News

The first step to becoming a better advocate for your community is awareness of the latest events and issues that affect Charleston’s character and quality of life. The Preservation Society aggregates pertinent local, regional, and national news and articles as a resource for the community.

Ponds Conservancy to present artifacts from archaeological digs in the Summerville area community
News :: September 25, 2017

The Ponds Conservancy will next month present artifacts found by archaeologists digging in the Summerville area community.

The event is 2-4 p.m. Oct. 15 in the historic Schulz-Lotz farmhouse at 324 Hundred Oaks Parkway.

New North Charleston apartments offer discount to first responders, educators
News :: September 25, 2017

North Charleston's newest apartment community opens its first units later this fall and is offering a special rate for first responders and educators.

Charleston region's economy humming at fastest pace in South Carolina
News :: September 25, 2017

The Charleston region's economy is growing at a faster rate this decade than any other South Carolina metro area, although its size still trails Greenville and Columbia, according to new report from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

'It's just not safe': Two years after Charleston's Rethink Folly Road plan, progress is slow
News :: September 24, 2017

Two years after a $500,000 study was developed to envision a new future for James Island's main corridor, efforts to transform Folly Road into a complete street remain on the slow track.

City should tax tourists to help pay for flooding solutions
News :: September 23, 2017

Which is worse: They didn’t know — or they didn’t tell us?

After years of dodging the truth, the city finally put a number on what it will cost to save Charleston from the rising seas: more than $2 billion. As scary as the $2 billion number is, the words “more than” should be equally chilling. What government construction project do you know has ever come in on budget and on time?

'Time-out' on Johns Island
News :: September 22, 2017

Is Johns Island built-out? At 84 square miles, it’s the fourth-biggest island on the East Coast, about a third of it in the city of Charleston and within a self-imposed Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).

West Ashley residents press engineers for answers about flooding in Church Creek
News :: September 22, 2017

There were more questions than answers at the public meeting Thursday about the flooding problems in the Church Creek drainage basin in West Ashley.

Flood, storm relief are achievable if leaders are willing
News :: September 22, 2017

It is now painfully clear that Charleston faces an existential crisis from storms and flooding. Irma provided the latest evidence that even a tropical storm can inflict extensive damage on a poorly prepared community.

Meeting tonight at Citadel Mall to go over flooding problems in West Ashley's Church Creek drainage basin
News :: September 21, 2017

The city of Charleston will hold a community meeting tonight on the flooding problems in West Ashley's Church Creek drainage basin.

The engineering firm hired by the city will share its early conclusions from 6-8 p.m. at Citadel Mall's center court.

Rest of Magnolia project site in Charleston is sold at bankruptcy auction
News :: September 20, 2017

A Texas real estate firm is set to buy 31 acres of the Magnolia property on the upper peninsula and is in talks to acquire the rest of the site, setting up a revival of the long-dormant redevelopment project.

CVB takes on staffing crisis threatening Charleston's reputation for hospitality
News :: September 20, 2017

Even though it’s collecting resumes from culinary school graduates and working food-and-beverage professionals across the country, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau hasn’t yet solved the thorny problems of housing and transportation that people relocating for a downtown restaurant job will inevitably face. So as a safeguard, the organization is now recruiting people who don’t have a background in the industry, but already have a peninsular address.

Emanuel AME Church being tented for termites as it grapples with major repairs
News :: September 20, 2017

As Charleston's Emanuel AME Church prepares to mark its bicentennial next year, church leaders are beginning repairs to make sure their historic building lasts at least 100 years more.

A fix to flood-proof Charleston could top $2 billion and take a generation to complete
News :: September 18, 2017

Days after insisting they had no idea how much it would cost to fully protect Charleston from damaging floods, city officials acknowledged they did have a number for the fix — and that price tag is huge.

A bold new vision for West Ashley
News :: September 17, 2017

Charleston’s suburbs haven’t gotten nearly as much attention from city officials and planners over the years as the peninsula. That is changing.

The city’s largest suburb is the focus of an impressively ambitious revitalization effort that has been in the works since earlier this year. The first draft of the Plan West Ashley master plan was released this week.

Chugging along: South Carolina commercial real estate market humming in economic boom
News :: September 17, 2017

Construction cranes dot the skyline. The stock market is on a tear. And the economy is on more solid footing after the long slog from the last recession.

A tropical storm surge sends Charleston an urgent message: Here's your future
News :: September 17, 2017

Irma’s surge hit as if the sea had been shaken, a 4-foot slosh that poured over The Battery’s walls and crashed through dunes. It filled area marshes like an overfilled bathtub and turned the region’s most important medical complex into an island.

Let Beach, new tax stop the deluge
News :: September 16, 2017

Dana Beach sounds like a man who is about give us the no-holds-barred debate Charleston has needed for far too long: What to do about the rising seas?

Let committee do its job
News :: September 16, 2017

Mount Pleasant needs a good comprehensive plan to help guide the town’s explosive growth over the next ten years. And by most accounts, a good and inclusive team of 34 community members is set to help develop that plan over the next few months.

