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Charleston cruise ship terminal hearing delayed — again

The battle over a new cruise ship terminal in downtown Charleston won’t be overshadowed by the presidential election after all.

The state’s Court of Appeals, which was going to hear arguments in the cruise ship case on Election Day, canceled the Nov. 8 hearing “after careful consideration,” Jenny Kitchings, the clerk of court, said in a letter sent to lawyers on Friday. There is no new date for the hearing, which has been delayed numerous times over the past two years due to scheduling conflicts.

With the court’s calendar set for the rest of this year, it likely will be 2017 before the case returns to the docket.

The case pits several Charleston area environmental and historic preservation groups against the State Ports Authority and the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control.

DHEC granted a permit in 2012 that would let the maritime agency place five additional clusters of support pilings beneath an old warehouse at the north end of Union Pier. The SPA wants to spend about $35 million at that site on a new terminal for cruise ships, replacing a nearby 1970s-era building used mostly by Carnival Cruise Lines.

The environmental and preservation groups filed a lawsuit opposing DHEC’s ruling, but a state Administrative Law Court judge ruled the groups did not have a right to sue. An appeal of that ruling was filed in April 2014, and all sides have been waiting since then to present their arguments in court.

The groups, which are represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center, say they oppose the new terminal because it would add to congestion and pollution near the city’s Historic District, threatening its unique character. They want the terminal moved farther north.

The SPA says its voluntary limit on the cruise ship business — no vessels with more than 3,500 passengers and no more than 104 ships per year — will address those concerns. The SPA’s current cruise ship terminal is just a few hundred feet south of the proposed facility and the maritime agency says a new facility would improve traffic patterns.

The SPA also needs a federal permit to proceed with the project. The Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing an application for that permit but has not set a timetable for its decision. A previous permit application was tossed out by a federal judge in 2013 because the proposal did not consider the terminal’s impact on the city’s historic district.

 Click to read full article

Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_

Join the Caravan to Columbia on November 8!

FINALLY!!!!!

The SC Court of Appeals has scheduled oral argument in our State case challenging DHEC’s issuance of a permit to the State Port Authority for election day, Tuesday, November 8, at noon.

Yes, that is election day.

The arguments will be in Courtroom 1, SC Court of Appeals, 1220 Senate Street, Columbia.  The building is called the Calhoun State Office Building, and the entrance for the court is on the north side of the building, near the intersection of Senate and Sumter Streets.

This is our chance to PHYSICALLY show our belief in the case….Bodies will matter!!

TO THAT END: C4 has worked with the Coastal Conservation League to organize transportation to/from Columbia if enough people commit to coming.

Please RSVP at this link by November 3.  We currently have space for 14-30 people.

C4 and the Coastal Conservation League are happy to cover the cost of the transportation, but as always any donations would be much appreciated!!

Those who choose to join us in Columbia will be back well prior to 7:00PM to vote!!!!!! There is always the option to vote beforehand as well–we anticipate getting on the road to Columbia at 9 AM.

As you may recall, the main issue on appeal is whether C4 and the other groups have legal “standing” to challenge the permits issued by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for SPA’s proposed new, larger cruise terminal on Laurens Street. The sanctions imposed on us by the ALC will also be reviewed at the hearing.

Our attorneys have appealed a S.C. Administrative Law Court decision which held that our groups had no legal right to challenge DHEC’s approvals. The judge reasoned that none of our members would suffer any injury from a 100,000 sq ft., $35 million cruise terminal built to home-base 3500-passenger vessels in downtown Charleston.

Because the ALC threw the case out for lack of standing, we never had the opportunity to present the merits of the case. On appeal, we contend that the terminal’s localized air pollution, increased traffic, and historic neighborhood degradation are more than sufficient to allow our day in court.

As stated above, the public is welcome to attend Court of Appeals hearings.  The Court has advised counsel to arrive early, since cases beforehand may end early.

Letter: Growing pains

Robert Rosen’s Sept. 18 op-ed provided an interesting snapshot of Charleston’s transformation over the past 36 years.

Drawing on his years of service with the city, he offered sound advice for dealing with the rapid growth Charleston is experiencing.

He pointed out that “infrastructure, especially highways, is simply not in place to support this growth.”

