Tuesday, May 6, 2014
As one who lives, works and spends most of my time in Mount Pleasant, I can honestly say that the most talked-about local topic this past week was the proposed five-story office building/parking garage on Shem Creek. As yet, in my unscientific poll, I've not found one person who likes the design or thinks it's a good idea.
Yet, Mount Pleasant Town Council gave it a vote of approval last week.
The lone dissenter was Councilman Gary Santos, who also held a community meeting to address the issue.
“We need to keep the ambiance of the creek right there,” Santos said. “That building will tower over the bridge and become the main focal point of the creek. That's not what I want.”
Why only one councilman voices what seems to be the overwhelming opinion of residents is a mystery. There are two online petitions opposing this structure that will forever change the appearance and ambiance of the heart of Mount Pleasant. As of this past weekend, the petitions had a combined 3,000 signatures.
Not long ago, another councilman contacted me privately in response to one of my columns. He expressed his disappointment in my view about the town raising taxes and fees. He said my arguments were “Falling on deaf ears.” Well, in light of the fact that over 3,000 people have signed petitions against the building of this structure on Shem Creek, and all around town you don't hear people supporting this, it's easy to see who really has hearing trouble.
Can any of us imagine the city of Charleston allowing its scenic skyline and downtown ambiance to be forever marred by one, imposing, viewshed-altering structure? Can anyone imagine the quaintness of Sullivan's Island being lost to a mega hotel and resort? That is why it is virtually impossible for those who know, understand and love the quaintness and scenery of Shem Creek and the essence of Mount Pleasant to understand why anyone thinks this structure is a good idea.
Will Haynie has published more than 400 oped columns as a feature columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times and the Hendersonville (N.C.) Times-News when it was owned by the New York Times. His niche is as a humorous conservative. Find him on Twitter at @willhaynie or email him at Haynie.email@example.com.