Council unanimously passes James Island apartment moratorium

Council unanimously passes James Island apartment moratorium
August 15 19:24 2017 Print This Article

Charleston City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday to continue the temporary apartment moratorium on James Island extending into November. The measure was previously rejected by the Charleston Planning Commission. The moratorium will restrict residential development to four units per acre. Councilman Bill Moody offered an amendment extending commercial development space limitations to 25,000 square feet, which was adopted.

The moratorium agreement was brokered by Moody, Councilwoman Kathleen Wilson and Councilman Dudley Gregorie, the Council members who represent James Island, and was supported by Charleston County Councilman Joe Qualey and Town of James Island Mayor Bill Woolsey. A growing number of James Island residents have become concerned about the impact of high-density development on traffic and flooding. Charleston County Council has yet to approve an apartment moratorium for the unincorporated areas of James Island.

There was an overflow crowd at City Hall with dozens of James Islanders present. Councilman Keith Waring praised those who passionately supported the moratorium, stating, “Thanks to all the people from James Island who showed up tonight. The (city) government does hear you.” He noted that he received a lot of personal contact from James Island residents on the issue. The Facebook group Save James Island published the e-mail addresses of Mayor John Tecklenburg and all 12 City Councilmen and encouraged its 3250 followers to reach out to all of them. Due to the negative vote by the Planning Commission, the measure required a 3/4 super-majority for passage.

Mayor Tecklenburg stated that the city planning staff is working on revised zoning density limits for James Island and that City Council will be able to consider the changes by Sept. 19.