CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – UPDATE: The Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) voted unanimously to deny a request “from the developers of the 82 Mary Street project for a change in use from office to hotel.”
The vote is in accordance with a January 21 vote, which denied the change of use request as well.
An ordinance passed by the Charleston City Council to strengthen restrictions on the amount of hotels being built around town is being put to the test.
In October of 2019 the City of Charleston adopted changes to an ordinance that limits the amount of hotels that can be built in the city.
Winslow Hastie who served on the hotel task force says the vision of the revised ordinance was clear and was something both community and city leaders agreed on.
“The major intent of the revised ordinance was to help prevent an over concentration of hotels,” says Hastie.
In January, the Charleston Board of Zoning and Appeals voted to deny the building of a 215 room hotel on Mary Street. The new ordinance will be tested at a meeting Monday night, when the developer asks for a reconsideration. Hastie says if the board changes their original vote, the ordinance is useless.
“If they can’t in this first instance find it in them to deny this then it would prove to me that this is a broken ordinance,” says Hastie.
Director of Planning for the City of Charleston, Jacob Lindsey says city leaders are focused on enforcing the ordinance:
“Well one of the things that Mayor Tecklenburg and City Council have worked on for years is to limit the growth of hotels in Downtown Charleston. We’re very committed to taking steps to make sure that we don’t have a proliferation of hotels downtown,” says Lindsey.
Community leaders and Charleston city leaders are aiming to maintain the historic and unique identity of Charleston.