Deal with flooding problems before it's too late to fix them
News :: September 16, 2017

Before reality TV became popular, there was a popular fictional television show (WKRP in Cincinnati) that began with the phrase “Wake up, Cincinnati!” Well, today Charleston residents are not on a fictional reality television show. Charlestonians are in a world of complex reality that no elected official in this state wants to deal with head on.

Housing protections at work
News :: September 15, 2017

One of the last relatively affordable apartment complexes on the Charleston peninsula will soon disappear only to be replaced by a massive new 300-room hotel and expensive new residences.

Chartres cleaning dusts off historic preservation issues
News :: September 15, 2017

Which do you prefer? The black or white Madonna of Chartres cathedral in France — neither or both? Your call. Of this much there should be no doubt: Historical preservation is a cause well worth supporting. But which part of that history is best preserved? Just selected slices of it? And if so, which ones would you choose to save, new or old or a mix? Let’s hope we can all agree on one thing: The novel concept of brand new history is an obvious contradiction in terms.

Draft of West Ashley Master Plan ready for review, community input
News :: September 14, 2017

The planning document that will guide the future of West Ashley is one step closer to completion. 

Dover, Kohl & Partners, the national planning firm hired to study and create the master plan for Charleston's largest suburb, has published its first draft for residents and city officials to review and critique before a final copy goes to City Council by the end of this year.

Charleston can't stop flooding, but there are ways to ease it
News :: September 13, 2017

It only took a glancing blow from Irma to turn Charleston into Sea World, which gets everyone talking about the city’s horrible flooding problems. Again.

Hard to avoid the subject when there are whitecaps in White Point Garden.

 

Charleston City Council approves $12 million bond to help East Side, funded by special tax district
News :: September 13, 2017

The city of Charleston's long-delayed plan to improve the peninsula's upper East Side is showing signs of life again.

City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan for $12 million in bonds generated by a special tax district in that area to fund capital improvements for revitalization of parts of the East Side, North Central and East Central neighborhoods.

Treatment of Flood-Damaged Older and Historic Buildings
News :: September 12, 2017

In recent years, many older and historic buildings have been affected by the heavy rains and flooding that occurred during hurricanes and tropical storms. The purpose of this booklet is to help building owners minimize structural and cosmetic flood damage.

Grapevine: A different kind of 'listening session' for Charleston short-term rentals
News :: September 11, 2017

Like a nice, quiet evening? You'll probably want to avoid downtown Charleston at 7:08 p.m. on any given Friday.

That's the precise moment when overall average volume levels are the highest in the Holy City, according to a new report from NoiseAware, a Dallas company that monitors decibels at short-term rentals, such as those offered through Airbnb.

Short-term improvements head to West Ashley while work continues on master plan
News :: September 11, 2017

While the long-term plan to revitalize West Ashley is still under construction, smaller projects to improve the Charleston suburb have started taking shape.

At its meeting last month, Charleston County Council approved the following sidewalk extensions which will help connect West Ashley's neighborhoods and commercial areas:

  • Sycamore Avenue, connecting to Magnolia Road.
  • Carriage Lane, connecting Ashley River Road to Old Towne Road.
  • Markfield Drive, connecting Savannah Highway to the West Ashley Greenway.
  • Orleans Road, connecting the Sam Rittenberg Boulevard intersection to Hazelwood Drive.
  • Stinson Drive, also connecting Savannah Highway to the West Ashley Greenway.
Irma a reminder about flood insurance in South Carolina
News :: September 10, 2017

Jennifer Fanning has been piling her floor covering materials up off the floor. She's been through this drill before.

In 2015 her North Charleston store was flooded out after heavy rain in August, leaving her with $300,000 in damages. Then rain came through the roof during the October deluge that swamped much of the state. In 2016, pools of rain from Hurricane Matthew leaked in through the walls.

Federal flood program suffers from bad mapping, politics
News :: September 10, 2017

One of the most heartbreaking photographs from Hurricane Harvey shows a handful of nursing home residents sitting in wheelchairs in waist-deep water. Their assisted living facility, like countless other properties affected by the flooding in Texas, was located outside the 100-year flood hazard zone.

Charleston's 34-year-old list of drainage projects not quite half done after $239 million
News :: September 10, 2017

It's taken Charleston more than three decades and almost a quarter billion dollars to upgrade less than half of the city's antiquated drainage systems.

The good news is the city has long accepted the problem. In 1984, engineers analyzed each drainage system for flooding issues and handed the city a punch list of areas that needed to be fixed, and which ones it should handle first.

Charleston should learn from Houston
News :: September 9, 2017

Phil Dustan is standing in the bow as his friend and neighbor Jeff Eddy gently nudges his ancient 18-foot Redfisher down No Name Creek on the Stono River. It is Sunday morning, silent, the water smooth as glass. A snowy egret abandons his post atop a channel marker as we approach. Eddy edges past some crab pots.

Saving Society Hill: The birthplace of the Pee Dee looks to its past for new life
News :: September 9, 2017

SOCIETY HILL — As Brian Gandy sifted through the soggy letters in a plastic bin inside the Coker Rogers Store, he realized he was handling pieces of history more than a century old.

His sense of excitement soon turned to a feeling of urgency as he brainstormed about how exactly he could salvage a deteriorating and irreplaceable part of Darlington County's past.

