Mount Pleasant board approves Coleman Blvd. development 6 months after denial

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:05 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 4:25 AM EDT

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Mount Pleasant’s Design Review Board has unanimously approved a development plan for a property on Coleman Boulevard after it was denied by the same board last year.

The developers for the property at 515 Coleman Blvd. want to build a three-story retail and office building with a roof deck.

The Design Review Board unanimously denied a previous version of the building in December 2021. It came back to the board on Wednesday with a different roof and materials on the upper floors, which qualified for a substantial change under the town’s bylaws.

Ahead of their decision, the board went into executive session for around 20 minutes to receive legal advice ahead of their decision, which left neighbors furious.

“I’m very upset they called this meeting the week before the Fourth of July when it wasn’t supposed to come back for a year after the review,” resident Jerry Colby said. “It got some so-called major redesign that made them say they can do this now. They did it because the parents were out, the school was out, and nobody would show up to protest like they did last time.”

The property’s developer declined an on-camera interview following the board’s decision.

Residents have opposed the building’s construction, citing traffic and safety concerns on neighboring streets, such as Rose Lane, and saying the building doesn’t fit into the area.

“The location of the entrance and exit is so close to the stoplight at the corner of Coleman and Simmons that it’s gonna be very difficult to get in and out of there,” resident Mary Hope Green said. “The biggest thing is that corner is currently very unsafe. A school crossing guard was hit there last October. It’s right by the farmer’s market for Mount Pleasant.”

They also expressed concern over the safety of Moultrie Middle School students across the street from the planned development.

“The last meeting was all about safety, and the reason why they denied it is because kids would die there,” Colby said. “That was the main concern, and today, it’s about changing a roofline.”

Board Chairman Rick Lambert said they do not have the authority to turn down a project because of safety concerns.

“We want to make sure that buildings are attractive,” Lambert said. “We cannot – it is not within our purview – to consider traffic or transportation issues.

Lambert also said the project will head to the town’s building department, and the developers can start pulling permits to get construction underway.

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