WEST ASHLEY REVITALIZATION COMMISSION Plan West Ashley Implementation May 9, 2018 Meeting Notes (draft) WARC members reviewed Plan West Ashley implementation recommendations that they previously prioritized. Items below were discussed at the May 9th and discussion will continue June 13th. WARC members will review implementation recommendations and discussion items and work to further refine actions items. Green Infrastructure Sustainability Workgroup Report Expand the Keep Charleston Beautiful office through staff and support to make it more active Develop a toolkit survey for neighborhood associations to assess their drainage issues in their various neighborhoods Review the City Code to make sure it supported green infrastructure. Support a ban on plastic bag use. It was noted that bags and other trash often clogged drainage facilities. Economic Development Workgroup Report Two themes: 1. Fuel growth where it make sense. Rejuvenate dead nodes and employ smarter growth techniques in the outer areas of West Ashley with appropriate targeted uses. 2. Job creation for pre-commerce. Address these by: Enabling the private sector to accomplish the above through incentives and not mandates Developing a competitive advantage pitch relative to peer municipalities Making sure the table is set for success. Improve City processes to run more efficiently for investment, redevelopment and collaboration.
TRANSPORTATION Intersection improvements at Sam Rittenberg Boulevard/Ashley River Road, Savannah Highway/Carolina Bay Drive, and Ashley River Road/St. Andrews Boulevard and Old Towne Road to resolve vehicle operational and safety issues while enhancing the ability of the intersections to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists
HOUSING With public input, elected officials should explore changes to state enabling law and city ordinances to allow for incentivized affordable housing programs. Develop local voluntary incentive programs that encourage developments to incorporate affordable and workforce housing. Explore potential for incentives such as real estate tax abatement, density bonuses, height bonuses or other mechanisms that incentivize developers to voluntarily include levels of affordable housing. HERRINGA Highlight
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Direct proceeds of the West Ashley Redevelopment Project Area and TIF District to construct supportive public improvements within the Citadel Mall area ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Map business assets and infrastructure in West Ashley to identify areas better positioned for private investment versus areas requiring upgrades. PLAN WEST ASHLEY IMPLEMENTATION* Economic Development (WARC Top 10 )
The Whitelaw Award recognizes individuals, groups or government entities for the long term protection and preservation of important buildings and places, as well as those involved with preservation advocacy. We believe that the hard work and community engagement by the West Ashley Revitalization Commission will make a positive difference for West Ashley and the entire City of Charleston as this plan is implemented in the coming years.
Chair Shahid noted there was a flyer from the West Ashley Farmer s Market. It was from April 25 through October 3, 3 p.m. through 7 p.m. He asked them to patronize the Farmer s Market. There were several events during Piccolo Spoleto taking place West Ashley. Chair Shahid said he would send an email of specific events, times and places. This was a big push by West Ashley City Council representatives, particularly Councilmember Bill Moody. He asked the Commission to patronize these Piccolo events. For those who liked to run, walk or exercise, Chair Shahid said encouraged them to participate in the Charlestowne Landing Race the Landing Series. It was a 5k walk or run held during the summer. Chair Shahid said Harry Lesesne would speak to the Commission about what was going on with the bikeway and greenway. Mr. Lesesne of the Charleston Parks Conservancy said their offices were in West Ashley adjacent to Magnolia Park, which they helped to create. They were shifting their focus to the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway. On June 4, they will kick off a four-day charrette/ design workshop with a public meeting at the Schoolhouse, 720 Magnolia Road in the afternoon. On June 7, they will have another public meeting in the afternoon to conclude the charrette and will have smaller meetings throughout the week with the Commission members and other members of the community. The idea of what they were trying to was to take what was already a great asset, the West Ashley Greenway and Bikeway, and make it even better improve the street crossings, install things that enhanced what was already there and make it better. West Ashley Revitalization Commission May 9, 2018 Page 2
Economic Development - Mr. Ferira West Ashley Revitalization Commission May 9, 2018 Page 3 Mr. Ferira said the two themes they wanted to choose were (1) fueling growth where it made sense in certain ways so rejuvenation of the dead nodes and smart growth of the outer parts of appropriate targeted uses and (2) job creation for pre-commerce. They solved these in three different ways: (1) incentivization of the private sector accomplishing those through incentives and not mandates, (2) they wanted to come up with a competitive advantage pitch and if the competitive advantage doesn t exist, to tweak so that it does so they could pitch to relative to peer municipalities, (3) make sure the table was set for when they have success to get people to pay attention and have the table set , that was having the process run efficiently such that development and investigation gears were met with collaboration and help, and not obfuscation and delays.
Chair Shahid concluded they would come back and fine tune green infrastructure and economic development discussions next month. He announced Ms. Jacobs wouldn t be at the next meeting as she was appointed to the Planning Commission. He thanked her for all of her work.
Public Comment Period Sherry Irwin said at a meeting a few months Ms. Herring there were plans for every square inch of West Ashley and the plan to build 10,000 apartments in West Ashley. She asked if they intend to eminent domain people s property in West Ashley.
Chris Bluemel of Northbridge said one thing he didn t hear in the economic development group was the quality of life of the residents of West Ashley. He kept hearing about high density housing, mass transit and everything else that goes with that, and a nice fa ade for the Piggly Wiggly. He wasn t really hearing West Ashley Revitalization Commission May 9, 2018 Page 4 about community interest of why people were moving to Cane Bay but not to West Ashley. They were leaving Mount Pleasant but they weren t coming necessarily coming here. They proposed, and another group proposed, a fine arts center, specifically for the Piggly Wiggly space. He didn t hear any of that conversation about the quality of life for the residents who already live here and that was who their primary concern was. One would be a community arts center that served everybody in the West Ashley area, which would draw in money and would be a fund raiser for the City and the West Ashley area.
Barry Whalen said he dropped in on both tables because he wanted to see how the flow of ideas would go between the two and whether or not they would intersect. They didn t quite intersect but they were closer towards the middle which he hoped would happen in future meetings. The green infrastructure table had a lot of important things they wanted to accomplish. Those things had to be integrated in a financially reasonable manner so they won t lose other things that they had been wanting here, like affordable housing and other initiatives, and he thought that would come along. He was encouraged the idea that it actually got to that point where he was almost seeing that consideration and had been hearing the idea to integrate somethings like green infrastructure consideration from the beginning in an organized manner would help to bring results along that had less destruction by the time they come to the finish line for things that could ease traffic to do some reviews on. The consultants came up with the idea on the green infrastructure near term improvements that they had instead of being immediate for the increased budget for inspection operations and maintenance of drainage infrastructure. He said they were going to have storms in a couple of months that typically come with the season. He thought that was something that needed to be closer to near term. Ms. Herring provided them budgets coming down in June. The idea that there was some flexibility with this and with that consideration, he thought they could continue to get more added results, which he felt confident would happen. Mr. Morgan said the City had approved the contract to demolish the Northbridge Piggly Wiggly and there would be an event there called the Kick Off at the demolition. It would be held May 29 at 10:30 a.m. He said they would get the Commission the final information on that.
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