There are 40 hotels on the Charleston peninsula but growing concerns over tourist accommodations has the city with an open ear to its residents.
Tuesday night, the City of Charleston hosted a public listening session explaining the impact of new and prospective hotels on the peninsula while also allowing people to voice their opinions.
“We have been really vigilant about hotels downtown,” said Jacob Lindsey, the city’s planning director. Just three years ago the city voted down the prospect of adding 3,300 new hotel rooms in addition to revamping their hotel overlay zone. “We first started in 1982 then we did again in 1997, then we did it again in 2013,” added Lindsey.
Councilman Mike Seekings was one of the dozens gathered for the forum at held at the Charleston Museum. Seekings says transportation is the issue here. “What we need to be asking ourselves is once we put something there that’s developable and it’s good for our economy,” said Seekings “how do we move the people from place to place?”
There are 3 hotels currently being built on the peninsula and 15 in the pipeline at various permitting stages.
“The redevelopment of downtown was really led by accommodations to hotels over the course of the past 30 years now” said Lindsey, “because were such a highly coveted tourist destination we might need to manage things a little bit differently.”