Advocacy: A Voice for Preservation
Historic Charleston Foundation staff members routinely attend key meetings of the city's planning boards, speaking out as advocates for preservation. These public meetings include the City of Charleston's Board of Architectural Review, Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning and Zoning Commission, and City Council. Staff representatives endorse the Foundation's positions on issues before these boards and frequently offer technical advice and expertise.
Learn more about Charleston's Board of Architectural Review. For agendas and information about public meetings held by the City of Charleston, visit the City of Charleston website.
Foundation staff also advocates for historic preservation on the state and national levels. Foundation staff attends the National Lobby Day sponsored by Preservation Action in Washington, D.C., each February to attend briefings and meet with lawmakers about the importance of supporting historic preservation.
In addition, Historic Charleston Foundation works proactively to shape the future of preservation in Charleston. The Preservation Plan, developed 2006 - 2007, was a partnership between Historic Charleston Foundation and the City of Charleston. It developed out of countless community workshops and public comments. Within the plan is an assessment of the numerous preservation issues facing Charleston as well as concrete recommendations for the future.
Preservation Plan (1 of 2)
Preservation Plan (2 of 2)
The plan emphasizes that preservation encompasses more than saving historically significant buildings. Rather, it states, “preservation is a social, economic and cultural endeavor that incorporates how new development is added within the historic district and beyond into outlying areas of the Lowcountry.” Emphasizing diversity of place, the plan notes that individual neighborhoods cannot be grouped arbitrarily together in planning efforts. Each neighborhood is composed of many factors that make it a unique place – building type and style, lot size, street layout, and landscaping.
Sound preservation planning is all the more necessary as the range of historic resources located in Charleston has become much broader as the city has grown. Within the city limits, rural districts, plantation properties, and early to mid-20th century neighborhoods are found.
Many of the plan’s recommendations also address promoting clarity and consistency in the design review process. Other innovative topics addressed by the plan include the need for the development of an archaeological ordinance in the historic district, the adoption of sustainability and “green” policies that meld with preservation principles, and the augmentation of disaster preparedness and recovery policies.
The Preservation Plan for Charleston provides a pioneering policy framework from which the city and the community as a whole can grow in a preservation-centric and sustainable manner for many years to come.