There is another relatively new infrastructure component Mr. Rosen does not mention but that Charleston and many coastal cities must factor into future planning and development: the daunting technical challenges and immense cost of adapting to sea-level rise in the decades ahead.

Richard Wildermann

Privateer Creek Road

Johns Island

Click to see article

Charleston does not deserve the same fate as Venice!!

PISA, Italy — A deadly plague haunts Venice, and it’s not the cholera to which Thomas Mann’s character Gustav von Aschenbach succumbed in the Nobel laureate’s 1912 novella “Death in Venice.” A rapacious tourist monoculture threatens Venice’s existence, decimating the historic city and turning the Queen of the Adriatic into a Disneyfied shopping mall.

Millions of tourists pour into Venice’s streets and canals each year, profoundly altering the population and the economy, as many native citizens are banished from the island city and those who remain have no choice but to serve in hotels, restaurants and shops selling glass souvenirs and carnival masks.

Tourism is tearing apart Venice’s social fabric, cohesion and civic culture, growing ever more predatory. The number of visitors to the city may rise even further now that international travelers are avoiding destinations like Turkey and Tunisia because of fears of terrorism and unrest. This means that the 2,400 hotels and other overnight accommodations the city now has no longer satisfy the travel industry’s appetites. The total number of guest quarters in Venice’s historic center could reach 50,000 and take it over entirely.

Just along the Grand Canal, Venice’s main waterway, the last 15 years have seen the closure of state institutions, judicial offices, banks, the German Consulate, medical practices and stores to make way for 16 new hotels.

Alarm at this state of affairs led to last month’s decision by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to place Venice on its World Heritage in Danger list unless substantial progress to halt the degradation of the city and its ecosystem is made by next February. Unesco has so far stripped only one city of its status as a heritage site from the more than 1,000 on the list: Dresden, after German authorities ignored Unesco’s 2009 recommendations against building a bridge over the River Elbe that marred the Baroque urban ensemble. Will Venice be next to attain this ignominious status?

In its July report, Unesco’s committee on heritage sites expressed “extreme concern” about “the combination of ongoing transformations and proposed projects threatening irreversible changes to the overall relationship between the City and its Lagoon,” which would, in its thinking, erode the integrity of Venice.

Unesco’s ultimatum stems from several longstanding problems. First, the increasing imbalance between the number of the city’s inhabitants (which plummeted from 174,808 in 1951 to 56,311 in 2014, the most recent year for which numbers are available) and the tourists. Proposed large-scale development, including new deepwater navigation channels and a subway running under the lagoon, would hasten erosion and strain the fragile ecological-urban system that has grown up around Venice.

For now, gigantic cruise liners regularly parade in front of Piazza San Marco, the city’s main public square, mocking the achievements of the last 1,500 years. To mention but one, the M.S.C. Divina is 222 feet high, twice as tall as the Doge’s Palace, a landmark of the city that was built in the 14th century. At times, a dozen liners have entered the lagoon in a single day.

The inept response of the Italian authorities to the very real problems facing Venice gives little hope that this situation will change anytime soon. After the shipwreck of the Costa Concordia in January 2012 off the coast of Tuscany left 32 people dead, the Italian government ruled that megaships must stay at least two miles from shore to prevent similar occurrences in the future. But the Italian government, predictably, failed to stand up to the big money promised by the tourist companies: A loophole to that law was created just for Venice. A cruise liner running ashore in the Piazza San Marco would wreck centuries of irreplaceable history.

Furthermore, after a corruption scandal over a multibillion-dollar lagoon barrier project forced Mayor Giorgio Orsoni to resign in June 2014, he was replaced a year later by Luigi Brugnaro, a booster of Venice’s tourism. Mr. Brugnaro not only fully welcomes the gargantuan ships but has even proposed the sale of millions of dollars of art from the city’s museums to help manage Venice’s ballooning debt.

The destruction of Venice is not in Italy’s best interest, yet the authorities remain paralyzed. Local authorities — the city and the region — are at odds with the government in Rome. Regardless, they have failed to diversify the city’s economy, meaning that any changes would put the few remaining Venetians out of work. To renew Venice’s economic life, new policies are strongly needed, aimed at encouraging young people to stay in the historic city, encouraging manufacturing and generating opportunities for creative jobs — from research to universities and the art world — while reutilizing vacant buildings.

