Call Collett: Containers are stacking up, violating city codes

Call Collett

Homeowners worry that a business, operating illegally, is driving down their property value.

Sally Andrews called Collett earlier this month because she was fed up with the deteriorating view in her North Charleston neighborhood.  Shipping containers are stacking up across the street from her home.

The containers are not actually allowed to be there, further frustrating Andrews.  

“Everything they are doing over there is illegal,” Andrews told News 2’s Rebecca Collett, as the two walked along the street between the homes on Andrews’ road and the container storage yard.

The New York based company, Carvers, requested permission to operate a container storage and stacking business on an 11 acre portion of a lot on the old navy base on Noisette Boulevard across from a school, Prestige Preparatory Academy, and backing up to a row of homes.  Across the street is an apartment complex.

In April, the City of North Charleston denied the request for a storage and stacking business on the site. “The heavy industrial use adjacent to these sites makes this location for container storage and stacking seem inappropriate,” staff noted to the Planning Commission. 

But they’re doing it anyway, and Andrews worries about what the containers actually store.  The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control already cited the company this year because they weren’t keeping accurate records of shipments.

The State Department of Commerce spokesman told News 2 this is not their problem.

The City of North Charleston declined a taped interview with News 2, but via email a spokesman wrote repeated citations are their only recourse.

We’ve issued them many zoning violations,” Ryan Johnson, North Charleston spokesman, told News 2. 

Through a  Freedom of Information request, News 2 obtained the citation records from the City of North Charleston against Carvers. The City first notified Carvers of two violations in November 2018. In 2019, the City cited Carvers  13 times. Each citation carried a $1,000 fine. But Carvers continued operations.

“The people on this side of the street can continue to commit crime all because of the number of zeros connected to that crime,” Andrews told News 2. She is frustrated the company is allowed to continue operating, despite being cited multiple times.  

Since the start of this investigation, News 2 learned the mayor met with the company. As of Friday, they were instructed to remove all the containers within 90 days.

News 2 contacted the company multiple times for comment, but they haven’t responded.

 In February 2017 the Department of Commerce announced the New York based Carvers would invest $13 billion into our local economy.

Andrews believes that’s why they’ve been allowed to operate outside of the zoning codes.

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