The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance
April 20, 2018
County Council, April19
Container traffic at Port to get boost
Citadel seeks Accommodation Tax fundingWarwick Jones
The Economic Development department thought that Council would be pleased by the plans of Frontier Logistics to assist port development. But it overlooked the hostility of the nearby residents in North Charleston. Bowing to their concerns, some Council members opposed the plans though the majority of the Finance Committee voted for approval.
April 12, 2018
City Council, April 10
Short Term Rental Ordinance passes
But Special Exceptions may lessen its biteMarc Knapp
The City’s new Short Term Rental (RTR) ordinance passed second and third readings on Tuesday. It was not an easy passage and it would be wrong to assume that Council is done with the ordinance. A committee of staff and Council members was tasked to consider a number of issues or special exceptions. The recommendations will need to be considered by the Planning Commission but Council expects the Special Exception addendum will be before Council within 90 days. These amendments could be significant in our view, and considerably loosen and complicate STR requirements.
April 07, 2018
County Council, April 5
Approves land purchase by Town of James Island
Action bucks Greenbelt PlanWarwick Jones*
One way or another, greenbelts took up much of the discussion at the Finance Committee meeting on Thursday. Council approved funding for 5 projects, drawing on funds remaining in the Greenbelt allocation from the first half-cent sales tax.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:55 PM
March 28, 2018
County Council, March 27
Accommodation tax windfall
No support for underground wiring study on Riverland TerraceWarwick Jones
The County recently had a pleasant surprise. It received an additional $349,799 from the State for its 2017 accommodation tax entitlement. It seems the State is “mum” is about explaining the windfall but staff opined that it was a collection from AirB&B. Presumably the rental agency once had a different idea about its liability for the tax.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:35 PM
March 27, 2018
City Council, March 26
Strong scrutiny of Short Term Rental ordinance
Vote deferred till next Council meetingWarwick Jones
Council deferred a vote at the second reading of the proposed Short Term Rental (STR) ordinance. It was not because members were opposed but rather the need to refine, clarify and amend some of the parts. An updated draft is scheduled to be given to Council members early next week. We may be optimistic but in our view, there is a good chance that at the second reading in two weeks, the ordinance will be passed.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:48 PM
March 15, 2018
County Council, March 13
Fiscal burden of Naval Hospital purchase will be heavy in FY2020
Sale of 995 Morrison Drive could make a large differenceWarwick Jones
The forced acquisition of the old Naval Hospital (3600 Rivers Avenue) was a sad, expensive and unplanned event for the County. The specter loomed large in discussions in Committee meetings on Tuesday evening and will be shaping Council’s actions.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:49 PM
March 14, 2018
City Council, March 13
Council presses ahead with parking plans
Reluctance to request head tax on cruise ship passengersMarc Knapp
Raising the cost of metered parking on the Peninsula was not on the agenda. But a host of citizens turned out in Citizens Participation to protest the planned increase. The protests made no difference. The increases were approved last year and Council is moving ahead with the implementation.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:55 PM
February 27, 2018
City Council, February 26
Short term rental ordinance gets first reading
Council opts for more restrictive Task Force recommendationsMarc Knapp
The long awaited short term rental (STR) ordinance made it through the first reading last night. Its passage was not easy and some changes, perhaps modest, are likely before the second and final readings. Council members had many issues but most related to enforcement. Ultimately, only Council member Lewis and Mitchell opposed the ordinance.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:37 PM
February 23, 2018
County Council, February 22
James Island to create “civic” space at Folly/Camp Road intersection
County will lease land for $1 a yearWarwick Jones
Zoning matters took up about half of the discussion at yesterday’s meetings. Most of the balance related to the proposal by James Island to create a civic space on a parcel of land at the junction of Camp and Folly roads.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:31 PM
February 14, 2018
City Council, February 13
West Ashley unfairly treated say two Council members
Plan West Ashley gets nod, but unlikely for Johns Island moratoriumMarc Knapp
Two items on yesterday’s agenda dominated last night’s meeting – the Plan West Ashley plan and the proposed 6-month moratorium on the issuance of development permits on Johns Island. As expected, the Plan West Ashley was approved. Less expected was the deferral of a vote on the moratorium for two weeks. The discussion on Council prior to the deferral suggests that there is a strong chance that the moratorium will not be approved.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:21 PM
February 09, 2018
County Council, February 8
New head of Environmental Management
No enthusiasm for proposed changes relating to proxies and election of ChairWarwick Jones
There was not much to highlight at yesterday’s meetings. But notable was the resignation of the Director of Environmental Management. We do not know the reason for his resignation. Council was told that his resignation was effective only a few days ago. And from the tone of comments of the Environmental Management Chair, the resignation was a surprise. Chair Moody thanked staff member Tonya Lott for stepping so quickly into the management position left vacant by the resignation. Ms. Lott has been with the County for 3 years and has a background of experience in the industry.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:10 PM
January 25, 2018
City Council, January 23
Annexations in West Ashley to be challenged
Magnolia development resuscitatedWarwick Jones
The main feature of the meeting was the annual State of the City address. The address has already received wide media coverage. We’ll simply state that the Mayor declared that dealing with flooding and drainage was the City’s top priority and that the City will be looking at a number of ways to finance the potentially large funding. Considering the damage suffered in the last two hurricanes, the focus of the Mayor was not unexpected.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:54 PM
January 19, 2018
County Council, January 18
Chairman Rawl secures a second term
But the voting was strangeWarwick Jones
As usual at the first meeting of the year, members decide on the Chair of Council. We thought that Chairman Rawl would easily retain the title. We were right that he would be re-elected but it was not an easy passage.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:20 PM
January 10, 2018
City Council, January 9
Induction of Council members
Vote deferred on language at base of Calhoun statueMarc Knapp
Last night’s meeting consisted broadly of two parts – a farewell to departing Council members and a welcome to the new, and discussion of wording to be placed at the base of the J.C Calhoun statue in Marion Square.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:44 AM
December 12, 2017
City Council, December 11
December 01, 2017
County Council, November 30
November 03, 2017
County Council, November 2
Agrees on purchase and funding of helicopter
Reluctantly agrees on Chicora Life Center fundingWarwick Jones
Agendas were light for yesterday’s meetings. The most important items were essentially carryovers from previous meetings.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:33 PM
October 25, 2017
City Council, October 24
City getting serious about addressing flooding issues
Plan to cut electricity usage and costsMarc Knapp
The agenda item was requested by Council members Gregorie and Wilson. It was a “Discussion regarding a $100 million drainage funding strategy”. Not all Council members spoke to the issue. But it was clear from last night’s discussion and that at previous Council meetings that something has to be done about flooding throughout the City. And it was also clear from last night’s discussion that the City is about to take bigger steps in funding mitigation and solutions.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:22 PM
October 20, 2017
County Council, October 19
Initial steps to buy new helicopter for Sheriff’s Department
Parkers Ferry Overlay approved but some dissentWarwick Jones
Two items took up most of the time in yesterday’s sessions – the purchase of a helicopter for the Sheriff’s Department, and the approval of the Parkers Ferry Overlay. Both items were passed by the respective Committees but there was dissent. The items will now move to the Finance Committee for consideration.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:27 PM
October 11, 2017
City Council, October 10
Unanimous support for Lowline purchase, and pedestrian/bike bridge
CJAM’s views on police force at odds with national accreditation agencyMarc Knapp
The most important items on last night’s agendas were the approvals of the Lowcountry Lowline (LL) property purchase and the application for a TIGER grant to help fund a pedestrian and bike bridge over the Ashley River. The items have already received a lot of media attention so we will only recapitulate.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:00 PM