Advocacy Alerts

Union Pier’s first major public meeting on March 23

preservation-admin , March 23, 2023

The proposed redevelopment of Union Pier will get its first major public meeting on Thursday, when the Planning Commission convenes a special informational session at the Main Library downtown.

The first of three planned info-only meetings (meaning no votes will be taken), Thursday’s event will deal with resilience and stormwater management, one of the key issues for this sensitive site.

Planning Commission special meeting on resilience and stormwater management at Union Pier 
Thursday, March 23, 2023, at 5 p.m.
Charleston County Public Library Main branch (68 Calhoun St.)
2nd floor auditorium
Note: This meeting is for information only, no action will be taken 

We are at a critical moment for the public to engage on this project. The Planning Commission has invited residents to attend in-person and ask questions (more details available meeting agenda). The meeting will also be streamed and available for viewing on YouTube.

The PSC, working in coalition with our partners, has kept a close eye on this project for months. Yesterday, we sent a joint letter to members of the Planning Commission, outlining some of our key concerns as they relate to the project’s proposed resiliency elements.

You can read the letter now to learn specifics about our concerns.

On Thursday, we hope to learn critical new information on three key areas:

1. Impacts to surrounding neighborhoods: There are concerns that the proposed intensity of the Union Pier project, which includes large-floorplate buildings and plans to elevate much of the property up to 15 feet, could create more stormwater problems than it solves.

2. Following citywide planning: The City is currently developing a new Comprehensive Water Plan and Peninsula Plan. Neither will be ready before Union Pier is expected to be put forward for approval, raising questions over whether it is responsible to consider such an impactful development with obsolete, inadequate planning guidelines on the books.

3. Public input: It remains to be seen how public input provided to city bodies and the project team has or will shape this project. All the while, the project team has had multiple chances to make the case for its proposal that maximizes returns for a private business, not the Charleston public.

We remain hopeful the redevelopment of Union Pier will be a model project to showcase innovative resilience infrastructure and create transformational public spaces built for Charleston residents. We know it can be.

As city decision-makers start to learn more about this project, we are anticipating even more questions about how it will impact downtown residents and how all Charlestonians will benefit.

As always, we will keep you updated on how you can best engage with this process as it moves ahead.

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