Could changes be on the way to Charleston’s carriage horse ordinance?

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Some changes could be on the way to the City of Charleston’s horse carriage ordinance.

City leaders say horse advocates brought a plan for changes to the city ordinance to their attention last year, and city leaders put together what they believe is a plan that addresses several their concerns.

“Over a period of about seven months city staff met, and we reviewed the Charleston carriage horse advocate’s ordinance and we agreed with quite a bit of it; we amended it and proposed a preliminary ordinance that we felt were legal and practical to enforce,” said Dan Riccio, Charleston Director of Livability and Tourism.

The changes were presented to both horse advocates and leaders in the carriage and history industry, who also provided some feedback on the potential changes.


“We’re looking at a few different items,” said Riccio. “One being implementing a carriage license to operate a carriage. Currently, there is no requirement for the driver to have an actual carriage horse license.”

There would also be a background check for drivers.

“The others are training, design, safety, and compliance – also emergency procedures and passenger safety,” he said.

Things like where children can sit on a carriage or making sure each carriage is equipped with something that would allow the horse to quickly be removed from the carriage in an emergency.

The subcommittees will see the original proposals which the horse advocates suggested, the proposal the city staff made, and changes the carriage industry is proposing.

“They will review the process and either approve, disapprove or ask for changes to be made.”

Three different subcommittees will be meeting for the next three nights. Once the ordinance makes it out of the subcommittees, the tourism commission will have to pass it before it goes on to the full city council. There is no word on when that may happen.

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