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Charleston City Council, BAR discuss height restrictions downtow - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Charleston City Council, BAR discuss height restrictions downtown

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Members of Charleston City Council and the Board of Architectural Review concluded their historic meeting on height restrictions. 

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said tonight's meeting downtown was the first time City Council and the Board of Architectural Review sat down together in a joint meeting.

The two groups of downtown Charleston leaders want to implement zoning districts, instead of taking on structures on a case-by-case basis.

They are also proposing to measure buildings by stories instead of feet.

Charleston has been named the #1 city in America.

It was even dubbed the #1 city in the world and the #1 reason to visit is its historic sights and history.

“Charleston is so special in it’s built environment and it’s architecture because back in 1931 we were the first city to pass a preservation ordinance,” Tecklenburg said.

The BAR now oversees an area 50 times larger than in 1931.

It holds prospective builders to higher standards than the rest of the city.

“The city had already engaged in a study to improve the BAR and really this meeting tonight is a result of that,” Tecklenburg said.

The mayor said the lawsuit with the Sergeant Jasper structure was a wake-up call that updates were necessary.

“Of course, we saw in the Sergeant Jasper saga that these improvements were really needed to our ordinance," Tecklenburg said.

After being rejected for its height by the BAR, Sgt. Jasper sued the city and won last year. 

Sgt. Jasper gained unanimous preliminary approval from the board last night. It still must acquire final approval from the BAR.

Tonight's meeting with council and the BAR on height restrictions was only a presentation.

Jack O’Toole with the city said council members will vote on the changes discussed from tonight in the near future.

A tentative date has not yet been set.

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