A proposal to compensate city of Charleston landowners who might suffer when their property is down-zoned fizzled out Tuesday.
Instead, City Council agreed to improve how it warns property owners when their area is being targeted for a down-zoning, as happened to a segment of the Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood recently.
Councilman Aubry Alexander proposed the city adopt a “government-initiated down-zoning ordinance” that would have required assessments of lost value be done when a zoning category changes, and that landowners be compensated.
Mayor Joe Riley, other council members and preservationist groups opposed the compensation idea, saying it would cost untold amounts of money the city doesn’t have and would endanger almost all zoning efforts into the future.
Alexander agreed to remove the compensation plank from the idea, which prompted the mayor and the city to agree to look at codifying how the down-zoning process will work in the future, including how property owners are notified.
The effort stems from the city’s move to change zoning in the area around Spring and Cannon streets, and as far away as Columbus Street, which has seen growth in bars and night spots.
Local residents say the neighborhood has become a favorite of college students during the late night hours, bringing noise, street accidents and excessive drinking.
One solution being explored is to adopt an overlay zone in the area that would require new bars and restaurants to close by 11 p.m.
Reach Schuyler Kropf at 937-5551.
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