City officials one step closer to limiting hotels in downtown Charleston

VIDEO: City officials one step closer to limiting hotels in downtown Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As tourism continues to grow in the City of Charleston, so have the hotels used to accommodate them.

Thousands of hotel rooms are available on the peninsula.

On Tuesday, Charleston City Council members voted to move one step closer to limiting the number hotels in the downtown area.

Mayor John Tecklenburg has proposed different plans to slow hotel growth four other times in the past. The current proposal has undergone vetting through several departments including the city’s planning commission and a new hotel task force that was created in May.

Jacob Lindsey, Charleston’s director of planning, says the ordinance is supposed to accomplish three things: limit the growth of hotels, protect residences and work places, and create new funds for affordable housing.

If the ordinance passes, downtown Charleston would only be able to have four more full-service hotels. The hotels are usually the biggest most comprehensive types of hotels.

“We don’t want hotels to replace our work places and our homes,” said Lindsey. “ Also, for the first time ever if this is adopted, the hotels would actually contribute to our affordable housing fund. That would be a major improvement for quality of life in our city.”

During the meeting, city council members voted to amend the ordinance to include changes and clarification to certain language within the ordinance.

The ordinance passed unanimously through its second reading with some amendments. The changes included clarification to parking requirements and also lowered the number of years developers have to wait to build a hotel on a site that has served as an office or retail space.

Originally the ordinance stated that developers had to wait seven years and now that has dropped to five years.

City council members are expected to vote on a final reading at their next meeting on Sept. 24.

Copyright 2019 WCSC. All rights reserved.