CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A Charleston city councilman is looking into possible changes to preservation policies on the upper peninsula.

Councilman Jason Sakran, who represents District Three, said he is hoping to create clearer guidelines when it comes to the preservation of homes north of Line Street.

His goal is to create more flexibility for homeowners seeking approval for alterations or demolition, especially when affordable housing is on the table.

Just last week, the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) approved the demolition of 51 Poinsett Street. Sakran said the longtime owner plans to use the property for affordable housing. While the demo now has the greenlight, the councilman said the request was denied in the past.

“It just seems odd to me that when we’ve got a project like this, that the gentleman is willing to build two or three affordable housing units at that location, we should be doing everything we can to reduce the red tape, reduce bureaucracy, regulations and allowing someone like that to do it and actually helping them do it,” Sakran told News 2.

Demolition requests on the peninsula are heard by the BAR. The board was created in the 1930s to help preserve and protect the city’s historic structures.

Brian Turner is the President & CEO of the Preservation Society of Charleston. He said in limited cases, it does make sense to create more flexibility for longtime homeowners or those who are facing economic hardships.

However, he pointed to other factors the organization is taking into consideration when discussing policy changes.

“If we allow wholesale demolition of homes in our uptown neighborhoods, we’re confident that the people who would be taking advantage of that are investors who may not have the best interests of those communities,” said Turner. “So, we need to be able to split the difference in the right way.”

Sakran said he plans to meet with local preservation groups this week, and with city staff next month to further discuss how to move forward.