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Foundation Matters

HCF’s Position on the Proposed Laurel Island PUD

Posted: August 19, 2020

Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF) began discussions of the current PUD proposal for Laurel Island in February, when the Laurel Island team made a presentation to the HCF Advocacy Committee. HCF is supportive of development of Laurel Island, and our goal in approaching this PUD proposal has been to ensure that it becomes a model for infill development on the peninsula, enhances the surrounding neighborhoods, and contributes to Charleston’s overall sense of place.

Since that initial February presentation, HCF and its Advocacy Committee have been in ongoing communications with the Laurel Island team. HCF has made a number of suggestions for improvement, exchanged several memoranda with the team, posed a myriad of questions, and advocated for substantial changes within numerous facets of the proposal. As such, The Foundation has made a meaningful impact in improving the PUD proposal from when it was first presented in February to the version under consideration. HCF is appreciative of the attention the Laurel Island team has paid to HCF’s comments and suggestions and are appreciative that many of them have been incorporated.

Key improvements to the initial proposal suggested by HCF that are worthy of highlighting:

This latest proposal for Laurel Island is a marked improvement from where the conversation began. However, there are still areas where HCF has concern and where additional improvements should be made.

With regard to the public realm:

Workforce and affordable housing are one of Charleston’s greatest challenges and one of the biggest impediments to quality of life in this city:

HCF is mission-driven to protect and preserve cultural and historic resources in the Lowcountry.

Lastly, HCF has had a lot of internal conversations about the design review process for Laurel Island and how the LIBAR (Laurel Island Board of Architectural Review) will take shape and function.

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