CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The building controversy surrounding the Sergeant Jasper site continued Friday.
Mayor Riley and the City of Charleston's Planning Department met with stakeholders to discuss the building.
Friday's meeting focused on the future of the site. According to a statement by Beach Company CEO John Darby, no agreement was reached by the meeting's end, but the company is nevertheless encouraged by the conversation.
The remainder of that statement reads:
"The Beach Company is encouraged by the progress made regarding plans for the Sergeant Jasper site in today's meeting, even though an agreement was not reached. The dialogue was informative and productive, and we are grateful for the participation of everyone present. While we look into these matters further, The Beach Company will also continue to refine the alternate plan, retaining the existing Sergeant Jasper building.
The Beach Company wishes to thank Mayor Riley for his sincere efforts to engage all of the City's interested parties to resolve issues related to the redevelopment of the Sergeant Jasper site. We have enjoyed a very positive relationship with the City and Mayor Riley over his entire tenure as Mayor, and together we have achieved many beneficial accomplishments in the City of Charleston.
Likewise, we have great respect for the work of Historic Charleston Foundation and Preservation Society of Charleston, and we applaud all they have done to preserve historic landmarks in Charleston."
The original proposal was overwhelmingly opposed in a meeting in February. In November, Charleston City Council voted 11-1 to reject the Planning Commission's recommendation for eliminating the existing 3X zoning height limit in favor of a 55-foot cap for new buildings. In a statement, Beach Company spokesperson Hannah Nuccio said the Beach Company has never pushed to change height limits in the Historic District, but rather has sought to keep the existing limits designated by the existing zoning laws.
Many say the proposed projects are just too big to accommodate the space near Colonial Lake downtown. Neighbors near the Sergeant Jasper site are concerned about their skyline views and architectural integrity.
While Mayor Riley says he is invested in the project, mayor-elect Tecklenburg will likely have to continue working with the Beach Company when Riley leaves office next month.
No matter Friday's outcome, the Beach Company says they are committed to building a high-quality development on the site that will positive for the peninsula.