Union Pier, through the years | Photo by Herb Frazier

Nearly 500 people submitted comments online weighing in on the controversial Union Pier project ahead of today’s planning Commission meeting, putting the project on a collision course with the community it’s set to impact. Members of the public are expected to show up in droves to the meeting in person to give hours of testimony before the commission. 

Local critics of the proposed downtown development have rushed to parse through the 400-page planning document for the project over the last several weeks. The most recent draft of the proposal, publicly released last week, calls for 500,000 square feet of retail and office space, 1,600 residential units and buildings up to eight stories high. Under a credit system included in the newest version of the proposal, no less than 10% of the total housing units on site must be affordable units. 

Just in time for today’s meeting is a satirical website, DisUnionPier.com, that is filled with rubs poking fun at the project sponsor, the S.C. State Ports Authority, and its developer, Lowe. 

“Charleston has an opportunity to reimagine its waterfront and rebuild Union Pier into a special place all Charlestonians can enjoy. Unfortunately, this sure as hell isn’t it,” the website’s opening reads. 

DisUnionPier.com is almost a carbon copy of the original Union Pier website. But it adds a rendering of  a towering Trojan horse in the idyllic art style of the original site. DisunionPier.com also mocks the Ports Authority’s talking points and implies an aggressive ignorance of Charleston’s history 

A coalition of the Historic Charleston Foundation, the Coastal Conservation League and the Preservation Society of Charleston will ask the Planning Commission to deny the proposed zoning document, known as a Planned Unit Development, for the 64-acre property. But the project will still ultimately reach City Council for final consideration by mid-July, as state law requires proposals to be submitted to a governing body within a month of their planning commission review. Today’s meeting represents the first opportunity for the city to formally support or oppose the project. 

In other headlines:

S.C. Supreme Court accepts challenge to state’s 6-week abortion ban. South Carolina’s highest court will directly take up a legal challenge to the state’s latest six-week abortion ban less than six months after tossing out the last one.

Charleston County sheriff asks for tips in Memorial Day shootout. Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano told Hollywood residents during a town-hall community meeting that deputies need the community’s help in solving a Memorial Day shooting that killed one and injured five others.

Environmental law complaint looks to save Folly Beach. Attorneys at the South Carolina Environmental Law Project want to keep Folly Beach, a frequent victim of erosion, from washing away entirely.

11 Lowcountry churches set to leave United Methodist Church group. Eleven Lowcountry churches are set to leave the denomination at the end of June after their separation from the United Methodist Church was approved over disputes about LGBTQ+ issues.

Hollywood elects new mayor, council members. Chardale Murray is Hollywood’s projected new mayor with 468 votes, edging out the incumbent John Dunmyer III and Althea Salters, according to preliminary results from Isaac Cramer with Charleston County Board of Elections.

Hurricane evacuation drill set for Thursday along I-26. Lanes will not be reversed nor will traffic be interrupted during a hurricane evacuation drill planned from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. this Thursday. But people who travel I-26 during this time may notice additional state and local emergency and law enforcement personnel on the roadsides.

  • To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

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