While development of Johns Island likely can’t be stopped, it certainly hit a speed bump on Tuesday night, when the Charleston City Council voted to reduce the number of homes allowed on 465 acres in the rural part of the island. Of course, “rural” is subjective: The city down zoned the property from 3.5 units an acre to one unit every 1.5 acres.

But that didn’t stop Victor Rawl from speaking for himself and the other landowners who were looking to make millions in the sale and development of the property. For some of them, this sale was a retirement plan, he said.

“I have a very quick solution,” he said. “Buy it from us.”

Unfortunately for Rawl, the city found an even faster solution in reducing the number of homes — as it’s entitled to do (or that Department of Planning and Neighborhoods would just be the Department of Neighborhoods). That’s not to say it was an easy decision. Mayor Riley recognized the good families involved, but he said the change was necessary to avoid sprawling development on the picturesque island roads.

“These are fine people and they are disappointed in the city’s actions,” Riley said. “But the city has downsized because (the zoning) was no longer justified.”