Encourage Business to Choose Charleston
Charleston needs to be a desired place to start a business. To do this we need to make sure that everything we do that intersects with any business in the city aims to make being a business in the city easier. To do that we need to periodically meet with different types of business owners and see what is making things difficult and what is working well for them. We need to encourage start-ups to locate here by making the first 12 months of B&O taxes a refundable credit for new businesses. The city also needs to ensure that every city employee engaged with our businesses do so in a friendly and courteous manner.
Streets and Infrastructure
In order to make our city attractive we need to further implement the Imagine Charleston plan. This means we work to create a city that is attractive for all modes of transportation, where cars, cyclists, pedestrians, and transit all are given consideration. We need to continue expanding the Boulevard bike lane through downtown and on to the capitol plus create additional protected bike lanes to allow for a fully integrated system. It's time to eliminate the 3 and 4 lane one way streets on the city's west side and east end by making them two way, this slows traffic and has been shown to increase safety and prosperity in many other places. It is time to find and develop an off street transit center that integrates KRT, Greyhound, and Baron's buses in one central location and allows for the reopening of Laidley Street to cars.
The next Mayor and council needs to establish a timeline and funding plan to resolve the storm water and sewer issues that have been court mandated. We need to further develop the city's GIS system with all utilities and coordinate non-emergency digging so that any work that needs to be done underground, by any provider is done with one dig.
Finally, the City must be proactive in its maintenance. Current population and driving trends show that we don't need to waste money expanding automotive capacity. We need to make sure that we repair and maintain all infrastructure that we have first, and only look to expand in areas we have a real need. For example, we know that Garrison Ave is prone to flooding issues, partly due to topography and partly due the culverts and creek backing up with debris, these can be fixed with routine cleanups and perhaps an engineering review to see if there are better options for keeping the waterway clear and reduce or prevent future flooding.
Today, if you go and look at the city's zoning ordinance you will bring up a 215 page PDF document that has 15 zones and stringent rules for each. Only 3 of those zones allow mixing of purpose (Commercial and Residential together.) We need to adopt a tiered zoning structure that starts with single family homes and light commercial up through our CBD. Excluding any are of polluting heavy industry every zone needs to allow all the uses that were allowed in the zones before it, thereby making the entire city available for a mix of commercial and residential uses in the same place.