‘The year of no’? 2 Mount Pleasant developments get lukewarm reaction

The traffic circle at Park West Boulevard and Grey Marsh Road always was envisioned as a town center, but plans for four four-story multifamily buildings are running into opposition.

MOUNT PLEASANT — Two large developments here failed to get the blessing of the town’s Planning Commission, though Town Council will have the final say.

The commission voted 5-1 against a proposal for Cambridge Square, a Park West project that aimed to build mostly multifamily buildings and some boutique retail in four four-story buildings ringing the roundabout where Grey Marsh Road meets Park West Boulevard.

It also cast a tie vote on whether to approve The Atlantic, a proposal to build 246 multifamily units and 14,000 square feet of retail on 15 acres at 1558 Ben Sawyer Blvd.

The votes took place during an hours-long meeting before a packed council chambers at Town Hall.

Council’s Planning & Development Committee will meet early next month to make its own recommendation on both projects.

Both requests come as council is reconsidering so-called “bonus densities” that the town gives developers in exchange for including certain features in their projects, such as open space. A few hundred residents are supporting the newly formed nonprofit group Save Shem Creek, which is encouraging the town to give more scrutiny to new development.

Councilman Chris Nickels said he thinks council members are getting the message.

“What I am hearing from every corner of Mount Pleasant is that council, and that’s where the buck stops, needs to take a hard look at our growth rate and how we’re growing and where we’re growing and hit the pause button,” he said. “I think it’s the year of ‘no.’ ”

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.