Criminal Defense Attorney inUnion, SC

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CDH Law Firm: Giving Hope to
Criminal Defense Clients in
Union, SC

Getting charged with a crime in Union can be a traumatic experience. Even "petty" crimes can cause an individual's life to fall apart professionally and personally. Spending time in jail is bad enough, but the ramifications of a criminal record run deep, resulting in loss of employment, loss of friends, and even family. For many people, having a zealous criminal defense attorney in Union, SC, to defend their rights is the only shot they have of living a normal life.

That's why, if you have been charged with a crime, you need the help of a veteran criminal defense lawyer early in the legal process. That's where CDH Law Firm comes in to give you or your loved one hope when you need it the most.

Our criminal defense law firm was founded to help people just like you - hardworking men and women who are looking at diminished employment opportunities and a possible lifetime of embarrassment. But with our team of experts fighting by your side, you have a much better chance of maintaining your freedom and living a normal, productive life. When it comes to criminal law in Union, we've seen it all. With decades of combined experience, there is no case too complicated or severe for us to handle, from common DUI charges to complicated cases involving juvenile crimes. Unlike some of our competition, we prioritize personalized service and cutting-edge criminal defense strategies to effectively represent our clients.

Personal Injury Attorney Union, SC

Clients rank CHSA Law, LLC as the top choice for Union criminal defense because we provide:

  • One-on-One Counsel
  • Education on the Union Legal Process and Its Risks
  • Ardent, Effective Representation
  • Commitment to Our Clients and Defending Their Rights
  • Prompt Inquiry Response
  • Robust Experience with Criminal Law Cases in Union
  • Innovative Defense Strategies
  • Effective, Thorough Research and Investigation

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Union can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. Our firm has represented thousands of clients in the Lowcountry, and we're ready to defend you too. Some of our specialties include:

 Personal Injury Lawyer Union, SC
The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

DUI Cases
in Union, SC

DUI penalties in Union can be very harsh. Many first-time DUI offenders must endure a lifelong criminal record, license suspension, and the possibility of spending time in jail. Officers and judges take DUI very seriously, with 30% of traffic fatalities in South Carolina involving impaired drivers, according to NHTSA. Criminal convictions can have lasting impacts on your life, which is why CDH Law Firm works so hard to get these charges dismissed or negotiated down. In some cases, we help clients avoid jail time altogether.

 Car Accident Attorney Union, SC
When you hire our DUI defense firm, our team will always work towards your best interests and will go above and beyond to achieve the best outcome in your case. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI charges, we will investigate whether:
  • Your DUI stop was legal
  • You were administered a field sobriety test correctly
  • The breathalyzer used was calibrated correctly and properly maintained
  • Urine and blood tests were administered and collected properly

The bottom line? Our criminal law defense attorneys will do everything possible to keep you out of jail with a clean permanent record. It all starts with a free consultation, where we will take time to explain the DUI process. We'll also discuss your defense options and speak at length about the differences between going to trial and accepting a plea bargain.

DUI Penalties in Union, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Union depend on a number of factors, including your blood alcohol level and how many DUIs you have received in the last 10 years. If you're convicted, the DUI charge will remain on your criminal history and can be seen by anyone who runs a background check on you. Sometimes, a judge will require you to enter alcohol treatment or install an interlock device on your automobile.

If you're on the fence about hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Union, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

 Law Firm Union, SC

First Offense

Offense

48 hours to 90 days

in jail

with fines ranging from

$400 to $1,000

Second Offense

Offense

Five days to three years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$2,100 to $6,500

Third Offense

Offense

60 days to five years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$3,800 to $10,000

Additional consequences can include:

1

Alcohol or Drug Treatment

When convicted of DUI in South Carolina, most offenders must join the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. This program mandates that offenders complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow the recommended treatment options.

Personal Injury Attorney Union, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Union may choose to complete community service in lieu of jail time. Community service hours are usually equal to the length of jail time an offender would be required to serve.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Union, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

Typically, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Union, their driver's license is restricted or suspended. The length of restriction or suspension depends on how many prior DUI convictions an individual has.

First DUI Offense

First-time DUI offenders must endure a six-month license suspension. Drivers convicted with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or more do not qualify for a provisional license. However, sometimes they may still drive using an ignition interlock device.

Second DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a second DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for two years.

Third DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a third DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for three years. That term increases to four years if the driver is convicted of three DUIs in five years.

