Charleston SC’s visionary Mayor Joe Riley– who has won respect as the “Nation’s Best Preservation Mayor” for fighting to protect the character of his historic city as it grows– says some of his new buildings lack the quality and looks of the old that pull in the tourist megabucks. So on the advice of planner Andres Duany, the city wants to change the way it approves new buildings. Charleston, SC is famous as the home to the nation’s oldest historic district, and noone knows better than Riley that maintaining his city’s charisma is very good business. A key ally has been strong editorial support from its local, family-owned newspaper.
“Meanwhile here in Portsmouth, developers are proposing fake brick walls on the huge new convention center, Harborcorp wants permission to go higher than 45 feet and not provide enough parking under the current lax standards, and none of that seems to bother our HDC, our Planning Board, our City Administration, or most of our City Councilors,” a Portsmouth critic objected. “How can the city allow this to happen?”