Mount Pleasant town council agrees on mediation

Mount Pleasant Town Council (WCIV)

Things got a little heated in Mount Pleasant Tuesday night as the town wrestled with two big issues.

The first -- a referendum that would change the way council members are voted in. The second -- a lawsuit that could end up costing the town millions of dollars.

Most who showed up spoke about the single district voting issue, a proposal to divide the town into districts each managed by a person on the council. Many seemed blindsided by discussion about a lawsuit filed against the town by Middle Street Partners, a Lowcountry real estate developer.

The town voted down Middle Street's request two years ago to develop the old Channel 4 property, also known as the Pritchard property, on Ben Sawyer Boulevard. The board went into executive session and voted on a mediation agreement that would allow the project to move forward in exchange for the lawsuit to be dropped.

ABC News 4 learned the two parties agreed to a new plan worked out in mediation. It called for the go ahead for the apartments, minus the retail space.

In exchange, Middle Street developers would drop their lawsuit, that trial was to start next week, and a loss would have led to a loss of millions for the city.

Council members voted 4-3 in favor of agreeing to the terms of the mediation, meaning the development will go forward.

There were questions about one board member named in the lawsuit. He recused himself while two other board members refused to attend the executive session.

"I spent an hour and a half with the attorneys last week," said town council member Will Haynie. "…One of the first questions I asked tonight was there any new information. There was not. Executive session is to go in and receive new or different information. It is not to go in so that you can discuss of have your feelings vented outside of the public view."

As for the vote on single member districts, council voted not to put that referendum on the ballot.

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