Committee holds public meeting to discuss Union Pier construction

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 10:31 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2023 at 11:22 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC- The Union Pier Stakeholder Advisory Committee held a public meeting to discuss plans for Union Pier construction on Monday evening.

The gathering was held in Downtown Charleston in a conference room inside the Morrison Yard building.

The committee that was present on Monday was put together by the Riley Center for Livable Communities. This organization formed the stakeholder advisory committee to guide the planning and engagement processes while working together with the community for public input.

The agenda consisted of seven topics to go over, but the fifth topic titled “Timeline” was presented by College of Charleston instructor and Riley Fellow, Bob O’Neill.

This was when the Union Pier became the legitimate talk of the meeting tonight.

“What we’re trying to do, [and] this is going to be a really fine line, is to move this along as quickly as we can, but doing it in the sequence that’s going to be necessary to get where we have approval, “ O’Neill said. “We want to be framed by the comprehensive plan. We want to be framed by the water plan. Those things ought a drive the discussions on the Union Pier site. It’s a very tight timeline to start with but we’re trying to make sure we get the sequencing right.

The dates on the timeline are without concrete days and times but instead are listed by the seasons.

The timeline is set to begin in the Fall. By the end of the fall, public input on the vision for the Union Pier will be initiated.

Other plans in the fall consist of meeting to review and advise on a planning consultant team, hiring a planning firm, and a comprehensive plan amendment engagement is also set to begin.

In late 2023/Early 2024, the Draft Comprehensive Water Plan will be released.

Spring of 2024 will be very important for the Union Pier. During this season, it’s projected that the chosen consultant group will share the planning design for the Union Pier with the public in hopes of receiving community feedback.

Also happening during this time will be three plans that are tied to the pier:

  • The city will release a final comprehensive water plan.
  • A plan to get engagement on the plan.
  • The comprehensive plan amendment will be submitted.

Following this, the Union Pier Planned Unit Development will be submitted to the Technical Review Committee. This process will consist of two separate reviews.

Then in late spring/early summer of 2024, the Union Pier PUD will be submitted to the Planning Commission.

Finally, in summer 2024, two things will occur:

  • Union Pier PUD will be voted on by the Charleston City Council Planning Commission
  • Union Pier PUD will also undergo its first reading by the council as well.

The 70-acre waterfront plot of land is expected to be a mixed-use district. This is expected to include affordable housing, retail, commercial and office space.

The process to start development on Union Pier seems like a never-ending process, but now with a timeline in place, there’s hope that this project will begin sooner than later.