BySummer HuechtkerandLive 5 Web Staff|March 5, 2020 at 6:20 AM EST - Updated March 5 at 7:16 AM
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Before Summerville approves a plan for a signature town hotel, officials want to hear the public’s input.
The Summerville-Dorchester Chamber of Commerce is hosting a community listening session Thursday night to hear what the community would like to see a town hotel look like.
The chamber says Summerville Mayor Ricky Waring reached out to them about reconsideringthe idea it first introduced back in 2014.
That idea was shelved when the community got upset because they were not included on any of the project's discussions. Some residents, along with the Dorchester County Tax Payers Association and the Summerville Preservation Society actually filed a law suit against the town of Summerville over it. That case is still pending.
Almost six years later, the chamber is making sure the public is at the focal point of this discussion before any plans are set in place.
“I’m excited to hear from the citizens and their concerns, and just hoping that we can just bring together just some common ideas and just some excitement around what they would like to see and just to make it feel like its something that they have ownership in,” Chamber President Rita Berry said.
In the past, some residents felt a large hotel would change too much of the town's dynamic.
The Chamber is hoping for the public to express how the hotel can highlight the small town feel of Summerville while also featuring the town's historical values.
Some ideas the Chamber said people have discussed is whether to make it a smaller hotel, being more "inn-like" or being a larger hotel that could hold events and conferences.
The Chamber says specifics would ultimately be decided by the developer, but they will definitely consider the community's concerns.
The Chamber of Commerce has hired the McNair Leadership and Organizational Group to lead a a series of meetings on this idea. They will create a report with all of the communities questions and concerns.
The first meeting is Thursday at 5 p.m. and the second will be Tuesday at 8 a.m. at the Public Works Arts Center in Summerville.
Those who are unable to attend the meetings can submit feedback on the chamber’s website:https://www.greatersummerville.org/advocacy
After the meetings, the Summerville-Dorchester Chamber of Commerce will present that report to the Summerville Town Council.
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