Drayton Hall's new visitor and education center taking shape near iconic plantation house
News :: September 5, 2017

Drayton Hall's new $5 million visitor and education center is steadily taking shape, despite recent heavy rains and mud at the plantation museum site.

It's arguably the most significant construction at Drayton Hall since its surviving plantation home was built in the mid-18th century.

Yes, This is Transit
News :: September 5, 2017

I always tell transit advocates that, if you really want transit, build a place. Successful transit connects successful places (and sorry, Andy Card, but a park-and-ride is not a successful place). 

Charleston launches civics workshop to boost participation in city government
News :: September 4, 2017

For new Charleston residents or novices to city government, a Charleston City Council meeting might be a bit overwhelming.

In a single evening, the 12-member body and Mayor John Tecklenburg can sign off on dozens of capital projects, grant applications, zoning requests and new ordinances — all of which can have huge impacts on the way the city functions.

Tough new rules on rentals
News :: September 3, 2017

Charleston’s Short Term Rental Task Force still has two more meetings to develop a draft ordinance to present to City Council this fall. But after eight months of meetings, the outlines of what that ordinance will look like are starting to take shape.

So far, the plan looks like a good one.

A Controversial Restoration That Wipes Away the Past
News :: September 1, 2017

CHARTRES, France — The pilgrim did not find what he was searching for. As a child, Patrice Bertrand heard his mother recount details of her visit to the shrine of the famous Black Madonna of Chartres Cathedral, 60 miles southwest of Paris. Now Mr. Bertrand, 41, of Nantes, was following in her footsteps. But he was perplexed by what he discovered: “The statue I came to see is not here anymore,” he said. The Black Madonna had become white.

Charleston mayor calls for African-American monument, plaque at Calhoun statue
News :: August 31, 2017

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg asked the city’s History Commission on Wednesday to consider adding a number of revised historical markers as well as some new monuments across the city in an effort to create a more balanced narrative of Confederate-related history.

Charleston Harbor deepening funds finance 600-acre conservation deal
News :: August 30, 2017

A conservation group has purchased about 600 acres near the east branch of the Cooper River through a preservation program tied to the Charleston Harbor deepening project.

Charleston's History Commission to discuss mayor's call for fuller story of Confederate monuments
News :: August 30, 2017

The city of Charleston's History Commission on Wednesday will take up Mayor John Tecklenburg's call to update the John C. Calhoun monument in Marion Square with more historical context about what the South Carolinian stood for. 

City of Charleston staff to Short-Term Rental Task Force: allow rentals above crosstown, in suburbs
News :: August 29, 2017

The city of Charleston's planning staff is presenting a list of policy recommendations to the Short-Term Rental Task Force on Tuesday that outlines what the staff wants in the new short-term rental ordinance. 

A Vibrant Turnaround for a Neglected Charleston Neighborhood
News :: August 29, 2017

On Sunday mornings about a decade ago, shortly after he moved here, Stephen J. Zoukis used to ride his bike around a ramshackle neighborhood a couple of miles north of the city’s celebrated historic district and wonder why no one had built anything of note there.

Group of Charleston area business leaders aim to build support for CARTA's bus rapid transit system
News :: August 28, 2017

Charleston County voters decided in November to fund a bus rapid transit system with the new half-cent sales tax, but the effort to build local support for the project is still in full swing.

Short-term rentals spiked across South Carolina as visitors flocked to S.C. for solar eclipse
News :: August 27, 2017

With hordes of visitors coming to South Carolina last week to catch the solar eclipse but too few hotels to lodge them, homeowners earned millions of dollars renting their homes to the star-gazing travelers.

Airbnb, an online booking platform for short-term home rentals, reported that 10,600 guests stayed in Airbnb-booked properties in the Palmetto State on Aug. 21, generating a combined $2 million for hosts. It was the company's biggest night ever in South Carolina, exceeding its expectation of 7,000 guests. 

South Carolina local governments turn to moratoriums to pause too-rapid growth, or used car lots
News :: August 26, 2017

Moratoriums are what can happen when residents and local officials feel like they’re getting too much of something too fast and feel overwhelmed.

Increasingly, residents of fast-growing areas across South Carolina have been calling for temporary freezes on certain types of development — sometimes lasting years — and local governments have been approving them.

Five historians revisit topic of Confederate monuments
News :: August 26, 2017

After the June 2015 shooting deaths of nine people at Emanuel AME Church, many in the Charleston community embraced opportunities to consider and debate the South’s history of oppression and the myth of the Lost Cause.

North Charleston backs plan to lease historic Chicora Elementary to Metanoia
News :: August 25, 2017

North Charleston City Council on Thursday agreed to give a nonprofit group 18 months to line up investors to renovate the rundown former Chicora Elementary School.

The Rev. Bill Stanfield, CEO of community development organization Metanoia, has said the group needs to have control of the historic building so that it can get a financial plan in place to renovate it. The plan includes raising at least $9 million in donations, grants and other kinds of financing.

Floors, not feet, the new ruling principle for architecture in Charleston
News :: August 24, 2017

Charleston City Council approved last week a sweeping new set of rules meant to stop many of those design trends in their tracks while setting a more creative way forward for the future of Charleston's architecture.

