Beach Company CEO issues statement on upcoming Sgt. Jasper meeting

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The head of the Beach Company says his organization is looking forward to meeting on the future of the Sergeant Jasper project.

That meeting is scheduled for Friday at 1:30 p.m., Beach Company CEO John Darby said.

The remainder of the statement reads:

"In a City Council meeting last month, Mayor Riley proposed a meeting so that all parties concerned could take another look at the original proposed Planned Unit Development (PUD). That plan was overwhelmingly opposed by neighborhoods at a Planning Commission meeting on February 18, 2015. 
The PUD application was pursued at the request of the City, preservation groups, and neighborhood associations. Due to the unilateral negative reaction to that plan, The Beach Company withdrew the PUD. 

Since February, we have worked very hard to submit three subsequent plans to address many of the neighbors' concerns including: open space, setbacks from Broad and Barre streets, architectural integrity and the grocery store. 
The PUD presents many challenges. Since the PUD was taken off the table, we have come to agree with the neighbors that the PUD was not the best course of action for the Sergeant Jasper site. Since that time, The Beach Company has focused on bringing many new ideas to the table, which address as much of the community's feedback as possible within the existing zoning. At the end of the day, The Beach Company remains committed to building a high-quality mixed-use development on the Sergeant Jasper site that will be a viable and positive addition to this special part of the peninsula."

In November, Charleston City Council denied a request to change height limits in the Historic District, where the Sergeant Jasper stands. That decision came a month after the Charleston Planning Commission approved a recommendation to rezone all 3X properties to a 55-foot height limit.

It was at that council meeting that Darby argued changing the zoning in the district would be "a disregard for the Beach Company's property rights."

Mayor Joe Riley made a motion to hold the meeting between the planning department, developers and people in the neighborhoods to reach a new solution, a meeting Darby called "an opportunity to go back to the drawing board."

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