No effective provision on Venice’s behalf has been enforced so far by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, although protection of environment and cultural heritage is among the fundamental principles of the Italian Constitution. Nor are authorities developing any project whatsoever aimed not just at preserving the monuments of Venice, but at ensuring its citizens a future worth living.

If Italy is to spare Venice from further violation by the new plague devouring its beauty and collective memory, it must first review its overall priorities and, abiding by its own Constitution, place cultural heritage, education and research before petty business.

Appeals court narrows dates for Charleston cruise ship terminal hearing

Appeals court narrows dates for Charleston cruise ship terminal hearing

David Wren
David Wren Email @David_Wren_
Aug 1 2016 2:32 pm

After months of delays, the state Court of Appeals has set a date — actually two of them — to hear arguments in a case that will determine whether the State Ports Authority gets one of the permits it needs to build a new cruise ship terminal near Charleston’s Historic District.

Lawyers from all sides said they have no conflicts that would keep them from attending a hearing on either Nov. 9 or Nov. 17, two dates the appeals court has set aside to hear arguments in the case. The court will choose one of those two dates at a later time.

This is the eighth, and apparently final, time the court has tried to schedule the case. The previous delays primarily have been because of conflicts that lawyers on both sides have had keeping them from attending the proceeding in Columbia.

A half-dozen environmental and historic preservation groups are appealing an administrative law judge’s ruling in 2014 that determined they don’t have standing to object to a state-issued construction permit for the project at the SPA’s Union Pier Terminal.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control granted a permit in 2012 that would let the ports authority place five additional clusters of support pilings beneath an old warehouse at the north end of the property. The maritime agency wants to invest about $35 million at the site to replace a nearby, early 1970s-era building used mostly by Carnival Cruise Lines.
Video: Raw: First Cruise Ship in 40 Years Docks in Cuba

The SPA also needs a federal permit to proceed with the project. The Army Corps of Engineers is reviewing an application for that permit. The federal agency held a public hearing on the permit in April, with a majority of those speaking and submitting written comments saying they are opposed to the project.

Army Corps spokesman Sean McBride said the agency continues to review the permit application.

In addition to a new terminal, the project would include a loading dock, parking areas, rain canopies, security fences and other items to support cruise ship operations.

Cruise ship supporters say the industry is an important part of the tourism economy and a source of jobs. The SPA has said a new terminal would improve traffic patterns and allow nearby streets to stay open during embarkation and debarkation days.

Local environmental and historic preservation groups say a new terminal would threaten the unique character of the Historic District and have negative impacts on the community, such as added congestion and pollution.

The SPA first proposed the new terminal in 2010, the same year Carnival Cruise Lines based its 2,056-passenger Fantasy cruise ship in Charleston. The Ecstasy cruise ship replaced the Fantasy this year.

Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_

© 2016, The Post and Courier, an Evening Post Industries company.
All Rights Reserved.

August Litigation Update!

After being rescheduled more than a handful of times, our appeal of the State Port Authority’s permit to build a new cruise terminal at the north end of Union pier has now been scheduled for either November 9 or 17.  We will let you know when the date, time and place are finalized!

Please read the article posted on our website for further details (click here).

We hope many of you will save the dates, and join us in Columbia for the hearing…..

Until then, enjoy the waning days of summer–staying as cool as possible!

Steeples not Smokestacks, new article from World Monuments Fund

Steeples not Smokestacks
May 25, 2016 | by Frank Sanchis

The oldest city in South Carolina, Charleston is widely known for its well-preserved historic urban fabric. Attracting over 4 million visitors a year, the city reflects growing appeal as a cruise destination: according to the 2015 tourism management plan, published by the College of Charleston, the city experienced a 547% increase in the number of cruise ship passengers between 2000 and 2013. Current concerns in Charleston echo the challenges faced in other historic port cities with cruise ship tourism, such as Venice.

Carnival Cruise lines recently upped the ante in Charleston by basing Sunshine—a ship that holds 3,062 passengers—in the historic city. Sunshine joins the slightly smaller Carnival ship Ecstasy, which is already home-ported in Charleston, setting the stage for additional homebased superliners to come.