Charleston City Market hotel approval sparks another lawsuit
News :: August 23, 2017

A property owner near Charleston's City Market has filed another lawsuit over a new hotel in the historic area.

Enforcement becomes key concern for Charleston's Short-Term Rental Task Force
News :: August 23, 2017

With a slew of short-term rental properties already operating outside of Charleston’s currently established rules, a major point of concern for Charleston’s Short-Term Rental Task Force has been the issue of enforcement. 

Charleston task force discusses whether short-term rentals should be legal citywide; survey indicates support
News :: August 22, 2017

About an hour before the city of Charleston's short-term rental task force was scheduled to meet Tuesday, the online vacation rental company HomeAway released the results of a local survey indicating that Charleston residents support allowing the rentals in all parts the city.

Charleston City Council candidates finalized for Nov. 7 election
News :: August 21, 2017

All six Charleston City Council members whose seats are up for election this year are asking voters to send them back for another four-year term. Most of those incumbents are facing challengers.

The filing period for City Council's even-numbered districts in the Nov. 7 election closed at noon Monday.

Maine coast has a complicated relationship with tourism
News :: August 19, 2017

It’s the middle of August and the annual invasion of “summer people” clogs both lanes of coastal Maine’s well-worn U.S. 1. Some pull their cars onto graveled overlooks for a needed stretch and a stunning view of the Atlantic shore.

Safe bike route still essential
News :: August 19, 2017

Charleston County Council can no longer hide behind endless, pointless studies and delays. Councilmembers simply do not support a vital, potentially lifesaving project to convert one of four lanes on the T. Allen Legare Bridge over the Ashley River for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Mount Pleasant cruises
News :: August 18, 2017

Charleston continues to welcome, if that’s the word, 104 cruise ship stops a year. That’s the maximum number that city officials agreed to accept in a pact with the State Ports Authority. Years later, it continues to generate controversy, and a lawsuit to halt it is still pending.

Proactive work on parking
News :: August 18, 2017

Minimum wage workers shouldn’t be asked to trade more than two hours worth of pay to park in a parking garage in downtown Charleston while they work. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the situation in which many of the peninsula’s hospitality and restaurant workers find themselves.

Damaged Kress plaque honoring lunch counter sit-in could be reinstalled before end of year
News :: August 16, 2017

It was a loading truck that knocked the plaque down. After the Preservation Society of Charleston installed in 2013 a King Street historic market to honor the bravery of 24 students from Burke High School who sat down at King Street's Kress lunch counter on April 1, 1960, a delivery truck smacked it down last year, and it's been in limbo ever since.

A unique city
News :: August 16, 2017

Once upon a time there was a small town occupied by early settlers known as Charlestowne. In spite of many local hazards such as alligators, snakes and pesky mosquitoes the settlers made it into a nice place to live.

City of Charleston agrees to spend $41,000 to shore up structural flaws at Read Brothers
News :: August 16, 2017

The city of Charleston has hired NBM Construction to perform emergency repairs on the Read Brothers buildings on upper King St.

City Council voted Tuesday to approve a $41,000 contract for the work. City Councilman Bill Moody said the city's legal staff declared this an emergency situation.

City of Charleston to Update Permit Software
News :: August 14, 2017

The City of Charleston will switch to a new and improved permit and land management software, EnerGov, on August 14, 2017.  With this upgrade, users will have access to online permit management, increased reporting capabilities, as well as inspection scheduling and tracking.

Individuals who frequently do business with the City are encouraged to register for a free Customer Access Portal (CAP) account, which enables users to schedule inspections and renew business licenses online. Beginning in late 2017, CAP users will also be able to submit, pay, and track permit applications and code violation complaints online.

New study appears to doom Ashley River bridge bike lane conversion
News :: August 11, 2017

A new study casts big doubts about whether the T. Allen Legare Bridge over the Ashley River will ever have a lane converted for bike and pedestrian use.

The city and county of Charleston entered into an agreement with the state Department of Transportation to make the change, but the project has been deferred for three traffic studies that looked at its impact on vehicle traffic.

Toughen up test for new hotels
News :: August 11, 2017

Charleston’s newest boutique hotel, which will occupy the upper floors of the former Bob Ellis shoe store on King Street, got the greenlight this week from the city Board of Zoning Appeals. It’s the fourth new hotel approved by the board in the past three months.

Charleston's Read Brothers forced to close, get repairs due to 'significant threat to life safety'
News :: August 10, 2017

We are sad and concerned to see yet another unfortunate situation as this. Our local businesses and historic buildings have been the catalysts of Charleston's success and we need to protect them.

First Venice and Barcelona: now anti-tourism marches spread across Europe
News :: August 10, 2017

With the continent sweltering under a heatwave nicknamed Lucifer, tempers have been boiling over, too, as a wave of anti-tourism protests take place in some of Europe’s most popular destinations. Yet, as “tourism-phobia” becomes a feature of the summer, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has defended the sector, calling on local authorities to do more to manage growth in a sustainable manner.

