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L-Beware

What EXACTLY Is Included In The "City Of Charleston"

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Im born and raised in downtown Charleston and I am sick of outsiders and outta towners trying to tell ME what the city of Charleston is.

They have the misunderstanding that, just because technically the different parts of Charleston have different governments, that these places are separate entities than Charleston, South Carolina.

I have to repeatedly explain to these people, that just because you read a census that says Charleston, SC has 100,000 people, doesnt make it RIGHT.

ANY real Charlestonian, or anybody that KNOWS about Charleston, will tell you, that Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, West Ashley, all the islands, etc.... make up the "city of Charleston". We all live in the same ONE CITY. These are just technical terms. But they do not represent the lives and reality of the inhabitants. We all live in the same Charleston.

So can someone please specifically name what all is included in the "city of Charleston". I know Downtown, and West Ashley I assume. What else? James Island?

I really hate that we have everything separated like that because it confuses people that dont know. They think these places are separate from Charleston. I have to continuously explain that no. North Charleston people live in the same "Charleston" we all live in. Its just another part of the city. I dont care what you read on the internet.

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Here is a map I made for the density debates... but it shows the City limits of Charleston in red...

CharlestonDensity_CL.jpg

I don't have areas labeled, but you can get the feel of things I think. Basicly you have downtown, the Neck, West Ashley, parts of James Island, John's Island, and Daniel island.

If I think about it, I will make another map with roads and better defined areas so that you can clearly see where the city limits lie.

Here is another map that shows Charleston with other municipailites...

CharlestonCities.jpg

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Thanks for asking that question, because I think it was an issue that a lot of us were blurry on. Thanks for the maps spartan

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Im born and raised in downtown Charleston and I am sick of outsiders and outta towners trying to tell ME what the city of Charleston is.

They have the misunderstanding that, just because technically the different parts of Charleston have different governments, that these places are separate entities than Charleston, South Carolina.

I have to repeatedly explain to these people, that just because you read a census that says Charleston, SC has 100,000 people, doesnt make it RIGHT.

ANY real Charlestonian, or anybody that KNOWS about Charleston, will tell you, that Mt. Pleasant, North Charleston, West Ashley, all the islands, etc.... make up the "city of Charleston". We all live in the same ONE CITY. These are just technical terms. But they do not represent the lives and reality of the inhabitants. We all live in the same Charleston...

...North Charleston people live in the same "Charleston" we all live in. Its just another part of the city. I dont care what you read on the internet.

L-Beware, I completely share your frustrations and beliefs. It is discouraging and annoying to get people to understand what the entire community of Charleston is. What's even more frustrating is when you see local residents announce their address in another "town" than Chas, even when they live in the city limits!! Case in point, I was reading the P & C's letters to the editor, and the letter written by a gentleman who lives on Daniel Island has his address as Daniel Island, SC. Folks, there is no such town!!! That's like saying I lived in Lake Pointe, SC when in fact I live in a subdivision in Columbia, SC called Lake Pointe. Here is the link for the letter. It's the one with the subject titled "Port trucks".

Spartan gave a pretty good indication of what is the actual city of Chas. Here is my list of actual sections of the city that all should have a "Charleston" address:

  • Downtown (the peninsula)

  • West Ashley (the whole area from Summerville, to the Ashley and Stono Rivers, and to Rantowles Creek)

  • James Island (hopefully this 3rd attempt to incorporate the parts not currently in the city will fail)

  • Johns Island (about 1/2 of the barrier island is in the city limits)

  • Daniel Island (completely in the city)

  • Cainhoy (area above Daniel Island; about 85% is in the city)

The other parts of Chas which are technically their own city or municipal governments such as Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Mt. Pleasant, especially N. Charleston, and even Summerville and Goose Creek all are a part of the Charleston metro area. Technically, considering its geographical make-up and proximity to DT, N. Chas should not even be its own city, it should be a northern section of the city of Chas. Hopefully this will change, but even with these technicalities, you are right. These areas are all part of the urban city of Chas, and they need to be displayed as such.

Metro made a good point in the Mt. Pleasant South Carolina's 5th largest city thread about the fact that because the area has 3 major cities (Chas, N. Chas, and Mt. P) competing against each other, not to mention the fast-growing town of Summerville, suburban development is just growing further out from the city center. If at least N. Chas merged into Chas, the competition would be eased where developments could focus more on infill projects.

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L-Beware, I completely share your frustrations and beliefs. It is discouraging and annoying to get people to understand what the entire community of Charleston is. What's even more frustrating is when you see local residents announce their address in another "town" than Chas, even when they live in the city limits!! Case in point, I was reading the P & C's letters to the editor, and the letter written by a gentleman who lives on Daniel Island has his address as Daniel Island, SC. Folks, there is no such town!!! That's like saying I lived in Lake Pointe, SC when in fact I live in a subdivision in Columbia, SC called Lake Pointe. Here is the [url="http://www.charleston.net/stories/?newsID=81967

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CN, I understand where you're coming from but doesn't it make your city seem larger and more diverse when certain neighborhoods have their own names (ie. Forest Acres, Columbia)?

