Mount Pleasant passes first reading of Growth Management Plan

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Mt. Pleasant is one of the fastest growing towns in the country. This week, town leaders approved the first reading of a plan to manage that growth, but not everyone is on board with those plans.

"Mount Pleasant is the fourth largest municipality in the state of South Carolina. We've been identified as the top ten fastest growing municipalities in the United States," said Mayor Linda Page of Mount Pleasant.

That's why Page is trying to make some changes when it comes to development in the town.

"How do we keep it quaint? How do we keep it with that small town feel," said Page.

The new plan focuses on slowing development by getting rid of bonuses for developers who want to build more than the town allows. These were put in place years ago when the economy wasn't as good, and Mount Pleasant was trying to attract new residents and developers. The plan  was initially approved this week, but still has to go before the planning commission.

"This is not a final product this is a framework," said Page.

Some community organizations disagree with these proposed changes and think it could make living in the town more costly in the long run.

"Eliminating the bonus density means developers don't have any way to build a diversity of housing if all of the lots are the same size," said Mary Graham with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.

"If you don't allow for densities in certain areas, you're essentially creating sprawl. You're having bigger lots and more spread out communities." said Lisa Turansky with the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League.

Meanwhile, some think the plan to slow growth is a great idea. Rebecca White says she's moving away because of all of the people flocking to the town.

"It's started to feel a little bit smothering, more metro than that small town feel that I was looking for with my family," said White.

"I think it's enough here for right now. Where are they going to go," said Mercer Gilliard, a resident in Mount Pleasant.

"My goal is to maintain the beauty and the character and the natural resources that we were built on," said Page.

The mayor says she also wants community feedback. There's a form online you can fill out and it will go directly to the mayor.

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