City of Charleston buys former Piggly Wiggly site in West Ashley, beginning redevelopment plans
News :: August 9, 2017

The city of Charleston on Tuesday completed the purchase of an old Piggly Wiggly grocery store site at a prominent West Ashley intersection, securing its future as a symbol of the West Ashley revitalization effort.

After months of negotiations, Wintergreen Capital, a Charlotte-based development firm, agreed to sell its 2½-acre site at Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Sumar Street to the city for $3 million — about $1 million more than the firm paid for it in 2014.

West Ashley Revitalization Commissioner pushed group to consider a transit technology he invested in
News :: August 8, 2017

The national urban planning firm hired by the city of Charleston to create the West Ashley Master Plan has worked all year on concepts to improve the city's oldest suburb.

Many of the ideas Dover Kohl is pitching center on traffic and transportation fixes, such as extending sidewalks, connecting bike lanes and creating West Ashley shuttles that would run in their own lanes of traffic.

The return of the grand hotel? 'Top-level' project planned for City Market
News :: August 7, 2017

After months of speculation about what’s planned for an empty parking lot near the City Market — a 150-room hotel has been the most popular theory — project managers are unveiling their plans to neighborhood and historic groups.

Separating fact from fiction while touring Charleston
News :: August 7, 2017

We live in a world where there seems to be as much misinformation as there is truth. At times, it is tough to tell what’s what. We hear terms such as fake news and have come to expect spin doctors to put their interpretation on what we just heard and why we should believe it or dismiss it.

It’s only natural, then, that in a tourist-driven, historical city such as ours that certain myths exist surrounding some of what did or didn’t happen here.

American College of the Building Arts offering three fall continuing education classes open to the public
News :: August 7, 2017

This fall, the College of the Building Arts is offering continuing education classes open to the public. Three classes will be offered to start: Intro to Interior Design, Architectural Computer Graphics, and Charleston Architecture: A Historical Perspective. The 14-week classes start Sept. 11, are held 6-9 p.m. one night a week, and are taught by a trained expert in the respective fields. Each course costs $500 and enrollment is limited. Get started by applying online.

Huge volunteer turnout to create growth plan for Mount Pleasant
News :: August 5, 2017

Illustrating the broad concerns about growth and development in this fast-growing town, a whopping 250 residents have volunteered for a steering committee to craft the next Comprehensive Plan.

Eventually it will be cut down to 30.

ConNECKted Exhibit At City Gallery More Than Your Typical Art Show
News :: August 4, 2017

The artistic presentation “conNECKted: Imaginings for Truth and Reconciliation” opened at the City Gallery at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Waterfront Park July 22 and will be on exhibit through August 27. But to label the presentation an art exhibit is an understatement – it is an expression of art as activism.

18-room hotel OK'd for Charleston's former Bob Ellis building
News :: August 3, 2017

An 18-room boutique hotel will breathe new life into the vacant Bob Ellis Shoes store at King and George streets in the heart of the peninsula's historic shopping district.

Charleston’s Board of Zoning Appeals gave the project unanimous approval Tuesday.

Cannon Street property owner sues city of Charleston over decision to deny short-term rental
News :: August 3, 2017

An Atlanta-based company that owns property on Cannon Street is challenging the city of Charleston's decision to reject a request to build a short-term rental on the lot in the Cannonborough-Elliottborough neighborhood.

Apres Midi LLC, the owner of 118 Cannon St., filed an appeal in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas last week.

Venice, Invaded by Tourists, Risks Becoming 'Disneyland on the Sea'
News :: August 2, 2017

VENICE — “You guys, just say ‘skooozy’ and walk through,” a young American woman commanded her friends, caught in one of the bottlenecks of tourist traffic that clog Venice’s narrow streets, choke its glorious squares and push the locals of this enchanting floating city out and onto drab, dry land. “We don’t have time!”

Neither, the Italian government worries, does Venice.

City of Charleston adding credit card readers on all downtown parking meters
News :: August 1, 2017

By the end of the year, drivers will no longer have to resort to digging in their floorboards for loose change to feed the parking meters in downtown Charleston. 

The city expects to install new readers that accept debit, credit and prepaid SmartCards on all 1,700 parking meters on the peninsula over the next few months.

Stop whining
News :: August 1, 2017

Are there some things you don’t like about your community? Are you doing what everyone else does when they don’t like something? Are you whining about it to your friends, neighbors, social media connections and all the other people in your life?

If you’re annoyed do you take it to social media or complain to your neighbors? That always results in useful conversation.

Do Short-Term Vacation Rentals Change the Character of Historic Neighborhoods?
News :: July 30, 2017

As the appeal of living in a historic neighborhood continues to grow across the country, the arrival of short-term vacation rentals (STVRs) has challenged many residents to ensure that the “neighbor” stays in their neighborhoods. The result is a complex debate about the benefits versus negative effects of this $30 billion industry.

Renew Urban Charleston Standing Firm on the Integrity of Historic Charleston's Buildings
News :: July 30, 2017

Renew Urban Charleston is in the process of renovating and repairing Charleston — all while staying in the guidelines of maintaining historic integrity.

