive in this race. Not being the presumptive winner and the one who's been in public office for 10 years, Ginny's dollars were a lot harder to raise.

Ron brings up a great point about Cainhoy and other remote areas annexed to the city. People who are making a stink about Sullivan's Island have clearly already decided on another candidate. Ginny has satisfied the residency requirement to run for this office, so whatevs. The carpetbagger charge is silly when you bother to look at a map and at Ginny's resume.

5 of 7 people like this.
Posted by Laurin Manning on October 29, 2015 at 7:11 AM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

This whole "She lives on Sullivan's Island!" thing is an arbitrary and silly critique. Some of you need to take a look at a map of the city limits. Sullivan's is a lot closer to what people consider Charleston than many actual locations within the official city limits. You're going to tell me if she lived in Bumfuck Cainhoy she would be more qualified to be mayor of Charleston?

10 of 13 people like this.
Posted by Ron Liberte on October 28, 2015 at 11:51 PM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

Where is all of Ginny's money coming from? Is it her money? How much did she pay herself working for her charity?

If Leon wanted to split this city by attacking Ginny as an elitist puppet of the peninsula, he could. Perhaps your assessment of his stance against divisive campaigning is wrong? She's killing him right now, and he's not fighting back. Negative campaigning works. His mistake was to try an get out in front of this move by Deerin. It should have been his response to her sustained barrage.

Sullivan's Island is an automatic disqualification for me so it's disappointing that the City Paper is selling out their principles.

5 of 9 people like this.
Posted by Fish Pimp on October 28, 2015 at 11:10 PM

Re: “Ginny Deerin for Charleston Mayor

Mayor Riley was the best thing to happen to Charleston over the past 50 years. Mayor GINNY will be a close second.

3 of 10 people like this.
Posted by Becca G on October 28, 2015 at 7:08 PM
Classified Listings

Powered by Foundation   © Copyright 2017, Charleston City Paper   RSS