Immobilized Vehicle

For offenders with two or more convictions, the judge will immobilize their vehicle if it is not equipped with an IID. When a judge immobilizes a vehicle, the owner must turn over their registration and license plate. Clearly, the consequences of receiving a DUI in Union can be life-changing, and not in a good way. The good news is that with CDH Law Firm, you have a real chance at beating your charges and avoiding serious fines and jail time. Every case is different, which is why it's so important that you call our office as soon as possible if you are charged with a DUI.

Traffic Violation Cases

Most drivers brush off traffic law violations as minor offenses, but the fact of the matter is they are criminal matters to be taken seriously. Despite popular opinion, Traffic Violation cases in Union can carry significant consequences like fines and even incarceration. If you or someone you love has been convicted of several traffic offenses, your license could be suspended, restricting your ability to work and feed your family.

Every driver should take Traffic Violations seriously. If you're charged with a traffic crime, it's time to protect yourself and your family with a trusted criminal defense lawyer in Union, SC. Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC is ready to provide the legal guidance and advice you need to beat your traffic charges. We'll research the merits of your case, explain what charges you're facing, discuss your defense options, and strategize an effective defense on your behalf.

Common Union
Traffic Violations That CDH Law
Firm Fights

There are dozens and dozens of traffic laws in Union, all of which affect drivers in some way. Our Union defense attorneys fight a full range of violations, including but not limited to the following:

 Car Accident Attorney Union, SC
  • Driving Under Suspension: If you drive while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you could be looking at 30 days in jail and fines up to $300.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol is illegal and often results in jail time and fines.
  • Reckless Driving: You could be ordered to pay up to $200 in fines or jailed for up to 30 days if you drive with wanton disregard for the safety of other people.
  • Racing: You can be cited and fined if you aid or participate in street racing.
  • Hit and Run: When you leave the scene of an accident that involved injury to another party, you can be arrested. This serious charge can lead to up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000 for first-time offenders.
  • Disregard Traffic Signals: Drivers must obey all traffic signals and control devices, less they be ticketed and sometimes fined.

As seasoned traffic violation lawyers, we know how frustrating it can be to get charged with a Traffic Violation. While some traffic charges can be minor, others are severe and can affect your life for years to come. Don't leave your fate up to chance call CDH Law Firm today for the highest-quality Traffic Violation representation in Union.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Union, SC

At Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC, we understand that children are still growing and learning about the world around them. As such, they may make mistakes that get them into trouble with the law. Children and teens who are arrested in Union can face much different futures than other children their age. Some face intensive probation, while others are made to spend time in jail.

This happens most often when a child's parents fail to retain legal counsel for their son or daughter. Cases referred to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice often move quicker than adult cases, so finding a good lawyer is of utmost importance. With that said, a compassionate criminal defense attorney in Union, SC, can educate you and your child about their alleged charges. To help prevent your child from going to a detention center, we will devise a strategy to achieve favorable results in their case.

 Law Firm Union, SC
Personal Injury Attorney Union, SC

Juvenile Detention Hearings

Unlike adults, juveniles don't have a constitutional right to a bond hearing. Instead, once your child is taken into custody a Detention Hearing is conducted within 48 hours. This hearing is similar to a combination of a Bond Hearing and a Preliminary Hearing. Unfortunately, there is little time to prepare for these hearings, which is why you must move quickly and call CDH law firm as soon as possible.

Our team gathers police reports, petitions, interviews your child at the DJJ, speaks with you about the case and talks to the prosecutor to discover if they have plans for detention. In most cases, we strive to avoid detention and seek alternatives like divisionary programs or treatment facilities. This strategy better addresses your child's issues and keeps them out of the juvenile legal system in Union. If your child is charged with a crime, and South Carolina decides to prosecute, your child will appear before a family court judge, who will find them delinquent or not delinquent. There are no juries in juvenile cases in South Carolina, which is why it's crucial to have a lawyer present to defend your child if they go in front of a judge.

Common penalties for juveniles charged with crimes in Union include:

 Personal Injury Lawyer Union, SC
  • Probation: Children charged with probation are released to their parents or guardians. Depending on their charges, they must abide by certain stipulations while at home and may be subject to random drug screenings. Violation of probation often results in jail time.
  • 90 Days in Juvenile Detention Center: When probation is not a viable option, prosecutors may push for 90 days of jail time in a juvenile detention facility.
  • Juvenile Detention: Children who commit very serious crimes can be sent to a juvenile detention center for a long time. These sentences can last up to the child's 21st birthday.
  • School Expulsion: When a child is convicted of a crime, their school is notified of the offense. Sometimes, the administration may decide to expel the child from school for the misdemeanors or felonies they commit.

