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Local Government 101: The basics of The City of Charleston’s Design Review Board

Learn about what the DRB does and how you can get involved.

Downtown Charleston at golden hour.

Learn how you can share your thoughts with the Design Review Board.

Photo by @preservationsociety

Class is in session, Charleston. We’re teaching CHS GOV 101, where we break down different aspects of our local government to become engaged citizens who create healthier (and more effective) communities. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the city’s Design Review Board.

What is the Design Review Board?

The Design Review Board (DRB) has established a review process that aims to protect and improve the visual and aesthetic character of development in the City of Charleston. Fun fact: the DBR was established in 1999.

The DRB oversees new construction, exterior changes, and signage for commercial + non-residential and residential projects (eight or more units) where the property lies within certain corridors.

The group meets the first and third Monday of every month at 4:30 p.m. at 2 George St., Ste. 3100. Know before you go, agendas are posted on the city’s website, so you can get a sneak peek at what will be discussed.

Get involved

Feel passionate about a proposed project? You can share your thoughts with those who play a role in the Holy City’s future developments — here’s how:

  • Speak in person at the meeting without signing up in advance
  • Have someone read your comment by submitting a written version by noon the business day before the meeting
  • Mail or deliver written comments to the planning department

If you can’t make it to a meeting but want to know what’s happening, you can follow along with the live stream, watch the meetings back on YouTube, or check the results.

So, how was that for a civic lesson? Up next we’re taking a look at the Board of Architectural Review. Let us know what other areas of our local government you’d like us to explore next.