Historic Charleston Foundation considering legal options despite settlement in Sergeant Jasper case

Days after The Beach Company’s board of directors voted in favor of a Charleston Board of Architectural Review-approved (BAR) settlement agreement regarding the redevelopment of the Sergeant Jasper site in Charleston, the Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) Executive Committee and the Preservation Society of Charleston (PSC) Executive Committee are considering continuing to battle over the property.


Days after The Beach Company’s board of directors voted in favor of a Charleston Board of Architectural Review-approved (BAR) settlement agreement regarding the redevelopment of the Sergeant Jasper site in Charleston, the Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) Executive Committee and the Preservation Society of Charleston (PSC) Executive Committee are considering continuing to battle over the property.

“Recently the city and The Beach Company negotiated a deal over the development of the Sergeant Jasper site,” HCF stated in its July newsletter. “HCF and PSC are both committed first and foremost to protecting the BAR as the two preservation groups' missions are intertwined with that venerable institution. The main consideration will be in how to best protect the BAR from future litigation brought by developers seeking to circumvent the process.”

The settlement agreement was approved by 11 members of the Charleston City Council, with one member opposing.

HCF went on to invite the public to a special Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday, July 12 to discuss amending the Century V Plan to include Gateway Overlay Zoning.

The Century V City Plan is a working document designed to articulate the visions and goals of the city to Charleston residents. The plan is mandated by the state to be updated every 10 years.

The 2000 Century V City Plan focused on creating land use regulations that encouraged compact development patterns; providing a diversity of options in housing, workplaces and transit; and ensuring the adequate provision of municipal services to new and existing customers.

Overlay zoning allows specific regulations to be applied to a designated area in conjunction with the requirements of the underlying or base zoning district.

According to the city’s website, the city proposes to add a new Overlay Zoning district to be known as the Gateway Overlay Zone to “add regulations to authorize specific land uses, building heights and lot occupancy requirements in the Gateway Overlay Zone, and change the Zone Map,” so that properties with certain Charleston County Tax Map Numbers would be included within the Gateway Overlay Zone.

The Beach Company plans to construct two additional buildings around its 14-story Sergeant Jasper apartment building — a two-story retail building on Broad Street, and a six-story building for retail, offices and a penthouse.

Preservationists have opposed the redevelopment of the vacant building since The Beach Company proposed to redevelop the site, contending that the project is too large and dense for the Harleston Village neighborhood, known for its scenic views.

“HCF is opposed to the amendment as it is in direct conflict with the Comprehensive Plan, the Preservation Plan, and decades of historic preservation and urban planning policy,” HCF stated. “The zoning amendment is necessary for the development of the Sergeant Jasper 'Chicago Plan' which is rapidly moving forward after City Council voted to accept a deal put forth by The Beach Company. The public is encouraged to attend the Planning Commission meeting to voice concerns over the proposed density of the Sergeant Jasper site.”

Founded in 1947, HCF aims to preserve Charleston’s architectural, historical and cultural heritage by participating in community planning, educational and volunteer programs.  

The Planning Commission meeting will convene at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Public Meeting Room of the Gaillard Center, 2 George St.

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Organizations in this Story

Charleston Board of Architectural Review (BAR) Historic Charleston Foundation Preservation Society of Charleston The Beach Company

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