North Charleston City Council has put the brakes on a plan that called for the city to co-apply with a developer to fill wetlands around the Centre Pointe shopping complex.
After several council members raised questions about proposal, Mayor Keith Summey agreed to return the plan to committee for more discussion next month.
At issue is a plan to expand the Centre Pointe shopping area, where Tanger Outlets is located, by filling in 34 acres of wetlands along International Boulevard. The city is considering filing a joint application for a federal wetlands permit with The Weiser Companies, the Centre Pointe developer headquartered in North Charleston that owns the land.
Summey and the development company have together discussed the idea with the Army Corps of Engineers, according to a spokeswoman for the Corps' Charleston office.
Summey has said the public would benefit from the deal because it calls for improvements to the water quality of Filbin Creek and the developer would provide land for a new city fire station, and a stadium for high school sports, and a transit station.
"I see it as a win-win-win," he told council members Thursday.
Several council members, however, said that having the city become a joint applicant on a permit to fill 34 acres of wetlands seems unusual and they want more details.
"I know the city has never been cavalier about anything environmental," Councilman Ron Brinson said. "Why are we standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the developer and property owner?"
Summey said the wetlands in question were created by a former dirt-mining operation and aren't natural wetlands. The project would provide clear benefits to the city, while improving Filbin Creek, said the mayor.
Council members Ed Astle and Dwight Stigler said they have more questions about the deal, too, and at that point the mayor declared that he would send the plan back to committee in order to satisfy the concerns.
The City Council Finance Committee is next scheduled to meet March 20 at 5:30 p.m.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552