Charleston City Council votes to extend moratorium on "Gathering Place"

Charleston City Council votes to extend moratorium on "Gathering Place"

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston City Council voted Tuesday to extend a temporary moratorium for "Gathering Place" zoned properties.

The debate continued at the public hearing portion of the city council meeting, where both council members and James Island residents expressed concerns over the current zoning ordinance and the status of the proposed plans for the Maybank Gathering Place project.

Phase 1 is already complete and includes the Standard apartment complex on Maybank Highway near Folly Road.

Phase 2 plans include another 300-unit apartment building as well as commercial space. Residents who opposed the project said the Gathering Place is too big and will cause more traffic to an already congested area.

Other aspects for the Maybank Gathering Place project include plans for a two-story 160-unit senior assisted living center. Some residents said the assisted living center is a good idea though limited planned parking remains a concern.

Currently, gathering place zoning allows for unlimited density.

"That part of James Island is not conducive to 600 plus apartments with undeveloped parcels that remain which could become apartment complexes," Charleston City Council member Kathleen Wilson said. "We've got several thousand islanders who've signed onto a petition. I have not seen anything this contentious in the ten years I've been on city council come out of James Island."

Charleston City Council unanimously voted back in November to first approve a 75-day moratorium, which was set to expire Jan. 27. Tuesday's moratorium will be in effect until March 11 to allow a council advisory committee to explore possible amendments to current zoning ordinance
and address residents' concerns.
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