Meanwhile, a proposal by the State Ports Authority (SPA), in discussion since 2010, would create a new cruise terminal in the historic district with even more capacity at a reported cost of $35 million. The Army Corps of Engineers is the federal agency responsible for reviewing the SPA proposal.

In welcoming Carnival’s expansion and considering the new terminal, the leadership of Charleston has clearly not learned the sad lesson of Venice, where hordes of tourists streaming off as many as seven cruise ships at a time can double the population of that city for the brief period they are in port, severely taxing the fragile infrastructure and ruining the experience of being in the city, for both visitors and the local citizens. To date, Charleston’s leadership has refused to explore options for relocating the cruise ship terminal away from the city’s historic district, as requested by local, national, and international preservation groups, thus opening the way to accommodate not only more but larger ships in future.

Following the Preservation Society of Charleston’s nomination of Charleston to the 2012 Watch, WMF held an international symposium on the subject of cruise ship tourism in historic port communities. The symposium, entitled Harboring Tourism, took place in Charleston in February 2013. WMF subsequently published a summary of the proceedings.

In 2013, 72% of respondents to a poll by Charleston Magazine indicated that they were concerned about the congestion and pollution caused by what was, at the time, the one homeported cruise ship in the city. What will be the case with the stacks of two behemoths—maybe more—overshadowing the signature steeples of the historic Charleston skyline?

For more information, please refer to Charleston Communities for Cruise Control.

Cruise terminal controversy may have only one solution

The Advocate

By Jay Williams, Jr.

There’s good reason for the cruise terminal controversy. Union Pier may be the worst place to put it.

There must be a balance between residents’ quality of life and the cruise ship tourism that Jonathon B. Tourtellot, a National Geographic Fellow, once called “the strip mine of tourism.”

On April 12, more than 125 citizens attended an Army Corps of Engineers public hearing as part of a process to decide if the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA) should be given a permit to build a new terminal at Union Pier. (See many comments on our letters to the editor section on pages 14 and 15.) Col. Matthew Luzzatto, commander of the Army Corps’ Charleston office, stood as he listened to two hours of public comments. Most speakers highlighted the negative impacts from cruise ships and respectfully offered options to reduce them. Before making its decision to approve the permit, approve it with special conditions or deny it, the Corps will review all comments submitted by May 12, 2016.

The Corps previously approved a “maintenance” permit with no public comment, but citizens appealed. In 2013, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel tossed that permit and chastised the Corps’ review process saying, “The Army Corps of Engineers, unreasonably and unlawfully, restricted its ‘scope of analysis’ to an insignificant fraction of the project that lay within the agency’s jurisdiction.”

Real growth, real issues

The SPA submitted revealing information to the court. Quoting from the ruling, “The Ports Authority has acknowledged that a cruise ship terminal can ‘present special challenges’ in ‘managing automobile and pedestrian traffic,’ ‘protecting the environment,’ ‘and preserving Charleston’s unique character’ and ‘there are still lingering questions about how well the cruise ship business will fit into the context of this diverse, world class city.’” “Evidence provided by the Ports Authority supports the [opponents] claim … that the number of cruise ships and passengers has increased in recent years and the proposed new and larger passenger terminal would likely significantly increase the number and size of cruise ships visiting Charleston and the volume of cruise passengers in the historic Charleston waterfront.”

From 2000 to 2013, the number of Charleston’s cruise ship passengers increased by 547 percent. So with a new 100,000 sq.-ft. terminal featuring an 1800’ pier, the home-ported 2,056-passenger Carnival Ecstasy could be replaced with a 3,450-passenger ship, creating new impacts even under current limits. In that 2013 ruling, the Court, citing SPA data, concluded that simply to service this increased volume of passengers on an average cruise day, “up to 20 tractor trailers, 16 small trucks, 32 busses, 90 taxis and 1600-passenger vehicles would need access to the very confined” terminal area that “lies immediately adjacent to the Charleston Historic District and the Ansonborough neighborhood.”

What about even more ships, traffic and impacts? In January, Cruise Industry News Quarterly wrote, “While Carnival remains the port’s number one customer, there is the potential for another home-ported line, as the city recently completed doubling the size of its airport.” And the new Union Pier cruise terminal would be much larger, able to berth two ships simultaneously.