Study finds Charleston's hospitality workers are overburdened by high cost of parking downtown
News :: July 30, 2017

Downtown Charleston is the regional hot spot for luxury hotels, upscale dining and bar-hopping — a major draw for the roughly 5 million people who visit the Lowcountry each year.

But while they lounge in their $300-a-night rooms or indulge in the city's award-winning cuisine, thousands of workers behind the $3.6 billion industry are driving onto the peninsula every day, hunting for parking spots that won't eat up too much of their day's wages.

Don't expect any easy answers on short-term rentals in Charleston
News :: July 28, 2017

Just when Charleston gets all these fancy new hotels, everybody starts wanting to rent houses.

Wouldn’t you know it.

News :: July 27, 2017
National housing expert to meet with local leaders Thursday about Charleston's affordable housing
News :: July 25, 2017

A former top official from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be in Charleston on Thursday to help local leaders understand the complex challenges facing public and affordable housing. 

Airbnb expects its biggest night ever in South Carolina thanks to total solar eclipse
News :: July 24, 2017

Charleston accounts for 2,500 of the houses booked on the weekend of the eclipse, more than Columbia and Greenville combined.

Charleston neighborhoods seeking more input from residents about short-term rentals
News :: July 19, 2017

Neighborhood groups and preservationists want more residents to weigh in on the debate about short-term rentals before the city changes how those properties are regulated.

Cruise ships eye Mount Pleasant as Charleston hits annual limit
News :: July 19, 2017

For the first time, the number of cruise ships scheduled to dock in Charleston has hit the State Ports Authority's voluntary 104-ship annual limit, and that could send some cruise ship business here.

Another hotel in Charleston's City Market gets a green light
News :: July 19, 2017

Another hotel in the Charleston City Market has been approved after the developers convinced a board that it won’t significantly add traffic to a nearby neighborhood.

The Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously agreed this week to allow a 50-room hotel that includes the former Wild Wing restaurant building on North Market Street and the site of the former Molly Darcy's Irish Pub on East Bay Street. The board deferred the request in January because of traffic concerns.

International African American Museum launches genealogy center, research initiative
News :: July 18, 2017

While most museums offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about history and culture, Charleston’s International African American Museum hopes to offer something possibly more valuable — the chance to learn more about yourself. 
 

Workforce housing for a living city
News :: July 16, 2017

Under a new plan approved by City Council on Tuesday, the Charleston peninsula could be getting a lot more so-called workforce housing, defined as affordable to those earning up to 80 percent of the area median salary.

Or it could be getting a lot less.

A month in, Charleston's new bike share system seems to be on the right track
News :: July 16, 2017

Charleston residents who were here in the mid-1990s might remember the first effort to launch a community bike program. 

Called Yellow Bikes, the 50-bike fleet wheeled out in 1996 in Marion Square was run by a few volunteers who fixed up used bikes, spray-painted them yellow and left them unlocked for riders to pick up and use as needed.

Charleston City Councilman Dean Riegel doesn't own or rent property in his West Ashley district
News :: July 14, 2017

Charleston City Councilman Dean Riegel hasn't been an established resident in the West Ashley district he represents since he sold his home 10 months ago.

Hicks: Charleston is No. 1, again. Now, here are the top 10 places we'll be stuck in traffic
News :: July 12, 2017

Thank you, Travel + Leisure magazine readers, for naming Charleston the No. 1 city in the country. Again.

Hotel planned for former Bob Ellis Shoes on Charleston's changing King Street
News :: July 11, 2017

The Kalinsky family bought the 18,000-square-foot building in 1973. Barry Kalinsky said in a previous interview that it was a hard decision to sell but cited increasing competition and rising prices.

City of Charleston to reconstruct Low Battery
News :: July 11, 2017

The City of Charleston is seeking public input as designs were released Tuesday for an extensive reconstruction project to the “Low Battery” on Charleston’s peninsula.

Building Boom in Boston Casts Shadows on History and Public Space
News :: July 11, 2017

Laws that restrict new construction from creating shadows on two of the city’s cherished public parks may be changed for a proposed 775-foot tower.

City of Charleston designers seek input to design public space along Low Battery seawall
News :: July 11, 2017

Charleston city designers are asking residents to provide input to craft a public space along the Low Battery seawall. 

As the city prepares to replace the Low Battery with a higher, sturdier wall, the Design Division sees the space as a potential linear park.

Desperate need for safer infrastructure
News :: July 9, 2017

Just recently, 2 different pedestrians were killed attempting to cross Folly Road. These crashes occurred in the span of only 2 days. 

Proposal for big changes in workforce housing requirements returns to Charleston City Council: Public hearing set for July 11
News :: July 6, 2017

Charleston City Council will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to workforce housing requirements during their next meeting on July 11.

Is culinary success spoiling Charleston?
News :: June 30, 2017

“The people who live here are frustrated and don’t want to see Charleston continue to be number one on these lists,” says Jamee Haley, executive director of Lowcountry Local First. “While some are thriving, we’re losing those businesses that provided vital services to the people who live here.”

The Agenda: Southern economics will be affected by climate change; Millions on the roads; Budget vetoes waiting
News :: June 30, 2017

Is Charleston being spoiled by its success asks USA Today?

