North Charleston City Council on Thursday gave the mayor permission to sell almost 12 acres of land on Dorchester Road for a public park, giving area residents access to the Ashley River.

City Councilman Bob King, who supported the sale, said the move means North Charleston now will have public waterfront access on the Cooper and Ashley rivers for the first time in its history.

As envisioned, the city will sell the land to the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission for nearly $1.9 million. The park commission will used half-cent sales tax money to purchase the land.

When combined with a larger tract already owned by PRC, it eventually will become a much larger county park along the Ashley River between the Covington Hills and Jericho-on-the-Ashley developments.

The land the city is selling is being carved out of a 16-acre tract North Charleston purchased two years ago for about $3.7 million. At the time the area faced the possibility of being developed as apartments.

Though the land is being sold at a loss, council members said the addition of a larger park in the area is worth the cost.

Park officials have said there are no immediate plans to develop the land for recreation, but that someday the property could provide river access for kayak and canoe enthusiasts.

Since the property is across the Ashley River from the historic plantation district, a ramp for motorized boats would not be suitable.

City Councilman Ed Astle said the sale was good for the area, noting that for decades he had seen the undeveloped site marked as a site for a future park.

Plans for the less than 3 acres the city is keeping include adding a new fire station.