MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The Town of Mount Pleasant has settled the lawsuit with Save Shem Creek over the town's zoning code.
In a brief 10-minute special council meeting, council members unanimously voted to accept Save Shem Creek's settlement offer.
"They sent us a legal agreement, through email asking us to drop our counter suit, then they'd be willing to drop their suit," Mount Pleasant Mayor Linda Page said.
Save Shem Creek filed a suit in June 2015 following the plans for a mixed-used building near Shem Creek.
A statement from Save Shem Creek Thursday reads in part, "At this point in time, it doesn't make sense to continue a lawsuit that won't get adjudicated until after the construction of the garage is completed. Therefore, Save Shem Creek and the Town have decided to mutually drop the claims against each other."
Construction for the project began in November. The building will house a parking garage along with several office and retail spaces on the lot next to Tavern & Table and Red's Ice House.
"The town has wrongfully taken the position that there is uncertainty as to where the zoning district boundaries are in the project area, and based on that perceived uncertainty applied an obscure part of the town's zoning code to allow the project's developers to intrude into the Marine District without going through the standard, appropriate and legal re zoning process," the suit stated.
Save Shem Creek still stands by its opinion about the project being "completely out of character with its location adjacent to Shem Creek, our Town's icon".
In December 2015, the Town filed a counterclaim, citing the group failed to follow the correct appeals process in the lawsuit.
A court hearing was scheduled for Friday for a judge to hear a motion on the town's counterclaim, however Page says it will now be canceled.
"It's a great day in the Town of Mount Pleasant," she said. With this settlement there will be no legal fees, no prejudice, no conditions, according to Page.
As for the future of Mount Pleasant, Page said it's very bright.
"I think this was an important time for the Town to come together. I think the citizens got engaged and I think we'll be a better community for it," she said.
"Hopefully enough members of Town Council can show some leadership and community spirit and at least make an attempt to do something that just might make everyone happy," the statement from Save Shem Creek continues. "Whether or not they pick up the baton we'll all have to watch and see, but we would like to take this opportunity to say that we are extremely pleased with the positive changes that have come about this past year due to increased citizen engagement. The best is yet to come."