West Ashley plan gains momentum, seeks City Council approval

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The future of West Ashley is one step closer to being set in stone.

Charleston's design review board gave unanimous approval for the new "Plan West Ashley."

"We have not had anybody pay attention to the things that are happening over here," said Charleston Councilmember Peter Shahid."I think that wake-up call for everybody was watching the deterioration at the time of Citadel Mall."

The Citadel Mall is just one of the places that could have a new look with this new plan.

As part of the plan, it outlines new plans for the area that would give it a "town center" feel with new housing units, entertainment facilities, and workplace spaces around the mall.

The plan also talks about plans to redevelop strip malls, create more crosswalks, expand pedestrian and cycle lanes, lower speed limits, extend I-526, and create more green spaces.

One man at tonight's meeting said he has some problems with the plan.

"I like the vision, I don't want it to be too crowded," Kelvin King said.

King said he is worried about the higher number of people coming west of the Ashley but also the higher cost to live there.

"A lot of what is going to happen is going to be overgrowth," said King. "The more you build, the taxes go up around here. I'm for it but there has to be a cap somewhere."

"I think if we did nothing at all, we're going to see an increase in prices," Shaid said. "I have already seen the sales of homes prices gone up already by us not doing anything. So I think people have taken notice of West Ashley."

Shahid compared the future of West Ashley to the revitalization of King Street.

"This is bigger than just King Street," he said. "King Street had such a big impact on the revitalization of all of Charleston. But you look at this massive geographic area and the massive number of folks who live in West Ashley. It's going to have a huge impact on not just west Ashley but the entire city."

The plan still has to receive final approval from City Council.

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