Harleston Village NA issues statement on proposed “unbridled” development at Sgt. Jasper and surrounding area in downtown Charleston
Harleston Village Neighborhood Association (HVNA) statement on proposed change to Century V plan and zoning for expansive development at Sergeant Jasper and surrounding area
Charleston, S.C. – The Charleston community surrounding the Sergeant Jasper site is against the PUD and unbridled development as proposed by The Beach Company and its plans for the 6.4 acres from Lockwood to Colonial Lake and over to Barre and Beaufain Streets. The increased density, mass and scale, and other impacts, which would be a direct result of the passing of this Planned Unit Development (PUD), must be considered before further action is considered.
Considering information received in presentations about the proposed development, requests made by the applicant, and input received from numerous neighborhood residents, this rezoning request is oversized for these residential neighborhoods and the lower part of the peninsula overall. It is deemed to be highly incompatible with the surrounding neighborhoods and historic district on the whole. As noted in this comment from The Historic Charleston Foundation’s position statement: “There is no way that anyone could argue that the project as proposed is compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods and historic district.”
Kristopher King, executive director of the Preservation Society of Charleston and Harleston Village resident said his organization agrees with neighborhood residents. “If you have to rezone a property, amend the zoning ordinance, and change the city’s comprehensive plan, that seems to indicate that perhaps they are requesting something incompatible with the area.”
Harleston Place (a single family development at the corner of Barre and Beaufain Streets) co-presidents Corie Hipp and Luke Daniels noted “On behalf of our HOA, we feel the public should be involved every step of the way during this extremely sensitive project that would drastically change not only the fabric of our community, but the Charleston peninsula as a whole. That’s why we oppose the PUD designation.”
Harleston Village Neighborhood Owners’ Association, Frank Rupp states, “The Board of the Harleston Village Association, after considering information received in presentations about the proposed development and requests made by the applicant, and input received from numerous neighborhood residents, does not support the rezoning request, does not support the request to revise the definition of the Old City Height District, and does not support the request for an amendment to the Century V 2010 Comprehensive Plan Update. While we appreciate the communication we have had with the Beach Company regarding this development proposal, the long-term effects on traffic, the environment and livability in Harleston Village have not been adequately addressed and are major concerns.”
Mims Roberts, President of the 3 Chisolm Street Homeowners Association states: “The Board of Directors of the 3 Chisolm Street Homeowners Association does not support or endorse the application of the Beach Company to rezone the lots located at 310 and 322 Broad Street (the Sgt. Jasper and surrounding undeveloped properties) to Planned Unit Development( Rezoning Item 5); to remove these properties from the Old City Height District (ordinance Amendments Item 1), and to redefine these properties as “Urban Core” as defined in the City’s Comprehensive Plan (Plan Amendments Item 1).
We recommend denial of these rezoning request until such time as the long-term effects on traffic, the environment and livability in surrounding neighborhoods and historic districts that make up the western sector of the City of Charleston have been properly studied and addressed.”
Some of the key concerns:
- The proposed mass, scale and density of this project will substantially increase already problematic traffic congestion. Forced evacuation during inclement weather would naturally create additional chaos. This project would more than double the number of residents, tripling parking and add substantive commercial development (proposed 25K sq. ft., 24 hour grocery store). The area simply cannot support the density desired by the developer’s grandiose plans for this quiet, historic residential neighborhood.
- The current infrastructure of the corridor is already overburdened. Formidable and frequent flooding in the immediate area demonstrate the existing issues.
- The PUD is a simply inappropriate zoning designation for this neighborhood.
- The public/neighbors should be involved in every step of the sculpting of this sensitive and rare site, offering beautiful and pristine, increasingly rare urban vistas of the Ashley River that should remain for all to relish and enjoy.