Compromise sought in Lake Palmetto/Banks Construction zoning dispute
A compromise is being sought in a land-use dispute between a North Charleston townhouse community and a large construction company located on the adjoining property.
Just weeks ago, it appeared the city government was ready to brush aside the objections of Lake Palmetto residents and rezone about 40 acres next door for heavy industrial use, opening the door for just about any business to operate there.
The business operating there today, which owns the properties involved, is Banks Construction. The large firm, known locally for its work building and widening area roads, has faced complaints about noise and dust, and asked the city to change the zoning to reflect the company's long-standing use of the property.
Residents of Lake Palmetto, a townhouse community developed around a man-made lake near West Montague Avenue, turned out to oppose the plan. Many told city officials that they had no problem with Banks Construction, but worried that a zoning change could lower their property values and open the door to objectionable uses of the property in the future.
Heavy industrial zoning, or M2 for short, allows for uses that range from chemical plants to adult businesses.
A City Council vote on the zoning issue had been scheduled for Dec. 19, but was postponed instead.
"Both sides are talking and trying to come up with a resolution," Mayor Keith Summey said.
The goal is to find a way to assure Banks Construction that the company can keep doing what it's doing - the company has been "paving South Carolina since 1948" according to its website - while assuring Lake Palmetto residents that the city won't allow just any sort of heavy industry in the future, if the construction firm were to sell the land.
"Lake Palmetto appreciates Mayor Summey's leadership on this issue, and believes a sound and lasting compromise can be reached - one that both satisfies Banks' legitimate interests and addresses resident concerns," said Ross Appel, a lawyer hired by the residents.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552