I believe Charleston will be in need of strong leadership
Like every city or town, citizens want a place where they can comfortably live, work & play. Charleston, however, is unique from other cities and towns, when discussing livability issues. For most of us, we not only enjoy a city which affords its residents a community which we are proud to call home, but one that we experience something more unique. As Charlestonians, we know we live in a special place that is rich in history and culture. More importantly, we feel a part of something special… each other.
Homes were generally affordable, no matter where you lived – the Peninsula, West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island or Daniel Island. Rising storm waters and king tides were infrequent enough not to drive us away from our neighborhoods. Hotels, restaurants and retail outlets were plenty, but not suffocating. Now, all of that has changed.
The cost of real estate is being artificially inflated in our commercial zones because the value of those properties will generate a higher market value if a hotel is eligible to be erected there. The ripple effect has driven up the cost of structures which house our retail complexes and residences which were once attainable. Consequently, families who have lived in those communities for generations have been forced out of their homes because the property is no longer valued as a residence as opposed to commercial development. Traditional neighborhoods in West Ashley are being threatened by the lure of investors who want to redevelop those areas because of their proximity to downtown.
The occurrence of king tides pose a regular reminder that we are often inches away from our homes being damaged or destroyed. Yards are being overrunned by water, which find its way into garages, kitchens, bedrooms and family rooms and are a daily reminder that our livability is being threatened.
While we cannot control the frequency of king tides, we certainly can address a fix for storm and flood waters from threatening our homes. We need to avoid overdevelopment and provide a regular maintenance of our ditch system.
I am running for re-election because I have been addressing these livability issues head-on during my tenure as your city councilperson. I want to continue to address the issues related to livability in West Ashley, in Charleston.
Re-elect Peter Shahid to Charleston City Council District 9
I am committed to revitalizing West Ashley.
Every resident of West Ashley has been aware of the sliding decline of the economic viability of the area. While the City has sharpened its economic focus on revitalizing King Street, it seems as if City Administration has ignored this issue until recently. The number of vacancies at several visible commercial properties is a sign of decline and neglect. While I applaud the recent plan unveiled by the City Economic Development Office, those plans do not encompass the overall crisis in our neighborhood. We need to revitalize Citadel Mall and Sam Rittenberg Boulevard, but the City also needs a master plan to encourage small and large businesses to open their enterprises here. We need to work in concert with other government entities to coordinate and implement a plan, which provides a diverse long-term solution to the economic re-birth of West Ashley.