We Fight to Protect
Your Rights So You Can
Provide for Your Family

Whether you are facing a DUI charge or a serious traffic violation, CDH Law Firm is here to fight for your rights so you can continue living life. The future might seem bleak, but our criminal defense lawyers in Union, SC, have the tools, experience, and strategy to win your case, as we have with so many others. Don't lose hope call our office today and maintain your freedom tomorrow.

Ask us anything

Call Now 843-936-6680 PH

Latest News in Union, SC

Century Complete Announces New Community in Union, SC

New homes from the low $200s now selling at Buffalo Creek from online homebuying pioneerUNION, S.C., Dec. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Century Communities, Inc., a top 10 national homebuilder, an industry leader in online home sales, and the highest-ranked homebuilder on Newsweek's list of America's Most Trustworthy Companies 2023—announced that its Ce...

New homes from the low $200s now selling at Buffalo Creek from online homebuying pioneer

UNION, S.C., Dec. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Century Communities, Inc., a top 10 national homebuilder, an industry leader in online home sales, and the highest-ranked homebuilder on Newsweek's list of America's Most Trustworthy Companies 2023—announced that its Century Complete brand has opened a new community—Buffalo Creek—in Union, SC, located near other Century Complete communities in Spartanburg, Boiling Springs and Gaffney.

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Showcasing a versatile lineup of single-family homes to suit a wide variety of needs and lifestyles, Buffalo Creek offers modern open-concept layouts with quick access to Buffalo Elementary School and Union's Main Street. The community contributes over 125 new homesites to Upstate South Carolina, helping to serve the market's need for more quality homes.

"We're excited to introduce Buffalo Creek," said Greg Huff, president of Century Complete. "Not only does this community feature affordable quality homes, but it offers a prime location within walking distance of local schools and an easy drive to Spartanburg. There's no better time than now to purchase a home at Buffalo Creek."

Learn more and view available homes at www.CenturyCommunities.com/BuffaloCreek.

Now Selling:

Buffalo Creek | Union, SC New homes from the low $200s

Location:Buffalo-West Springs Highway & Times BoulevardUnion, SC 29303

VISIT OUR UPSTATE SALES STUDIO IN GREENVILLE:

While our industry-leading online homebuying process allows you to buy on your terms—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—we also offer in-person assistance from local experts at our sales studio.

1401 Woodruff Road, Suite BGreenville, SC 29615864.509.9195

DISCOVER THE FREEDOM OF ONLINE HOMEBUYING:

Century Communities is proud to feature its industry-first online homebuying experience on all available homes in South Carolina.

How it works:

Learn more about the Buy Online experience at www.CenturyCommunities.com/online-homebuying.

About Century CommunitiesCentury Communities, Inc. (NYSE: CCS) is one of the nation's largest homebuilders, an industry leader in online home sales, and the highest-ranked homebuilder on Newsweek's list of America's Most Trustworthy Companies 2023. Through its Century Communities and Century Complete brands, Century's mission is to build attractive, high-quality homes at affordable prices to provide its valued customers with A HOME FOR EVERY DREAM®. Century is engaged in all aspects of homebuilding — including the acquisition, entitlement and development of land, along with the construction, innovative marketing and sale of quality homes designed to appeal to a wide range of homebuyers. The Company operates in 18 states and over 45 markets across the U.S., and also offers title, insurance and lending services in select markets through its Parkway Title, IHL Home Insurance Agency, and Inspire Home Loans subsidiaries. To learn more about Century Communities, please visit www.centurycommunities.com.

SOURCE Century Communities, Inc.

Spartanburg Regional unveils plans for new Union hospital

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System on Thursday unveiled plans for the new $55 million Union Medical Center replacement facility.The combined replacement hospital and medical office building are designed to create a sustainable model for health care in Union County that centralizes physician practices, outpatient services and inpatient care, the health care system said in a news release.Located along Highway 176 across from Union Industrial Park and four miles from the current hospital,...

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System on Thursday unveiled plans for the new $55 million Union Medical Center replacement facility.

