Carolina Polo and Carriage Co. Pinckney property

The debate over whether Carolina Polo and Carriage Co. can operate a stable at 45 Pinckney St. in downtown Charleston made it all the way to the S.C. Supreme Court this month. Staff/Emily Williams 

South Carolina's Supreme Court heard a dispute this month between a carriage company owner and the city of Charleston. This week, the court dismissed the case as "improvidently granted."

Filed Wednesday, the brief opinion did not include an explanation for the dismissal. 

The case centered around a Pinckney Street property that Carolina Polo and Carriage Co. owner Robert Knoth's LLC Arkay sought to use as a stable. According to city regulations, stables must be at least 100 feet away from the nearest residential district. The building, which is near the historic City Market, is just about two yards short of that mark. 

After a Charleston zoning board denied Knoth's request, a circuit court judge ruled that the city had made a mistake. 

In the circuit court's opinion, it found that Knoth's proposal, which would have restricted horse stalls to the rear section of the building and designated the front area for office space and a seating, satisfied the 100-foot rule. 

Then, the S.C. Court of Appeals reversed that decision in mid-2016, backing the city's argument that the the use of the word "stable" in Charleston's special exception ordinance referred to a physical structure — any building that houses animals — not to a use. 

Sign up for our new business newsletter

We're starting a weekly newsletter about the business stories that are shaping Charleston and South Carolina. Get ahead with us - it's free.


In Knoth's proposal, the office space and horse stalls were all under the same roof.

The dispute reached the S.C. Supreme Court on Nov. 7, when justices heard oral arguments. Attorneys Capers Barr and Frances Cantwell represented Arkay and the city of Charleston, respectively. 

Since the high court dismissed the case, the appeals court's ruling stands.

Reach Emily Williams at 843-937-5553. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.

Emily Williams is a business reporter at The Post and Courier, covering tourism and employment. She is also the author of the weekly Business Headlines newsletter. Before moving to Charleston, her byline appeared in The Boston Globe.