City of Charleston: proposes ordinance to help churches for parking

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Churches in downtown may be able to earn a little extra money by charging the public to park.

The city of Charleston is proposing an ordinance that would make it easier for private churches to use their lots for public parking. Churches with privately-owned lots may be able to help with the parking problem in downtown.

Right now, if a church owns a lot they want to use for parking, they have to go to the city’s board of zoning appeals for a special hearing. The city is proposing an ordinance that would eliminate that step, which would make it easier for churches to use their property for parking.

The privately-owned lots would still be maintained by the churches, which means they could do what they want with it. If a church wanted to charge the public to use the lot, they could do that.

City leaders hope this ordinance will help not only the churches, but neighborhoods as well.

“We think in general this is a good thing as far as supporting churches, said Jacob Lindsey, Director of planning for the city of Charleston. “We just want to make sure that it’s done in a way that’s compatible with neighborhoods and it doesn’t add to the congestion.”

This ordinance will be discussed during Tuesday’s meeting and would have to go through three readings before it could be approved.

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