Town of Mount Pleasant to consider yearly limit on housing permits

VIDEO: Town of Mount Pleasant to consider yearly limit on housing permits

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The Town of Mount Pleasant is considering putting a yearly limit on the number of permits they approve for new housing projects.

On Monday, the planning and development committee discussed how they are looking to manage the growth of the town.

Marla Gay was not expecting the changes she saw in Mount Pleasant after recently moving back about two years ago.

"I've been gone 30 years so when I came back it was unbelievable how big it's gotten," Gay said.

Mount Pleasant town leaders say they are trying to get growth under control.

Town Council Member and Chair of the Planning Commission, Joe Bustos says the town needs to slow things down.

"In the past, we had a permit allocation system when we found we were growing too quickly. I think we are in the same set of circumstances now that the traffic is heavy, the schools are full, the roads are full so we need to make certain that the infrastructure is there to support our population," Bustos said.

The planning and developing committee discussed the idea of creating a permit allocation system that would limit the amount of housing permits the town approves on a yearly basis.

One proposal looked at putting a cap at about 700 units a year.

"It's my feeling that population and homes have been outpacing the ability for us to provide for those homes," Bustos said.

While most people who live in area agree that traffic is an issue, from a developers standpoint some say it's crazy to limit what they can do.

"I think they need to slow down a little bit to control the traffic situation," Gay said.

The committee discussed the possibility of putting a pause on new housing development for up to two months until new permits guidelines are established.

Town Councilman Bob Brimmer said he is generally not in favor of moratoriums and questioned if would be possible to restrict permit allocations in designated areas and not the entire town.

"There are people out there making plans and to slap a moratorium on somebody, I think, I don't know if the benefit really outweighs the cost there," Brimmer said. "I would like to see an allowance or exception there for those who want to build affordable housing."

A new permit system would have to get approval from Town Council before being implemented, and things are still in the planning stages.

"I just think we want to maintain a great quality of life for residents in town," Bustos said.

Gay says she loves Mount Pleasant more than any other area.

"I think the city is beautiful," Gay said.

If implemented the new guidelines would not impact development agreements that are already in place.

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