Laurel Island Planned Unit Development

Charleston, SC | 29405

Once occupied by a City landfill, Laurel Island is a 196-acre site on the Cooper River, just north of downtown Charleston, currently seeking rezoning to Planned Unit Development (PUD). The proposal calls for a high-density, mixed-use development of the site, which will undoubtedly be one of the largest and most impactful projects in Charleston’s history.

The Laurel Island PUD has been working its way through the City approval process since this summer, and many positive improvements have been made due to the advocacy of the PSC, residents, and fellow stakeholders. The PUD now ensures a slightly better mix of uses, limits the maximum number of residential units, and establishes a higher threshold for usable greenspace. However, the PUD still fails to provide a land use plan to support the vision for the development, and community outreach and public involvement in the approval process have been insufficient, leaving many feeling uninformed and unheard.

The PSC is increasingly disappointed with the City’s approach to approving projects of this scale. The recent PUDs enacted across the City, from the Epic Center, to Cainhoy, and now Laurel Island, illustrate a disturbing trend toward ceding an unprecedented level of authority to developers. The City needs to set the vision for the future of Charleston and not defer to developers’ need to create a sellable product.

Once the Laurel Island PUD is approved, there will be no further opportunity for public involvement
.

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