Last May at Charleston City Council, Jim Newsome, the SPA’s CEO, asserted that Charleston’s cruise business “is not a growth industry,” noting that in 2010, “we had 67 cruise ships.” He didn’t say that Charleston would host 93 port calls in 2015. This year, Charleston will host 100 ships. That sure looks like growth.

That ordinance doesn’t limit anything

We’re now just a few ships short of the SPA’s own voluntary limit of 104 ships per year. No worries, right, because of that much-heralded City Council ordinance passed to address to cruise concerns. But that ordinance didn’t limit anything. It only requires the SPA to notify the city one year in advance when plans to exceed the voluntary limits of 104 cruise ship visits or the 3,500-passenger maximum. So if the promise isn’t kept, there are no consequences.

On the night the ordinance passed, the SPA’s public relations director, Byron Miller, sent an email confirming the ordinance’s irrelevancy: “As you’ll recall, this ordinance does not limit or impact in any way the cruise business in Charleston.”

At last May’s City Council meeting, SPA CEO Jim Newsome, mostly reaffirmed this earlier quotation: “In my view, cruising is a maritime commerce business, not a tourism business,” he said. “It’s more like an airport. Sure they may stay a night or two before or after the cruise, but for us it’s about the maritime commerce.” That night he said, “Most of the cruise passengers … board the Carnival Fantasy to become tourists, but in Nassau and Freeport.”

Carnival cruisers are not coming to Charleston; they’re going through Charleston. So much for those touted economic benefits.

This time, it’s a different process

This time, the Corps must abide by the congressionally mandated Section 106 process to assess all environmental and historic impacts.

 

So it was confusing to hear Army Corps’ project manager Nat I. Ball’s opening at the hearing when he said that as a terminal was already in Charleston, “We’re focused on the changes that would occur … From what occurs at Union Pier today, we’re looking at that increment of change.”

That sparked a response from Blan Holman, managing attorney at the Charleston office of the Southern Environmental Law Center: “The Corps needs to consider this for what it is — a brand new and much larger cruise terminal in the heart of Charleston’s historic downtown. Calling a $35-million-dollar terminal ‘maintenance’ or treating this project as a nip and tuck takes us back to 2013 when we should be moving forward.”

Besides ship limits and alternate terminal locations, other issues beg for solutions, but the SPA hasn’t offered a single concession on any of them:

Shore power. The Coastal Conservation League’s Katie Zimmerman says that “nitrogen oxides and carbon oxides are not addressed by scrubbers” but that shore power virtually eliminates them, noting that the SPA’s “air quality monitor measures regional impacts, not localized hot spots.” “Additionally,” she said, “tests of scrubbers have shown possible increases in high concentrations of a number of harmful compounds in the water around the ships.

Though shore power will cost $4-5 million, that’s minor compared to the terminal’s $35 million price tag and the federal government has paid much of this cost at other ports.

Parking and traffic. Unbelievably, the SPA is planning for nine acres of surface parking at Union Pier on perhaps the most valuable undeveloped waterfront property in America. And even with a rail line available, the SPA has rebuffed remote parking solutions.

The Corps’ October 21-22 traffic study drew skepticism as it was done so soon after major flooding dampened tourism. The study showed increased cruise day traffic, but questions of validity suggest that it should be repeated this month.

Asymmetrical impacts. Charleston gets no revenue from cruise ships. No berthing fees, no head taxes and no property taxes — every dime goes to the SPA. Yet the city and its citizens bear all the heavy impacts of managing tourists driving in and spewing out from the terminal.

 

The concerns above help explain why some cities, after being badly damaged by cruise ship tourism like Venice and Hamilton, Bermuda, are moving cruise terminals away from the historic districts and city centers. Although Key West is now trying to limit cruise operations, it’s already too late to preserve what was there.

The vast majority of cruise critics are not seeking to end all cruises; however, noise, soot, traffic, water quality and ship and passenger scale must be regulated as any tourist business. Many citizens are saddened by the visual pollution of colossal modern cruise ships towering over iconic church steeples, shattering the ambiance and patina of this historic city; but, the noise, smells, traffic and pollution make them angry.

