Neighbors unite against proposal for Sergeant Jasper development

Neighbors unite against proposal for Sergeant Jasper development

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Beach Company is waiting for approval of their new plans for the Sergeant Jasper property. Since it was first unveiled, neighbors have started banding together and strongly opposing plans for an 18-story building called "The Jasper."

They're demanding zoning changes and height restrictions for historic neighborhoods.

Homeowners are also wearing pins around town that read "Size Matters, it doesn't fit." The height of the new building is their biggest concern with proposed development.

"Everybody is against it, pretty strongly ," said Luke Daniels, President of Harleston Place Association.

"It was astonishing to learn that they planned to build an even higher building than this. This building, we think, was a mistake, it shouldn't have been allowed," said Randy Pelzer, chair member for Charlestowne Neighborhood Association.

Pelzer has lived in the Charlestowne neighborhood, across from Sergeant Jasper, his whole life.

He believes the proposed 18-story structure, with luxury apartments, retail and office space will hurt the peninsula's skyline.

"It's unique in this country its something that Charlestonians have tried to preserve over the years," said Pelzer. "To stand out against our beautiful skyline would be a travesty."

"It's out of place, completely out of place with the surrounding building and architecture," said Daniels.

Luke Daniels lives on the other side of Sergeant Jasper, in Harleston Place. He's worried about the congestion the big new building will bring.

"We're already overrun with traffic and people," said Daniels.

Both neighbors are working with those who live around them, trying to come up with development ideas that they feel will be a better fit.

"Realistically, some town homes perhaps, some mixed used development," said Daniels. "And, a park."

"It just feels like development is on a track, regardless of people who live here. So, we're hoping to get a good balance," said Daniels.

The neighborhood associations are going to submit their own resolution to the Planning Commission on May 18.

They want to change the zoning where the Sergeant Jasper property falls, to a 55-foot height limit. That's about four to five stories high. That height is similar in size to the new Boulevard development in Mount Pleasant, which coincidentally, was also built by The Beach Company.

"It's no small building, by any means, but it certainly would not be the 200-plus foot building that they're proposing to build on this site," said Pelzer.