I see your point too, but I don't think that is necessarily true. I think a city can look bigger and more diverse when it has a much larger population than its suburbs and when it basically stands alone as its own MSA. Cola is a great example. Even the large unincorporated area of NE Cola that I live in still acknowledges its address as Columbia, SC. This includes areas far away from the city such as Kilian. Only when you get to Blythewood does the address change.

Look at much larger cities that have consolidated governments like Indianapolis and Jacksonville. Those cities are perceived as diverse, exciting, and big cities, yet they don't have many different suburban communities that have their own municipal governments.

IMO, Chas really needs to consider merging or consolidating governments together. Especially if it wants to maintain its high quality of life.

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CN, I understand where you're coming from but doesn't it make your city seem larger and more diverse when certain neighborhoods have their own names (ie. Forest Acres, Columbia)?

No. I think that situation creates more bureacracy, red tape, and general frustration. You get multiple governments that cant agree on anything, and your area becomes difficult to manage in terms of growth. If a neighborhood is truely unique it will be able to maintain its own identity.... just look at Shandon in Columbia. I am certain Charleston has similar neighborhoods..... South of Broad, St Andrews, James Island (still a neighborhood whether its a town or not). etc...

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Its interesting Summerville (3 counties), North Charleston and Charleston invade other counties.

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CharlestonCities.jpg

So everything within that amoebic mass of gray is incorporated as the City of Charleston?? What's with all of the white holes in the middle? Are they not part of the city? It looks like a confused mess. I don't understand it.

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So everything within that amoebic mass of gray is incorporated as the City of Charleston?? What's with all of the white holes in the middle? Are they not part of the city? It looks like a confused mess. I don't understand it.

Welcome to one of the most annoying problems in SC cities! ;) I'll try to simplify the "donut holes" in the middle of the city limit area (BTW, Spartan's map is a little inaccurate now...some of those holes in the middle have recently been annexed as well as outlying areas).

Because these holes are surrounded by the city limits and all of the post offices are in the city limits, these properties in the holes should have Charleston, SC as their addresses. However, they are served by Public Service Districts (PSDs) which are organizations that provide trash pick-up and firefighters. Usually these organizations are facilitated by the county. Police protection is also provided by the county sheriff's office. Basically, PSDs are redundant entities that give people all the amenities of being in an urban area but without having to pay city taxes. On the West Ashley side, the areas not technically in the city are served by St. Andrews PSD, on James Island by James Island PSD, and on Johns Island by St. Johns PSD.

It is a messy situation, and that is the reason why SC cities have such uncontrolled growth and lack of urban density. However, Chas is actively solving this problem since it is now cheaper to live in the city than pay PSD dues. The city is annexing at a very strong rate, and eventually, these holes should be all encompassed in the city.

Spartan: Another great point. The cities are already disagreeing with a pact to preserve the Francis Marion national forest...because there are so many governments looking out for their own interests, they can't form a consensus to the problem. Mt. P, N. Chas, and Chas all competed for the Hunley museum and there is still evidently no clear solution there. N. Chas is attempting to annex Watson Hill, a tract where the developers want to build over 4,000 homes in the middle of the historic plantation district, yet it is geographically West Ashley, which is a part of Chas! Chas and Summerville (a city with potential to become the 4th competitor in the area) is suing the north city to prevent it. I could list far more, but I need to continue with my paper tonight! :silly: The bottomline is that there would be far less conflict and more cooperation between different parts of the city if they were all part of one city of Chas.

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It's just so strange I wonder how it came to happen that way. Not even entire neighborhoods are together in the same city. I wonder if a representative went from house to house and asked the owners "Do you want to be in Charleston?" and if they said yes they became a gray dot on that map, while many of their neighbors said no and remained in white.

Driving through must be a real treat...

140804275.jpg

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The PSDs levy "taxes" not dues, but histotrically they have been lower than city taxes, however they also provide fewer services as well.

By using local sales taxes as a revenue substitution, the city has been able to lower it's property tax rates to levels near or below those charges in the PSDs, but that is a more recent phenomenon. This has lead to a higher number of annexation of these 'donut holes' that Charleston Native refers to.

Some residents don't annex into the city, because they prefer local services be provided by an entity serving only there area. This is very inefficent however. For instance a street that is partly in the city and partly not, would be served by two separate garagbe truck/crews.

In order to be annexed, at LEAST 75% of the property owners owning 75% of the property value, are required to agree. This is why it is such a patchwork with donut holes everywhere. An election can be held over a defined area, which requires 50% plus one approval. However these are seldon done and seldom successful.

Most annexations are of undeveloped land that the city requires annexation in order to provide water and/or sewer.

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No. I think that situation creates more bureacracy, red tape, and general frustration. You get multiple governments that cant agree on anything, and your area becomes difficult to manage in terms of growth. If a neighborhood is truely unique it will be able to maintain its own identity.... just look at Shandon in Columbia. I am certain Charleston has similar neighborhoods..... South of Broad, St Andrews, James Island (still a neighborhood whether its a town or not). etc...

Good Point

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140804275.jpg

:rofl:

If only in NJ you could do that, people would save money on their property taxes!

