Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Mount Pleasant Town Council heard a recommendation from the Planning Commission regarding a requirement that all proposed new commercial buildings would have to go to the Design Review Board for approval.
The Design Review Board used to be mandatory, but previously elected officials removed it from the ordinance requirements several years ago at the request of the development community. The goal was to make the process more efficient.
Currently, developers have the option to have the town staff sign off on projects.
Mount Pleasant Mayor Linda Page brought the issue back to the forefront to give residents a chance to weigh in before a project is approved rather than after finalized plans come to light.
The move was approved, however, council member Mark Smith said that it went against making it easy for small business owners to do business with the town.
He said it was time consuming and costly.
The seven-member panel is appointed and remain as active members, but have not had to meet to discuss issues for projects such as architecture and landscaping. This puts projects in front of the public so that they have the opportunity to voice concerns before dirt is turned.
According to the town's website, “In order to maintain the sense of place of Mount Pleasant, all new commercial construction, remodeling and alteration activity must be approved through the commercial design review process. The design review process establishes a systematic and uniform review procedure for proposed construction based on the design review guidelines.”