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P&C supports Mayor again on Ansonborough Fields. Surprised?

Patricia Jones

The Post and Courier is at it again. It supported the city's plan to raise building height limitations on the area around Ansonborough Fields, even though it probably did not fully understand what was proposed. In the editorial on Friday, May 21, 2004, it strongly favored the changes proposed by the City to height and set back for sections of the historic district. Interestingly. the Planning Commission found that the increases proposed for the area around Ansonborough Fields were too complex and that further information and time were needed. The language used by the city in describing the changes was obfuscating and not enlightening; a view seemed to be shared with the Commission. I suppose this made no difference to the P&C opinion. As it is evident in relation to Ansonborough Fields, the sales tax increase, CARTA and everything else, there is never a difference between the editorial opinion of the P&C and that of the City Administration, and in this case even if the issue was not fully understood.

And as for the comment about general support for the changes, was anybody there from the P&C? Yes there was support for the changes that lowered the permissible height of buildings along Meeting and other streets. But there was little support for the increase in the allowable height in the Ansonborough Fields area. Indeed nearly all speakers were against it.

I continue to oppose anything that offends the architectural integrity of the Historic section of Charleston. I also support the need for green space in the city. The development of Ansonborough Fields and the increase in the allowable height of buildings offends and denies. The mayor is intent to develop the Fields, presumably in the hope of bringing more people to the area and boosting the poor economic performance of his Aquarium. But now to make this development more viable, we are being asked to allow even higher buildings and presumably another floor. And the Administration says, higher buildings will give a more interesting effect to the city skyline. Come on, does anybody believe this? Does anybody think the city skyline has improved since the construction of the Vendue Range condominiums which received a special height variance and blocked out the view of the old city skyline. We'll accept church steeples and church towers but not loft apartments and elevator shafts.