The combined replacement hospital and medical office building are designed to create a sustainable model for health care in Union County that centralizes physician practices, outpatient services and inpatient care, the health care system said in a news release.

Located along Highway 176 across from Union Industrial Park and four miles from the current hospital, the plans call for a new three-story, 99,600-square-foot building.

“Growing up in Union County, I know firsthand the essential role this hospital plays in supporting the health and wellness of families,” Dr. Natashia Jeter said in a news release. “Residents, community partners and health care providers could not be more excited for this investment in clinical services and renewed commitment to caring for this area.”

Spartanburg Regional purchased 48 acres for the new medical facility in 2015 following the acquisition of then-Wallace Thomson Hospital, which was constructed in 1955. This new campus sits in the heart of Union County, central to the residential population and the business community.

“Our new facility in Union County is designed for the future, anticipating the ever-evolving needs of patients and innovations in care,” Mark Aycock, chief operating officer of Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, said in the release. “A variety of services will be available on this campus, including inpatient and outpatient care, emergency services, physician offices and telehealth visits.”

The hospital’s design includes large windows and open spaces with natural accents. Photographs of iconic Union County scenes will be featured, showcasing the hospital’s commitment to the community, the area, and its residents, the release said. Plans call for a chapel and healing garden.

Construction is scheduled to begin this spring, pending permit approval, the release said.

Medical services at the campus are to include emergency care, imaging, Gibbs Cancer Center infusion services, inpatient care, lab services, Bearden-Josey Center for Breast Health mammography services, outpatient services, pharmacy and primary care.

“Spartanburg Regional acquired the former Wallace Thomson Hospital to ensure that quality health care was not interrupted in Union,” Paul Newhouse, president of Union Medical Center, said in the release. “Today, the health care system announces an investment that will benefit generations to come by improving access to health services and wellness opportunities.”

Commentary: Don’t let union Grinches steal SC’s bright future

As we enter the holidays, we remember the story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Just as the Grinch didn’t like seeing people enjoy Christmas, unions don’t like seeing a low union participation state like South Carolina enjoy economic success.South Carolina has become a manufacturing powerhouse.Despite being so small geographically, the Palmetto State is home to more than 6,000 manufacturing facilities employing more than 300,000 South Carolinians and generating a $200 billion annual economic impact....

As we enter the holidays, we remember the story of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Just as the Grinch didn’t like seeing people enjoy Christmas, unions don’t like seeing a low union participation state like South Carolina enjoy economic success.

South Carolina has become a manufacturing powerhouse.

Despite being so small geographically, the Palmetto State is home to more than 6,000 manufacturing facilities employing more than 300,000 South Carolinians and generating a $200 billion annual economic impact. Our manufacturing community provides good-paying jobs and produces a diverse catalog of world-class products such as cars, planes, tires, household goods and advanced materials. But what makes South Carolina’s manufacturing industry truly impactful and special is its people.

South Carolina’s manufacturing workers take great pride in what they do, what they accomplish and how their work makes communities stronger. That spirit is what built our vibrant economy and helped solidify South Carolina’s global reputation as a business-friendly state with hard-working, highly skilled people — all of which have enabled us to attract significant investments and new jobs.

This success is also a testament to our state’s right-to-work law and the principles it provides for individual freedom and prosperity. In a landscape where businesses thrive, job opportunities abound and workers enjoy the ability to choose their professional path without union involvement, the question arises: Are unions needed in South Carolina? The answer is no.

So, it makes you wonder why labor unions such as the United Auto Workers are publicly targeting manufacturers and their associates in the South. The answer is simple — it’s part of a strategy to increase dues and membership for the labor union. It’s an attempt to establish relevancy within a region of the nation that recognizes that unions are not needed in the workplace.

In South Carolina, we have seen how union involvement plays out: Their promises fall flat, and their impact on a community can have distressing and long-lasting consequences.

When Mack Trucks announced in 1986 that it would build an assembly plant in Fairfield County, the news was met with tremendous excitement, promising to lift an area in need of economic growth. But when unions began infiltrating the plant just a few years later, against the wishes of community members who warned about the risks unions would bring, it cast a shadow over not only that one operation but the entire region. By 2002, the Mack Trucks plant closed based on business conditions and overcapacity, and Fairfield County lost the hundreds of good-paying jobs that went along with it. Clearly, union representation did not guarantee long-term success or change.

We cannot let history repeat itself.

