Business groups say Mount Pleasant’s latest plan to limit apartments encourages sprawl | Mount Pleasant News

MOUNT PLEASANT — The town’s latest attempt to limit housing and apartment development by reducing the number of homes that could be built on top of the business has been misguided, and further increased according to real estate interests. It just causes sprawl.

Town council members say the pending land-use rule changes will discourage high-density development, which could overcrowd schools and increase traffic, while creating incentives for more affordable housing. said to be provided.

Interesting points about Mount Pleasant’s proposed zoning changes have existed for decades, but are subject to rules used only once in the development of the 41-building Shellmore Village in 2006. It means that commercial space on the first floor and his two-story house.

The regulations that allowed Shellmore Village allow for the development of 12 residential units per acre when built over street-facing first-floor shops in the commercial district. The town’s proposal suggests reducing that number to four units per acre, or eight if half meet price and income guidelines, to count as attainable housing.

“Perhaps a year ago they[the town council]wanted to change and cut this because it was not in line with the comprehensive plan,” he said. said Michele Reed, the author. The conversation has morphed and is now about getting more affordable housing. ”

Real estate experts and the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce oppose the change.

Josh Dix, who represents the Charleston Trident Real Estate Association, told the town council on Jan. 10, when the rule change was first approved, that “clearing these areas and moving them to the suburbs would encourage sprawl.” ing.

Council members expressed concern that continuing to allow 12 dwellings per acre above retail stores in commercial areas could have negative impacts.

The town had previously approved a drastic reduction in the number of homes that could be built in two large commercial districts, known as “redevelopment centers”, when these districts were eventually redeveloped. These 452-acre land changes will require fewer homes and apartments than currently exist when redevelopment takes place.

Mount Pleasant to reduce density and housing in future redevelopment

That change, and the proposed changes to the housing above the store, followed the adoption of the town’s master plan.

“Schools are full and overcrowded,” said City Councilman GM Whitley.

The town has already banned the development of new apartments and condominiums under its soon-to-expire 2021 moratorium, and now also has a strict permit allocation system with no permits available for multifamily development. Both measures were intended to slow the rapid development and population growth experienced by the town.

Mount Pleasant immediately cuts permits allowed for home building

The proposed zoning changes include incentives to create “achievable” housing that many council members agree is necessary.

Alderman Carl Ritchie, former Mount Pleasant Police Chief, said, “We want our first responders to be able to live in this town.

Developers say the town’s proposal to require half the residential units to be affordable in order to build eight units per acre instead of four is unworkable.

Daniel Doyle, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Development, The Beach Company, said:

He said that whether the limit was eight, ten or twelve units per acre, expecting developers to make half of them “achievable housing” units would not work. I got

“The cost of building a market-rate unit is the same as the cost of building an achievable unit,” Doyle said. .”

He pointed out that other cities typically require 10% or 20% of units to meet affordability guidelines when approving large new developments.

“If 10 units are the market price, you might be able to own two units at a reasonable price,” Dix said.

Mount Pleasant prepares to ban most new apartments and condos through early 2023

Town council members gave initial approval to the zoning change at a January 10 meeting, but they expect the plan to change before final approval is expected in February. Some have said Mayor Will Haney and Alderman Howard Chapman and John Iacofano voted against the bill in a 6-3 decision.

“The main problem I have is that we need to have an affordable price for this,” Haynie said.

Unlike cities such as Charleston, Greenville, and Rock Hill, Mount Pleasant spends no more than a token on its affordable housing efforts and has few incentives. A privately-developed, subsidized condominium community on the north end of town, three years ago he sold for nearly $300,000 and is believed to be the town’s biggest success with a viable home.

“What’s being proposed is that we can’t get any more viable housing because there aren’t enough,” Chapman said.

Haney said plans could consider allowing 12 units per acre above shops in commercial areas if half of them were affordable housing. Said she could be open to that as well, as long as it’s a ratio of 1.

Doyle and Dix say it would be nearly impossible to create sub-market housing in such a scenario.

Other members of the council focused on density, the number of homes per acre.

“What I see is that commercial (regional) housing is a privilege. No. I want more density.”

Iacofano said lowering population density “will only stop the affordable housing that we really need.” There is no evidence that is particularly affordable.

shellmore shop.jpg

Thursday, January 12, 2023, Shelmore Village, Mount Pleasant, has residences above shops on the first floor of the building. Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

In Shellmore Village, a home built over a store 13 years ago is as big as many single-family homes, and the development is now selling for over $750,000. If your home is for rent, you can rent for $3,000 or more per month.

The concept of residential over business is old and still common in busy downtown areas such as Charleston’s King Street. The Shelmore Village development in Mount Pleasant was met with slow acceptance when it was first built, and after the Great Recession of 2007-2009 forced the development into foreclosure, new owners took control of the building. was sold at about half the original asking price and revived.

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