Charleston City Council denies density increase for West Ashley residential development

Charleston City Council takes a vote on Tuesday April 24 before Mayor John Tecklenburg. (WCIV)

Local governments are taking the blame for traffic problems, specifically for allowing short-term development without requiring plans to cushion infrastructure problems long-term.

But Tuesday night, Charleston City Council made a rare move.

In an 11-1 vote, council members shot down an annexation request from developers seeking to increase density for a residential project.

The proposed development is off Bees Ferry Road near Bolton's Landing. The property falls under Charleston County zoning restrictions.

New city council member, Harry Griffin, District 10, voted against the motion and said it's part of his campaign promise to stymie overgrowth.

"We've got to challenge our developers to help us fund these projects," Griffin said. "I don’t want to see a new project coming where the developer is not willing to put some money toward infrastructure."

Mayor John Tecklenburg said the property sits in an area ripe for business, which falls in line perfectly with the West Ashley Revitalization Project.

"Bees Ferry Road is a commercial corridor and should and could play that role of being a source of jobs and services to the many citizens that live nearby," said Tecklenburg.

City officials said 84 percent of West Ashley residents don't work in West Ashley.

"We don't have any infrastructure, so we have to have people driving to businesses, not driving to and from more and more mass density homes," said Griffin.

Council member Marvin Wagner, who represents District 5, cast the only vote allowing the annexation.

He said he's not at odds with the council's decision, but feels the residential property will get build with or without city's hand in the matter.

"That whole subdivision is residential, apartments, duplexes and single family," Wagner said. "That's all that's there and I just have a hard time believing we're going to be able to put something there."

Dorchester County is also tightening its grip on development.

Last week, county council passed an ordinance requiring developers to conduct a traffic study before building any major subdivision.

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