Mount Pleasant Town Council Places Two Year Moratorium on New Apartments

Mount Pleasant Town Council Places Two Year Moratorium on New Apartments

In a surprise move, the Mount Pleasant Town Council approved a two year moratorium on new apartment developments. The council had considered and approved a six month moratorium at its previous meeting.  The issue of growth and development continues to dominate the Mount Pleasant town council meetings, where the main issue discussed at the meeting had been an increase in impact fees developers would be required to pay for new development.

The issue of a two year ban was raised by Paul Gawrych, and was subject to a vote and subsequently adopted by the council on a 7-1 vote. Mr. Gawrych felt a two year ban was more appropriate in order to give new developments now under way a chance to be completed before the town considers any new apartment buildings. Mr. Gawrych said that the council would be better able to assess the need for more apartments once these new developments were finished. Fellow council member Joe Bustos, who has led the charge for a moratorium on apartments, said he was surprised by the strong support by other council members, but told the Post & Courier, “I think all the apartments going up have really shocked people’s sensibilities.” Mark Smith cast the sole “no” vote, and said that market forces were already taking care of the growth in apartments, since no new developments are planned during the next two years.

The Town of Mount Pleasant had a 180 day moratorium last year from April to November. The reason there are so many new apartments being built now according to Mr. Gawyrch, is because “we’ve got apartments being built now that were approved in 2007.”

The Town Council also voted to increase greatly the impact fees paid by developers to help offset some of the town’s costs from growth in residential communities and new businesses. These expenses include road improvements, a larger fire department and more recreational areas. The current fees only cover a small portion of a development’s full impact according to a recent study done for the town of Mount Pleasant. The fees for a new single-family home are currently set at $1,858, but the true cost to the town is $7,722.  For a 100,000 square foot shopping center, fees are currently set at $328,000, but the real costs are $1 million more than collected from developers.

Source: Post & Courier, “Mount Pleasant approves 2 year ban on new apartment plans,” by David Slade, March 15, 2016

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