It seems like the Charleston cruise battle has been dragging on forever. In case you have forgotten, various citizens’ groups in Charleston, South Carolina are fighting against the cruise industry, and even their local government, to prevent the expansion of the cruise industry in their historic city. The fight has seen numerous lawsuits filed, in both state and federal court. In the most recent development SC regulators have reopened the public comment period relating to a proposed $35 million cruise terminal.
The terminal, which is proposed to be constructed on the site of Union pier, would be a state of the art port terminal, designed to welcome cruisers from around the world. After submitting an original proposal for the terminal’s construction, planners issued a change -which would include pilings being driven into the riverfront. The pilings would serve to support elevators. Because of the change, regulators have reopened the public comment period – extended until September 2.
The construction of the pier is also the subject of a federal lawsuit. Citizens’ groups filed the lawsuit claiming that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for issuing the construction permit for the pier, unlawfully issued a permit for “maintenance,” when in actuality the construction would constitute a new building.
The extended comment period comes after a contentious meeting, which saw over 200 participants, during the original comment period.
A decision is expected within 90 days after the closing of the comment period, which means a decision could come as late as December.