South Carolina has one of the lowest union participation rates in the country, which has generated jobs and prosperity that we have come to know and enjoy. Unions put S.C. jobs, and thus families, at risk.

Our state’s manufacturing community has done well in creating economic prosperity, empowering its workforce to thrive and innovate in highly technical environments, and supporting communities and philanthropic programs through good corporate citizenship without any union involvement.

Unions were not needed for South Carolina’s manufacturing sector to achieve the success it sees today and are definitely not needed for our state’s future economic success.

Sara Hazzard is the president and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.

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Biotech Company MycoWorks Begins Production at the World's First Commercial-Scale Fine Mycelium™ Plant in Union, South Carolina

Providing the company's luxury leather alternative Reishi™UNION, S.C., Sept. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, biotechnology company MycoWorks begins production at its world-class manufacturing facility in Union, S.C. Now capable of scaling-up to meet luxury industry demand, the company is set to grow millions of square feet of its leather-alternative material produced with the company's proprietary technology, Fine Mycelium™. This patented technology produces Reishi™, a biomaterial with unparalleled hand...

Providing the company's luxury leather alternative Reishi™

UNION, S.C., Sept. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, biotechnology company MycoWorks begins production at its world-class manufacturing facility in Union, S.C. Now capable of scaling-up to meet luxury industry demand, the company is set to grow millions of square feet of its leather-alternative material produced with the company's proprietary technology, Fine Mycelium™. This patented technology produces Reishi™, a biomaterial with unparalleled hand-feel, strength and durability – on par with calfskin leather, the industry gold standard.

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With partners including Hermès and General Motors, MycoWorks' progression into commercial-scale manufacturing is a sign of maturation for the biomaterials industry that the company continues its leadership in materials science. Per MycoWorks' market sizing, there are serious challenges facing the $164 billion leather market and $28 billion luxury leather market such as supply chain constraints and inferior product alternatives. Since 2010, demand for luxury leather increased 251 percent, while high-end hide production declined by 22 percent due to falling beef and dairy consumption. MycoWorks, and its hallmark material Reishi™, are answering these challenges with the world's first full-scale alternative leather factory, a revolution in the production of high-quality natural materials for the luxury industry.

The opening of the 136,000 sq. ft. factory also marks the world's largest mycelium material operation, a major step for the use of mycelium– the "root structure" of mushrooms. Starting first with leather, MycoWorks' Fine Mycelium™ technology can later be expanded into other applications. The plant was made possible through a $125 million Series C funding round in 2021 from Prime Movers Lab, SK Networks, Mirabaud Lifestyle Impact & Innovation Fund, DCVC Bio, Novo Holdings and several strategic customers and investors. With construction beginning in 2022, the project was delivered on-time and on-budget, running the same tray-based mycelium growth system successfully piloted in its California plant yet scaled to 100x the volume.

"As MycoWorks continues to lead in biomaterial innovation, we are thrilled to open this first-of-its-kind facility in South Carolina. This reality is thanks to our team of experienced manufacturing leaders and engineers from the consumer goods, automotive, food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries who have adapted robotic equipment and systems to handle our unique tray-based biomaterials process. In turn, they have enabled the first high-quality mycelium material product at scale, a feat which has never been accomplished until now," says Doug Hardesty, MycoWorks Chief Operating Officer. "We thank the city and citizens of Union for welcoming MycoWorks into its community."

MycoWorks' facility uses state of the art robotics, digital analytics, and AI resources to achieve high-caliber quality and supply chain systems for the company's customers in an entirely new manufacturing process. Using automated guided robots (AGRs), the company has automated 80% of its process, enabling MycoWorks' to reduce handling costs but maintain expert interactions where they are critical for quality assurance, achieving both high quality and low-cost production.

For the leather industry, MycoWorks' Union, S.C., facility is a breakthrough in supply chain management, providing full predictability, transparency, and provenance of high-quality natural materials while also reducing waste. Grown-to-spec, Fine Mycelium™ can be customized for thickness, weight and mechanical properties, allowing for an unprecedented level of control of a natural material, previously impossible via traditional agriculture.

Luxury fashion and automotive brands have eagerly awaited this opening to move collection design from prototyping and capsules to full-scale adoption. To date, Fine Mycelium™ has already been applied with great success to product categories from luxury handbags and footwear to vehicle interiors and home furnishings.

