City of Charleston wants to limit hotel rooms, while growing in other areas

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

The Board of Architectural Review for the City of Charleston is preparing to approve, or not approve, designs of buildings that will soon go up on the peninsula.

The B.A.R. has two meetings this week, one on Wednesday night and one on Thursday night.

On the agendas include approval for the designs of a new 100-unit timeshare, a new office and retail building, a new three-story mixed-use building and more.

It raises the question - what is the plan for growth in downtown Charleston?

There is no surprise the skyline of the peninsula keeps changing.

"I've seen a lot of things that were here when I first started attending the College of Charleston leave as I was graduating," said Christina Carter who lives in Charleston.

Carter has been in the area for five years - a majority while attending the College of Charleston.

But she's just one of the people who have noticed the shift downtown.

"Definitely in freshman year you saw a lot more businesses happening downtown," Carter said. "From freshman to senior year, I've seen a lot of them close down because of the growth and how expensive living here and keeping businesses open, especially on King Street, has been."

"The most important thing in our work is protecting the quality of life for everyone who lives in Charleston," said Jacob Lindsey, the director of planning for the city.

Lindsey says they are working to limit the number of hotel rooms on the peninsula.

"Downtown Charleston only has about 37,000 full-time residents. We're getting closer to 6,000 hotel rooms. We know we have, in our opinion, too many hotel rooms," she said.

And while the city wants that limit, folks who live here want to see more affordable housing and local businesses thriving.

"Our goal, as is set forward in our comprehensive plan, that we grow in the right places that are high and dry," Lindsey said. "We don't want to grow in places that are low and wet. When you look at downtown Charleston and see that growth on King Street and Meeting Street and these other places that are appropriate places for growth,  we want to make sure that the quality is there. That's our job right now.

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