Sergeant Jasper Stakeholders Ordered to Mediation
A circuit court judge recently ordered The Beach Company, the City of Charleston, and various neighborhood and preservation groups to enter into mediation over the Charleston Board of Architectural Review (BAR) appeal case over the Sergeant Jasper property. Both the city planning commission and the Board of Architectural Review have been under fire for proposing potentially arbitrary regulations that infringe on private property rights. The regulations could also potentially conflict with the existing zoning laws.
The BAR rejected several concepts regarding the redevelopment of the Sergeant Jasper property that were proposed by the owner of the property, The Beach Company. The company then filed an appeal with the South Carolina Charleston County Circuit Court challenging the BAR. The Beach Company claimed the BAR ordinances were without guidelines or standards to applicants or BAR members.
According to the president and CEO of The Beach Company, the company supports the BAR and its purpose, but is disheartened by the vague nature of the approvals process. They also consider the process difficult for property owners.
Following the ongoing dispute, the judge ordered all sides to begin mediation in an attempt to review the plans for the Sergeant Jasper. According to the judge, mediation is a better option than wasting tax payer dollars and clogging up the court system. Everyone involved in cautiously optimistic and hoping the preservation and neighborhood groups will now be able to focus their efforts on finding resolutions. Everyone claims they want to do what is best for the community, but so far, have just maintained unilateral opposition.