For Union, S.C.—population 30,000— MycoWorks' investment is reshoring production from an industry that primarily sources from Europe. Union has had a long history in textile manufacturing, and as the region is already home to leading automotive manufacturers, Fine Mycelium™ will allow other industries in the area and globally to closely collaborate on development. This centralization of biotechnology and manufacturing has long been a goal of South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, a dedicated supporter of bringing cutting-edge science and technology to the state.

"We are thrilled to welcome MycoWorks to Union and have been eagerly awaiting the start of production," said Governor Henry McMaster. "We are already seeing the growth that this opening is bringing to the immediate and greater communities in the area, including more jobs, housing, storefronts, and overall investments. MycoWorks is a fantastic addition to our portfolio of energy-efficient plants, and we look forward to their long-term impact in South Carolina."

To learn more about employment opportunities at MycoWorks, visit https://www.mycoworks.com/careers

For media inquiries, please contact mycoworks@bpcm.com

About MycoWorksIn 2013, co-founders Philip Ross and Sophia Wang formed MycoWorks, a San Francisco-based biomaterials company dedicated to bringing new mycelium-grown materials to the world. MycoWorks' patented Fine Mycelium™ technology, an advanced manufacturing platform and breakthrough in materials science, engineers mycelium during growth to form proprietary, interlocking cellular structures for unparalleled beauty, handfeel, strength and durability. The company's flagship material- Reishi™ - is a new category of material for the world's best luxury brands. For more information, please visit mycoworks.com and madewithreishi.com.

SOURCE MycoWorks

Editorial: With Union Pier, speak now, or don’t complain later

There’s no guarantee the most recent effort to determine what should be redeveloped on Union Pier will succeed, but we can guarantee it won’t stand a chance without significant public involvement. Not only will any successful plan need to incorporate some if not much of what Charlestonians want to see there, but the public also will need to understand the tradeoffs necessary to make a redevelopment succeed.The team guiding this redevelopment effort seems to realize this as well and has created a new ...

There’s no guarantee the most recent effort to determine what should be redeveloped on Union Pier will succeed, but we can guarantee it won’t stand a chance without significant public involvement. Not only will any successful plan need to incorporate some if not much of what Charlestonians want to see there, but the public also will need to understand the tradeoffs necessary to make a redevelopment succeed.

The team guiding this redevelopment effort seems to realize this as well and has created a new Community Advisory Council to get that input. The effort was launched after the S.C. State Ports Authority, which owns the waterfront site, paused and then ultimately cancelled its planning arrangement with Lowe, and all manner of interested organizations, including neighborhoods, churches, business groups and nonprofits, are invited to have a representative on the council to provide suggestions and feedback; we urge them to do just that. While entities are being asked to limit themselves to one representative, there is no cap on the total number who may become part of the council.

This group is forming as the College of Charleston’s Joseph P. Riley Center for Livable Communities, its Stakeholder Advisory Committee and its team of private consultants prepare to launch the public phase of the process during the third week of January.

The 70-acre site consists mostly of paved parking areas and rusting warehouses, but given its location between Ansonborough, the City Market and the Cooper River, its potential is vast. So are its challenges, which include contaminated soil, acres of unbuildable piers and significant investment needed to protect both the site and nearby areas from future flooding. And then there are the public’s hopes for new parks, access to the water, affordable housing, connectivity to surrounding neighborhoods and the cultural interpretation of the Bennett Rice Mill facade and Mosquito Fleet site.

While the Ports Authority does expect to benefit from the ultimate sale of Union Pier, it has given the planning team no target dollar figure, and that’s a helpful start. There are several major questions that must be resolved, including what ultimately should be built there, whether it should be sold and redeveloped in one deal or several deals and what a widely expected public contribution might look like. Lowe’s work on Union Pier has raised public awareness about the possibilities for waterfront park space, flood mitigation, affordable housing and the historic nature of the site, but improvements will need to paid for, and any successful redevelopment plan likely will involve many tradeoffs, including a few that will be painful to some.

As Bob O’Neill of the Riley Center told us, “We know we’re not going to make everybody happy.”

Once the planning process finishes up later next year, we hope those who aren’t happy at least understand the tradeoffs enough to appreciate and accept why they didn’t fully get their wish. And we hope the plan that emerges isn’t just something City Council, local leaders and residents can accept, but that it’s something that can actually get built and make Charleston a better place.

The best way to assure all that comes to pass is for everyone interested to step up now.

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