The historic redevelopment of the Sergeant Jasper property on the Charleston peninsula took another step forward as Circuit Court Judge J.C. Nicholson rescinded his order that the City of Charleston Board of Architectural Review (BAR) overstepped its authority in denying The Beach Company’s application to redevelop the Sergeant Jasper property.
Judge Nicholson's action was taken to validate the settlement agreement reached between the City of Charleston and The Beach Company earlier this summer.
According to that agreement, the Charleston Board of Architectural Review (BAR) agreed to vacate its June 3, 2015 decision to reject The Beach Company’s plan to redevelop the now-vacant Sergeant Jasper building – which The Beach Company owns -- and grant a Certificate of Appropriateness for conceptual approval for the project.
The conceptual approval covers the height, scale, mass and three dimensional aspects of the plan, and the overall quality and exterior architectural character of the plan.
The Beach Company, as part of that agreement, also went ahead and dismissed its appeal of the BAR's ruling.
“Today we are happy to move forward again with our vision to replace the outdated Sergeant Jasper with a new building of superior architectural design,” said John Darby, CEO of The Beach Company. “After Judge Nicholson ruled to protect property rights, the City worked diligently to come to an agreement for a positive outcome for this site.”
In announcing the settlement in June, the city issued a press release stating that, "The judge’s ruling is set aside, meaning that the Board of Architectural Review is protected from further court challenge and can get back to doing its work – protecting our city and neighborhoods from unattractive and inappropriate development.”
The Charleston City Council approved the settlement on June 21, 2016 by a vote of 11-1. It has since been approved by the BAR and The Beach Company's board of directors.
“It has been a very long, costly and unnecessarily contentious struggle,” said Darby. “More than a year ago, Judge Nicholson made it clear that the neighborhood and preservation groups have no legal standing, yet they continued to thwart progress for any plan proposed to them. We remain perplexed that these groups refused to participate in the dialogue to reach this agreement. But despite their response of ‘no’ to every plan proposed to improve the lower peninsula at the Jasper site, we ultimately prevailed with a collaborative solution for the site that will benefit all of Charleston’s residents. We look forward to working with the BAR to finalize the plans and begin construction.”