Given the impressive resurgence of development in Mount Pleasant, it's understandable that many residents want to have a say in what gets built next.
They may have that opportunity soon. The Planning Commission on Monday proposed an ordinance to renew the requirement that all new commercial development be approved by a Commercial Development Design Review Board. Town Council will consider that measure at next week's meeting.
The review board is not new. Developers were given the option to sidestep board approval and work directly with town planners in the wake of the recession, but a full docket of new projects inspired members of the Planning Commission to reconsider that strategy.
Debates over several recent projects in Mount Pleasant have been heated, and reaching common ground will undoubtedly be difficult. But the passion many residents feel for ensuring the continued livability of their community is healthy and should be encouraged.
A plan for a large apartment complex paired with a grocery store and fast-food restaurants off of Long Point Road was shelved last month following almost unanimous outcry. The public was right to be upset.
Like much of the Lowcountry, Mount Pleasant faces the challenge of balancing rapid growth with preservation of significant historic districts like Shem Creek and the Old Village. It is reasonable for the town to demand that commercial developments meet high standards of design and construction.
It is also reasonable for residents to demand more influence and oversight regarding the projects that receive approval.
The town can help concerned residents feel more invested in the future of the community by ensuring that their voices are heard.
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