How Much Tourism Is Too Much?
News :: June 29, 2017

"Many hotels are now located in residential neighborhoods to satisfy the urges of those who want to feel as though they are living, however briefly, as real New Yorkers do. Have them try shopping for an affordable apartment."

James Island development moratorium goes too far, Charleston Planning Commission says
News :: June 22, 2017

The Charleston Planning Commission met Wednesday and unanimously voted not to recommend the moratorium, a vote that came after several  members said the move would block not only unpopular large developments but new businesses as well.

Help plan for transportation
News :: June 22, 2017

If there’s one thing that almost everyone in the Charleston metro area can agree on, it’s that traffic is a problem and transportation improvements are desperately needed. This week, and throughout the summer, local residents have the chance to turn frustrations into a plan for action.

Connectivity, lack of infrastructure main issues behind Lowcountry traffic
News :: June 21, 2017

It’s no secret that traffic is one of the biggest issues in the Lowcountry. But representatives of the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments want to know what areas are the worst.

Charleston City Council votes to change building height guidelines
News :: June 20, 2017

Charleston City Council voted Tuesday to change downtown's architectural guidelines, including height limits, in one of the most drastic rewrites since the city first took on the task in the 1930s.

Hotel rooms in former furniture store get OK from Charleston zoning board
News :: June 20, 2017

Plans presented to the Board of Zoning Appeals show retail space on the ground floor facing upper King Street, with hotel rooms on the second floor. A newer building behind the former showroom would be demolished and replaced with a four-story building with more hotel rooms, with parking access off Morris Street.

Consider range of hotel impacts
News :: June 20, 2017

Given the number of hotels already under construction or planned for the peninsula, it would be a relief for the BZA to turn down those requests. But current city rules makes it too difficult to say “no,” even when a hotel or vacation rental could adversely affect the city’s livability goals.

How much is too much tourism?
News :: June 19, 2017

Charleston receives more tourists per capita than popular European destinations like Barcelona or Amsterdam, both of which are struggling to balance tourism and quality of life for residents. And more and more people visit every year.

Plans to develop $1B Lorelei project off Charleston's upper peninsula fall apart over access road
News :: June 5, 2017

For the third time in a decade, a proposal to develop a prime piece of real estate on Charleston's upper peninsula has fallen apart.

What can be done to control downtown Charleston's explosive hotel growth?
News :: June 4, 2017

While hotel developers have been happy to accommodate the masses, the question now is: How much is too much?

Should downtown Charleston property owners be forced to check their building facades for flaws?
News :: May 31, 2017

Downtown Charleston has seen a rash of high profile building problems this year, including the discovery of a facade detaching from a King Street building; damage to a parked car from an office collapse at 11½ St. Philip St.; and bricks from a deteriorating townhouse falling onto Exchange Street.

Charleston bike share launch challenges users to burn 1 million calories combined in first year
News :: May 30, 2017

Years in the making, the city of Charleston's first official bike share program, Holy Spokes, launched with a ceremony at the Medical University of South Carolina on Tuesday. As part of the launch, MUSC Chief Executive Officer Patrick Cawley challenged bike share users to burn 1 million calories combined using the bikes during the first year.

Massive rewrite of Charleston's architectural review rules moves a step ahead
News :: May 25, 2017

Charleston made history when it created a Board of Architectural Review in 1931 to preserve the architectural character of its old city, and more than 2,300 cities and towns have since followed suit. So perhaps it's not surprising that Charleston's most significant rewrite ever of that 1931 law is stirring plenty of anxiety over whether the city will get it right.

Don't rush new height rules
News :: May 25, 2017

The Charleston Board of Architectural Review has played an essential role in protecting the historic city. So has a city height ordinance designed to retain the sense of historic scale. But a city plan to revamp its height ordinance on the peninsula risks diminishing the authority of the BAR. Or so say Charleston’s two primary preservation organizations. At this point, the city needs to push the “pause” button.

Height district ordinance would diminish BAR oversight
News :: May 24, 2017

The city’s efforts to amend the height districts on the peninsula and to modify the authority and process of the BAR constitute an unprecedented threat to the review board that has created and protected Charleston’s international appeal and character.

Why are downtown Charleston's buildings falling down? Experts point to three main culprits
News :: May 20, 2017

While each building has its own unique tale of failure, several experts point to three common denominators that they share: shoddy initial construction and renovations, neglect and even a steady hum of vibrations from an ever-growing city.

Planning West Ashley's future
News :: May 16, 2017

The Plan West Ashley effort is still in the relatively early stages, and it’s going to take a very long-term push to update and renew an entire part of Charleston. But that effort has a lot of momentum. Don’t miss the chance to take a hands-on approach to guiding West Ashley’s future.

Charleston community leaders ponder limits on new hotels
News :: May 15, 2017

Downtown Charleston is becoming alarmingly congested mainly because the city has no good way to move 6 million visitors a year in and out of an area that’s only two square miles.

Letter: Johns Island development frenzy
News :: May 6, 2017

Every day, Johns Islanders wonder if the City of Charleston will help our community flourish, or will it continue to approve residential development with no regard for our quality of life? There is a reason to assume the latter.