The SPA owns the Veterans and Columbus Street terminals, closer to highways and with more space. Given that the SPA considers a cruise terminal to be like an airport and refuses any tourism regulation or compromise on any issue, denying the permit at Union Pier may be only sensible solution.

 

Voice your opinion: Written comments on the proposed Union Pier cruise terminal must be received by May 12, 2016:

 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Regulatory Division

Attn: Nat Ball

69-A Hagood Ave.

Charleston, S.C. 29403

Letter: Clarifying cruise statement

We appreciate the coverage The Post and Courier has devoted to plans by the South Carolina State Ports Authority to build a new cruise terminal.

But in reference to The Post and Courier coverage of the Army Corps of Engineers public hearing, I would like to clarify a comment of mine:

Reporter David Wren chose only a snippet of my statement on behalf of Charleston Communities for Cruise Control. It did not accurately characterize our stance on this project.

Mr. Wren quoted me as saying the cruise industry represents “a threat to the very fabric of the city where so many of us live, work and love to visit.”

My full statement, read into the record at the hearing, was this: “Authorizing the SPA’s proposed new, larger cruise terminal without the appropriate considerations and without legally binding, enforceable limits is a threat to the very fabric of the city where so many of us live, work and love to visit.”

The key part of my comments, absent in The Post and Courier’s report, reflects our efforts to find compromise.

We are not against the cruise industry or the cruise terminal. But we strongly believe in the need for a balanced approach that promotes cruise tourism while at the same time preserves and protects the character and accessibility of the Historic District, a federally recognized historic landmark.

We are looking for solutions, not obstructions.

Carrie Agnew

Director, Communities

for Cruise Control

Legare Street

Charleston

Heed cruise critics’ concerns

Things haven’t changed much.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority is still intent upon building a new cruise ship terminal at the north end of Union Pier with a loading dock, parking and rain canopies.

And opponents are still alarmed by the impact that would have on air quality, traffic and the city’s Historic District, which is a National Historic Landmark.

But at least a new set of ears is now considering the debate: The Army Corps of Engineers, heard from about 30 people at a hearing Tuesday on the SPA plan. All but two spoke against the terminal. And a majority of the 115 in attendance appeared to side with them.

This is actually the second time the SPA has asked the Corps for permission to build the terminal. In 2012, the Corps agreed to a permit, but a federal judge reversed the decision because the Corps did not adequately consider environmental and historic preservation issues related to the project.

For example, the state and local medical societies have formally opposed the cruise plans because of hazardous emissions from ships idling at dock.

Steve Dopp, who owns the Francis Marion Hotel, said he can see the black soot wafting from cruise ships from his office on King Street.

The SPA has no plan to install shoreside power to fuel those ships as some other ports have done out of concern for people’s health.

Further, the SPA has refused a binding agreement to limit the number and size of cruise ships that visit here.

Jim Newsome, SPA president and CEO, has said he will alert the city of Charleston if the SPA ever decides to surpass 104 cruise ship visits per year carrying no more than 3,500 passengers per ship, but that promise is not in writing.

The reason people want formal limits on the size and frequency of cruise ships is that thousands of passengers spill out of ships onto busy downtown streets. They say the very fabric of the Historic District, which is crowded even without cruise ships, is jeopardized by the visitors and would be even more so if the SPA were to increase cruise ships business at a new, larger terminal.

The Southern Environmental Law Center would like the SPA to consider alternative sites for the terminal, but Mr. Newsome has said the Union Pier option is the only possibility.

So the next step will be up to the Corps of Engineers, whose project manager, Nat Ball, said the question will be whether the project would cause problems that don’t already exist with the SPA’s existing cruise ship operations.

Mr. Ball said issues like the size and frequency of cruise ships doing business here is not in the Corps’ purview.

But formalizing those limits is something that the SPA could do very easily.

Adding shore power for cruise ships would cost additional money, but it would be a sign that the SPA wants to be a good neighbor — and it might hasten the expensive approval process.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg won election last November with both shore power and formal cruise limits among key items on his platform.

The gulf between the opponents and proponents in this matter isn’t that wide. But it must be bridged to protect people’s health.

And that should happen before Charleston’s Historic District is damaged beyond repair.

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