CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - "We need to remember that Charleston is not a theme park, it's a living city," executive director of the preservation society of Charleston Kristopher King said.
Concerns like the were voiced to City of Charleston Department of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability Tuesday evening. More than 100 people filled the auditorium at the Charleston Museum to speak to city leaders about the hotel growth.
Planning Director Jacob Lindsey said he understands the concern.
"There are 40 hotels that presently operate on the peninsula of Charleston," Lindsey said. "There are three hotels currently under construction and 15 in the pipeline."
The city held the listening session as planners wrap-up a 90-day study on hotel growth.
In February, Charleston city council rejected a moratorium to temporarily stop hotel construction downtown.
Instead, council agreed to the 3-month study.
"What we're going to do is come forward with smart regulations that really make sure quality of life is at the forefront for people who live downtown," Lindsey said.
That study will be presented to Charleston city council May 24.
The listening session Tuesday allowed people to weigh-in before the findings are complete.
Many, like Sue Flaster, came to the meeting, concerned with the impacts hotel growth has on residents.
"As it is, there are not enough parking places for the people who live here," Flaster said.
Flaster joined others asking for the city to reconsider a hotel moratorium.
Others came hoping the city will fully examine all aspects of hotels.
Lindsey assured the group, the city is not taking this study lightly.
"We're one of the greatest tourist destinations in the country and if we're not vigilant, we could be in place where tourism overwhelms downtown," Lindsey said.