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City Council votes to maintain 3X height zoning for Sergeant Jasper site, others

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Staff Report
Published Nov. 25, 2015

Charleston City Council voted Tuesday night against changing the height zoning on nine plots of land on the peninsula, including the Sergeant Jasper Apartments site.

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The Beach Co., which has been trying to redevelop the site at 310 and 322 Broad St. for more than a year, released a statement after the vote saying the company is pleased with the decision.

“By putting a stop to the unprecedented proposed zoning change, the council is upholding established property rights and acting in the best interests of the city of Charleston and residents,” the statement said. “The Beach Co. remains committed to building a high-quality mixed-use development on the Sergeant Jasper site that is a positive addition to this special part of the peninsula.”

In late October, the city’s Planning Commission voted to change the height zoning from 3X, meaning the maximum height is three times the distance from the building to the center of the street, to 55/30, under which buildings must be between 30 feet and 55 feet tall.

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and members of The Beach Co. spoke out against the commission’s proposal. The chamber sent a letter to Mayor Joe Riley and City Council members saying property owners will “never be able to trust the process that is in place” if zoning laws are changed based on “feedback from a select few residents.”

In addition to the Sergeant Jasper site, the vote to maintain 3X height zoning applies to the corner of Calhoun and King streets, including the Francis Marion Hotel, the city parking garage, St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, the new Bennett Hospitality hotel under construction at the northwest corner of Marion Square and two properties owned by the College of Charleston.

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