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City Council supports Cainhoy Plantation zoning update

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By Ashley Barker
Published Feb. 12, 2014

Charleston City Council unanimously passed zoning changes for Cainhoy Plantation Tuesday night.

After a public hearing, council members agreed to rezone Clements Ferry Road to a planned unit development. The area was previously zoned as “CY,” which places few restrictions on what could be built. The zoning change was approved last week by a 6-1 vote of the city of Charleston Planning Commission. Council also agreed to adopt the 9,000-acre development’s master plan to build residential neighborhoods, schools, commercial space and parks.

The development is owned by Peter Lawson-Johnston II through his entities: Cainhoy Land & Timber LLC, Southern Timber LLC and Tract 7 LLC 3.

Council members and residents were concerned that the owners would not seek additional public involvement. But Chief Planning Director Tim Keane said the owners are voluntarily adding restrictions to the zoning that make it subject to public input.

“The zoning says that all design for buildings on Clements Ferry Road and Cainhoy Road will be subject to our design and review board,” Keane said. He added that a subdivision concept plan must be submitted to the Planning Commission at each phase of the development.

“They’ve done a general survey of the whole property. But as they go phase by phase, they’ll have to do a very specific historic survey of that phase,” Keane said. “That will help decide where each street goes, how the lots are laid out, where the parks will go. All the design decisions will be based upon a lot more information.”

District 1 Council member Gary White Jr. said this is the greatest amount of public outreach he’s seen a developer do on any project since he’s been on the council.

“The process works. When people are willing to accept input from the community on how things should be developed, ultimately we end up with a better solution and a better project,” White said. “And I don’t think it’s over with.”

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker.

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