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Mt. Pleasant Council votes against moratorium on building new homes

Photo Source: AP Photo Source: AP
MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) -

Mount Pleasant Town Council has voted against a moratorium on new homes East of the Cooper. 

Council voted 4-5 Tuesday night to reject a temporary ban on residential construction.

“Our schools are full. Traffic is getting bad,” Councilman Joe Bustos said earlier. “Everywhere you turn there’s residential building going on.”

Bustos proposed the temporary ban, saying that now is an opportune time for town leaders to pause housing development as committees such as the Housing Task Force complete their studies and recommendation.

He’s also proposing town council re-implement a permit allocation program to regulate growth.

“We had a permit allocation program for nine years and it expired,” Bustos said. “I think it’s time for it to be resurrected.”

In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau named Mt. Pleasant as one of the 10th fastest growing city in the nation. According to census data, the town’s population skyrocketed from 67,843 in 2010 to 81,317 in 2015.  Some locals said the growth and subsequent development is too much.

“We’re putting too big of a footprint in the shoe right now,” longtime Mt. Pleasant resident Craig Kroll said. “God bless Mt. Pleasant. I’ve lived here my whole life, but if it doesn’t stop growing, I’m headed out to Cottageville.”

While others debate whether stalling development with a moratorium could drive up home prices.

“That is certainly a concern,” Patrick Lynn, of Mt. Pleasant said. “Personally, I can’t afford to live in any of the houses in this area but I can see if you can’t build anymore, you’d certainly have an issue.”

“I understand people who’ve been here forever don’t want a bunch of people coming in, a bunch of buildings being built,” Elise Bradford said. “But it’s fast-growing, and it would help the economy out.”

In April, town council passed a 180-day moratorium on apartment buildings, also proposed by Bustos.

"As I look back on the apartment moratorium, I think the collective wisdom of council came through,” Bustos said. “They realized the growth was a little too much, and people, the residents, were angry. I think now with residential building, we need to do the same thing. More importantly, we have a lot of study groups doing things, and we need to wait until they get their studies done. We need to slow the train and put in some predictability.”
 
Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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