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So everything within that amoebic mass of gray is incorporated as the City of Charleston?? What's with all of the white holes in the middle? Are they not part of the city? It looks like a confused mess. I don't understand it.

Yep. They are a part of Charleston County. The City is trying to fill them in.... this is indeed the problem with annexation in SC. Supposedly the legislature is looking a law to allow donut holes to be annexed by city ordinance if they are less than 50 acres. Given out legislature's track record I wouldn't expect that to pass.

So if you look at James Island, you can see what the town limits would basicly look like... it makes absolutely no sense to have a town there when it won't even have contiguous borders on land. Its only reason for existance would be to not be within the City of Charleson- which is stupid because it would be more expensive to live in an incorporated James Island than the City or County.

That picture is hilarious btw :)

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:lol: That picture is absolutely hilarious! I ought to use it when writing an editorial to the P & C for visual effect.

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I think this thread is indicative that many people in Charleston (those who don't read UP that is) don't understand this whole city limits debate. It makes no sense to have city limits shaped like that. They also think that when James Island incorporates that it will be the whole island, when infact it wont.

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L-Beware, I completely share your frustrations and beliefs. It is discouraging and annoying to get people to understand what the entire community of Charleston is. What's even more frustrating is when you see local residents announce their address in another "town" than Chas, even when they live in the city limits!! Case in point, I was reading the P & C's letters to the editor, and the letter written by a gentleman who lives on Daniel Island has his address as Daniel Island, SC. Folks, there is no such town!!! That's like saying I lived in Lake Pointe, SC when in fact I live in a subdivision in Columbia, SC called Lake Pointe. Here is the link for the letter. It's the one with the subject titled "Port trucks".

Spartan gave a pretty good indication of what is the actual city of Chas. Here is my list of actual sections of the city that all should have a "Charleston" address:

  • Downtown (the peninsula)

  • West Ashley (the whole area from Summerville, to the Ashley and Stono Rivers, and to Rantowles Creek)

  • James Island (hopefully this 3rd attempt to incorporate the parts not currently in the city will fail)

  • Johns Island (about 1/2 of the barrier island is in the city limits)

  • Daniel Island (completely in the city)

  • Cainhoy (area above Daniel Island; about 85% is in the city)

The other parts of Chas which are technically their own city or municipal governments such as Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Mt. Pleasant, especially N. Charleston, and even Summerville and Goose Creek all are a part of the Charleston metro area. Technically, considering its geographical make-up and proximity to DT, N. Chas should not even be its own city, it should be a northern section of the city of Chas. Hopefully this will change, but even with these technicalities, you are right. These areas are all part of the urban city of Chas, and they need to be displayed as such.

Metro made a good point in the Mt. Pleasant South Carolina's 5th largest city thread about the fact that because the area has 3 major cities (Chas, N. Chas, and Mt. P) competing against each other, not to mention the fast-growing town of Summerville, suburban development is just growing further out from the city center. If at least N. Chas merged into Chas, the competition would be eased where developments could focus more on infill projects.

I can somewhat see your point about Daniel Island, but in that person's defense, "Daniel Island, SC" is a real mailing address. It is strange that it is in the city of Charleston, yet not a Charleston mailing address. Regardless of how the government set it up, "Daniel Island, SC" is not at all like someone putting "The Battery, SC" (an invalid mailing address).

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Daniel Island is also in Berkeley County. That mailing address exists because it used to not be in the city, so its jsut a historic hold over. Zip codes do not follow city limits (usually) so there are plenty of instances where an address may be in one city wen taxes are paid in another. The municipality could care less just so long as tehy are paying taxes to them and they get to plan for the future of that area.

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Good points you guys, but alot of data that have been compiled here and in other agencies use mailing addresses to determine city size. Knowing this, you can definitely see how this creates problems. Unfortunately, in this world, perception is reality, and because there are so many different city addresses in Chas, people still perceive the city as not being very big. Daniel Island is not fully integrated into the city of Chas. The post office should acknowledge that and make sure new residents and businesses understand that.

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Do y'all think that people associate their location more with what it says on their mailing address or what city/metro they are in (like what media everyone recieves- paper, tv, radio, etc.)?

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Good points you guys, but alot of data that have been compiled here and in other agencies use mailing addresses to determine city size. Knowing this, you can definitely see how this creates problems. Unfortunately, in this world, perception is reality, and because there are so many different city addresses in Chas, people still perceive the city as not being very big. Daniel Island is not fully integrated into the city of Chas. The post office should acknowledge that and make sure new residents and businesses understand that.

Hold on, strike that second to last sentence! :blush: I totally screwed up...that part of my last post should read:

"Daniel Island is fully integrated into the city of Chas. The post office should acknowledge that and make sure new residents and businesses understand that."

Sorry about that...I would be totally misunderstood. ;)

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I remember seeing something saying Columbia has like 360k in its mailing address and Greenville has like 260k and Charleston 180k or something like that

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I remember seeing something saying Columbia has like 360k in its mailing address and Greenville has like 260k and Charleston 180k or something like that

Where can you find this information? I'd be interested to see surrounding areas' numbers (suburbs and such). See just who's taking the people from the big 3.

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