Tuesday, September 2, 2014
The Mount Pleasant Planning Committee met on Tuesday to discuss the proposed setback for the upper floors of structures on properties allowed 75 feet in building height in the Coleman-Ben Sawyer Boulevard section of the urban corridor. The consideration is to allow a limited building height of less than 75 feet immediately along the street frontage while any greater heights up to 75 feet would be located in the center of the development or building.
The idea came from Councilman Paul Gawrych last month during discussion of building heights – an issue vocal residents have relentlessly brought before their elected officials. Gawrych said the idea is a compromise of sorts.
Planning Director Christianne Farrell said the current ordinance calls for buildings with 75-foot approvals to have a minimum of two floors and a maximum of six floors – all with measurements to the eave. The properties with the 75-foot approval include Moultrie Plaza Shopping Center, Sea Island Shopping Center and The Boulevard – already constructed at approximately 60 feet.
Planning Committee Chairman Thomasena Stokes-Marhsall began dialogue with two property owners with the 75-foot approval, looking for a solution or recommendation. Both understand the overall big picture of the Coleman Revitalization Project (CRAB), she said. One of them participated in the CRAB, and as property owners, they are open minded to working with town staff to come up with a recommendation that will be acceptable to the two property owners and residents in those surrounding areas, she said.
Council member Gary Santos spoke at the meeting and worries that the total height could easily be 90 feet if not measured to the highest part of the building.
He asked that staff look at the way they measure buildings so the average person will understand when they see it.
Stokes-Marshall said she did not prefer putting any specific parameters or stipulations as part of the deliberation process with property owners.
“This is a package we're asking staff to look at in totality and come back with a recommendation to this committee,” she said.
She hoped that staff would meet with all three property owners to collaborate – aiming for a decision and recommendation concerning placement of 75-foot structures in the interior of a property and cascading in lower tiers as a buildings move out towards the street.
Committee member Mark Smith made the motion in agreement with Stokes-Marshall's suggestion. The motion was approved unanimously.
In other news, properties along Coleman, currently not annexed into the Town of Mount Pleasant, are continually being added at the request of the various property owners. In addition, a property owner along Sweetgrass Parkway has announced plans to propose a hotel development.
New, more beneficial signs will soon be found along the roads leading to East Cooper Medical Center, better directing people to the right place, whether it be the medical offices or the hospital itself. This will include directional and monument-type signs.