Council sets delicate balance on building heights near Shem Creek

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - After a three-hour meeting, Mount Pleasant's town council meeting ended with a split decision.

Residents lined up to speak at the meeting, many against the plan to increase the height of future buildings in and around Shem Creek.

In some degree, it worked.

The council decided to allow the 55-foot height limit, except in the area between Live Oak Drive and Shem Creek where the limit is 45 feet. Council members also approved allowing buildings to reach 75 feet in height in three places: the Sea Island Shopping Center, Moultrie Plaza, and The Boulevard.

However, the allowance comes with a caveat. Those taller buildings must be built on the interior of the properties, not on the street.

A Shem Creek group has lobbied hard in recent weeks to stop the proposed changes, distributing some 2,000 bumper stickers along with social media pages promoting its stance.

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce is advocating for taller buildings along Shem Creek, saying it's time for the town to be proactive in its growth. According to the Chamber, 40 people per day move into the area every day.

This was the first reading of the proposed changes to height restrictions on Shem Creek. The public comment portion lasted more than two hours.

There are still two more readings of the proposal before council members make a decision.