The up-and-down debate about heights along Coleman Blvd.

  • Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sometimes softening the blow makes things easier, according to Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Paul Gawrych.

His motion at last week's town council meeting was just that.

He proposed that any 75-foot building be terraced. In other words, the height allowance would remain but must be moved to the interior of any lot while road-fronting portions of a building would remain at 55 feet. The idea is to reduce the visual scale of the building by hiding the upper 20 feet.

Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Gary Santos said this does not address the density issue. Congestion on Coleman is already bad. It's like putting lipstick on a pig. At the end of the day we're still going to have the density,” he said.

Mount Pleasant Town Council also reversed its decision from last fall to up the heights for 10 properties along Shem Creek from 45 feet to 55 feet.

However, this does not include the proposed office building/parking garage. That project has already been vetted and developer Tex Smalls intends to break ground this fall.

Gawrych noted that passage of these motions is just the first of many steps. The Planning Commission will next have to hold a public hearing and vote. Then the matter will come back to the full town council to vote on again.

Council also voted to approve mandatory use of the Design Review Board (DRB). In the past, developers have been able to elect to have the staff approve a project or to go to the DRB.

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