Should Charleston Property Owners be Compensated After Downzoning?


Charleston City Council could face a potentially significant property rights battle Tuesday when members debate an ordinance requiring landowners be compensated when their property is downzoned.

The idea for a “government-initiated downzoning ordinance” was offered by City Councilman Aubrey Alexander. It would require that assessments of lost value be done when a zoning category changes and that landowners be compensated.

“My position is there is value and when you take a value of anything from anybody, then the right thing to do is to compensate them,” he said. The proposal is supported by some in the realty industry.

But the idea has been assailed as “radical” by local preservationists, while Mayor Joe Riley said the burden would become immeasurable if such changes had to be evaluated for cost for everyone involved.


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