Building designer saves ramshackle 'gateway' cottage in downtown Charleston
News :: April 30, 2017

This Charleston single cottage is a great example of dying breed of houses from this era,” said Kristopher King, adding that much of the “historic fabric was either salvaged or matched.”

Revitalize West Ashley 'gateway'
News :: April 25, 2017

The empty former Piggly Wiggly at the intersection of Sam Rittenberg Boulevard and Old Towne Road in West Ashley is an unfortunate metaphor for the neglect that suburban part of Charleston has endured for too long. As one of the “gateways” to the city for people arriving from I-26, the site deserves better.

Gilbreth column: Council needs to heed Mayor's hotel concerns
News :: March 30, 2017

But you can’t convince developers of that nor, as the Mayor has found out, certain members of City Council. A plan to put at least a temporary moratorium on new hotels that would have been presented by the Mayor and his city planners a year ago was withdrawn before serious deliberation because it was clear that council would have none of it. A second proposal got nowhere.

Changes to Charleston's hotel map up for public comments this week
News :: March 27, 2017

Anyone with concerns, questions or comments about proposed changes to the boundaries of the Charleston peninsula's hotel zone have an opportunity to air them this week.

Plans for downtown Charleston hotel on East Bay move upscale
News :: March 12, 2017

The Board of Architectural Review gave the plans for a 47-room lodging just south of the City Market conceptual approval last week, after declining to move the plans forward in November.

Enough: Put a hold on hotel growth
News :: March 9, 2017

When planners compared Charleston to other cities trying to encourage tourism without harming the local culture, they concluded that the Holy City has reached its limit. It has 6,511 rooms either available for visitors or on the way.

Charleston BAR unanimously approves Sergeant Jasper design
News :: February 8, 2017

Charleston's Board of Architectural Review voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the design of the replacement building on the long-contested Sergeant Jasper site. The preliminary approval means the project at 310 and 322 Broad St. can move forward as scheduled, although the board will require architects to tweak some design details before they bring the plan back for another review.

More than 6,000 apartment units to rise in city of Charleston
News :: November 11, 2016

Nearly three-dozen apartment developments with 6,251 units are either planned or under construction in the city of Charleston. Their combined footprint is 261 acres: equal to three Citadel Malls or four Hampton Parks, a Post and Courier analysis has found.

Amid a building boom, Charleston struggles over guiding growth
News :: October 28, 2016

Less than a year ago, Charleston voters elected their first new mayor in 40 years — one who campaigned on a promise to reel in development, put a renewed focus on West Ashley and protect residents’ quality of life.

Charleston makes list of most livable cities
News :: October 27, 2016

Charleston is one of "America's Best Cities To Live," based in part on its diverse economy and high population growth, according to a Northeastern financial news website.

Stop for downtown ‘systems check’ before building more hotels
News :: October 12, 2016

The more people we have living downtown, as opposed to visiting, the more likely it will be that we can diversify our economy, create the critical mass needed to sustain a better public transit system, create beautiful neighborhoods and community with thriving schools, and give rise to a new generation of Charlestonians who love downtown because it’s a great place to live, work and raise families.

This isn’t about nostalgia, it’s about Charleston remaining a living city
News :: October 4, 2016

Redevelopment has been creeping up — and down — the peninsula for years now as downtown Charleston remains one of the hottest real estate markets in the country. Developers trip over themselves to get in on the action.

In the bike lane debate, it comes down to who puts in the time
News :: September 26, 2016

City Council narrowly approved the bike lane plan in July to the joy of the biking community, but the county — which holds the purse strings — now has reservations. And angry constituents.

Old city could become 'miniature Manhattan'
News :: September 16, 2016

The vision of Charleston’s leaders in the 1970s and 1980s could not include the current extraordinary and unanticipated growth, the rise in the metro area’s population from 336,036 in 1970 to 648,090 in 2010, and estimated to be 708,000 in 2020.

Bi-Lo shoppers lament 'major loss' on peninsula
News :: August 30, 2016

Developers can make more money from developments other than supermarkets as real estate prices escalate on the peninsula. Plans have not been announced for what will become of the 36,312-square-foot Bi-Lo building, now sitting in a prime location between apartment developments, including one involving the parent company of The Post and Courier.

Judge sets aside his Jasper order; next steps by Beach Co., opponents still unknown
News :: August 29, 2016

Nicholson’s decision Tuesday upholds a key condition of the city’s and company’s recent settlement agreement and could mark the end of a nearly two-year-long saga over the controversial property just west of Colonial Lake.

Zoning approved for Sergeant Jasper site
News :: July 18, 2016

Charleston City Council overrode the city’s Planning Commission Tuesday and gave final approval to a zoning change that will allow 324 residential units to be built on the Sergeant Jasper apartments site.

Public can still make its voice heard on future of Jasper site
News :: July 17, 2016

While the Sergeant Jasper is often portrayed as a “peninsula issue,” residents of every neighborhood in the City of Charleston should sit up and take note of what is going on. With areas from West Ashley to Cainhoy on the cusp of revitalization or expansion, our planning processes are all we have to protect against hasty, ill-considered decisions that do not adequately take into account neighborhood character and residents’ desires to shape the future of their community.