The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance
March 15, 2019
City Council, March 14
Council turns hostile
Mayor's proposal for Municipal Court has little support
Mayor Tecklenburg sustained severe bruising last night. Council members took issue with a number of items that he supported. But the most resolute opposition was to a proposal to appoint Ms. Kelsey Willey to the Municipal Court. Whether it was because of this or other issues, in our opinion the atmosphere over last night meeting was acrid with a level of hostility to the Mayor above anything we have seen previously. And in our opinion, the action of the Mayor in attempting to appoint Ms. Willey to the Court was egregious.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:43 PM
February 27, 2019
City Council, February 26
HCF to appeal BZA decision on Meeting Street hotel
Affordable Housing issuesMarc Knapp
It was not on the agenda but should have been. It was the decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) to approve a 252-room hotel at 431 Meeting Street. BZA members reportedly were not happy about the approval but thought they had no grounds to disapprove. The Historic Charleston Foundation thought other wise, and has lodged an appeal to the applause of many of us.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:01 PM
February 16, 2019
County Council, February 12
Moving ahead to redevelop Naval Hospital property
Book value will be $5 million!!Warwick Jones
Not surprisingly, Council gave the go-ahead to the plan presented by staff at the last Council meeting for the redevelopment of the 3600 Rivers Avenue site. There were suggestions that development be deferred until the study by the Urban Land Institute was complete. But staff told Council that if the County were to gain occupancy of the new building by Fall 2021, planning needed to start immediately.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 08:08 PM
February 13, 2019
City Council, February 12
A decision on Spring –Fishburne project - at last
Construction freeboard raised to 2 feetMarc Knapp
The large cost over run for the Spring – Fishburne US 17 drainage project became very apparent about two months ago. A proposed payment to the engineering consultant and approval for a construction contract for Phase 4 are items that have sat on the Ways and Means agendas for the last 3 if not 4 meetings. But voting was deferred until last night. And in our view, the Committee floundered for more than an hour over a decision we believe was simple and obvious, but sadly, hardly satisfactory.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:21 PM
January 23, 2019
City Council, January 22
Flooding and stormwater management dominate meeting
More mitigation likely this year
Flooding and stormwater management dominated discussion on City Council last night. First there was the State of the City address by the Mayor and this was followed by discussion of a proposed 6–month development moratorium on James and Johns Island.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 03:30 PM
January 20, 2019
County Council. January 17
Developing a plan for the naval hospital site
From where will the money come?Warwick Jones
The purchase of the old naval hospital was ill-fated. Originally, the County was to lease space which it and government agencies would occupy. The owner failed to provide the necessary space in the stipulated time, the County terminated the lease, the developer filed for bankruptcy and for reasons we don’t fully understand, the Court awarded the developer damages. These damages were satisfied by the purchase of the property by the County for $33 million. OK, it was a little more complex than but that was the essence.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 08:42 PM
January 09, 2019
City Council, January 8
Questions over Spring-Fishburne drainage project consultant
A rezoning request going nowhereMarc Knapp
The two items were on the agenda but voting was marked deferred. Notwithstanding, they certainly got our attention and that of Council. They related to spending on the Spring – Fishburne drainage project.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 11:27 AM
December 19, 2018
City Council, December 18
Super majority requisite remains for vote on PC disapprovals
Legal advice to be sought by CouncilWarwick Jones
As Council member Waring reminded us, the issue of the limited ability of the Council to override a disapproval decision by the Planning Commission (PC) has been before Council about 4 to 5 times. After last night’s meeting, nothing changed.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 12:04 PM
December 08, 2018
County Council, December 6
December 05, 2018
City Council, December 4
November 28, 2018
City Council, November 27
City Council, November 27
Amended plastic bag ban approved
Restoration on Battery Wall to begin early next yearMarc Knapp
Clearly, many Council members were not comfortable with the amended ordinance banning plastic bags and forms of polystyrene packaging. Some sought a deferral of a second reading vote, at least until next month to give the ordinance more consideration. The deferral vote failed and ultimately, all Council members voted for the ordinance with the exception of Council members Lewis and Mitchell. Press Download file to see Amended ordinance.
November 14, 2018
City Council, November 13
City bans plastic bags, at least for now
Generating support for a natatorium in West AshleyWarwick Jones
We thought the City’s plan to ban plastic bags would have little opposition. And indeed, the public comments were over whelming in favor. Council ultimately approved the ban but the vote was not unanimous and the approval was only for first reading. Some Council members wanted the opportunity for second thoughts before the final readings.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:05 PM
November 09, 2018
County Council, November 8
Gives nod to a TIF district in West Ashley
Presentation on Greenbelt program laudedWarwick Jones
Sometimes there is little or nothing worth reporting from a Council meeting. The meeting of two weeks ago was an example. Yesterday’s was another.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 01:28 PM
October 24, 2018
City Council, October 23
Still no resolution on Short Term Rental issues
City to review proposed amendment to limit construction hoursMarc Knapp
Like many of our fellow citizens, we are confused and irritated. The City’s Short Term Rental (STR) Ordinance has been in the making now for about two years. Despite the seeming strong citizen support for regulation of short term rentals, the many hearings and debate, and the implementation of enforcement measures, the final shape of the ordinance is uncertain. It shouldn’t be! And the Mayor and Council ought to be embarrassed.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:15 PM
October 10, 2018
City Council, October 9
Corps of Engineers to study flooding on the Peninsula
Vote on STRs deferred but issues remainMarc Knapp
There were a number of interesting items on last night’s agenda. Most interesting was the agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers, and the proposed amendments to the Short Term Rentals (STR) Ordinance, passed only a few months ago.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:57 PM
October 05, 2018
County Council, October 5
Yesterday's meeting shortest we can recall
Recap of Tuesday’s I-526 meeting
Recap of Tuesday’s I-526 meeting
Yesterday’s regular Finance Committee meeting was notable for one thing - its brevity. It was 6 minutes long and attended by only 6 of the 9 Council members.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 04:14 PM
September 26, 2018
County Council, September 25
The Johns Island “pitchforks” and NEPA delays
Working up plans for the old Naval HospitalWarwick Jones
A presentation by staff on Transportation projects took up most time in yesterday’s meetings. We’ll make no attempt to detail the projects as most if not all are known. But there were some items of interest.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:47 PM
September 23, 2018
County Council, September 20
September 19, 2018
City Council, September 18
IAAM takes first step toward construction
Staff to wok on exceptions for Short Term Rental ordinanceMarc Knapp
Because of Hurricane Florence, the meeting scheduled for Tuesday last week was moved to last night. And unlike the previous meeting, thankfully lasted only a few hours.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 05:27 PM
August 25, 2018
City Council, August 22
A long meeting and a test of endurance
A resolution on gun violence sent to ColumbiaWarwick Jones
Last Tuesday’s Council meeting was the longest we’ve ever experienced. It began with the Ways and Means at 4.30pm and ended well after 10 pm. For Council members, there was a following executive session and which we understand did not end until close to midnight. The long agenda reflected the 3-month summer schedule - meetings are held only once a month compared to twice a month for the rest of the year. I don’t think anybody’s going to disagree that such meetings are too long. They certainly take a toll of Citizens Participation and few citizens stay to speak when the time comes. And we wonder about the stamina of Council members to deliberate on issues which may deserve time and thought. Maybe it’s time to do away with fewer meetings in summer.
Posted by Warwick Jones at 02:28 PM