Charleston Urban Renewal Authority board members agreed Wednesday to let CURA Director Jim Edwards look for a consultant to figure out how to expand the boundary of the West Side Community Renewal District to include to the Elk City neighborhood.
Edwards said he checked with the city's Planning Department about the process after board members last month said they'd like to add the business strip along West Washington Street from the Elk River to the railroad tracks to an existing urban renewal district that includes much of the West Side flats.
The Elk City area was part of an older urban renewal district that expired in 2006.
"I'm not sure why it was allowed to expire," Edwards said. "It's not an area that I would consider completed."
Edwards said he will write a request for proposals for a consultant who would survey the area to determine possible boundaries for the expanded district. The final boundaries would be decided by CURA and City Council.
"As you recall, we have to have a finding of blight," Edwards said.
Under state code, an urban development authority can't create a redevelopment plan until the local governing body (in this case, City Council) declares "such area to be a slum or blighted area in need of redevelopment."
Edwards said he would talk to business owners on the West Side to see what their plans are, and check with West Side Main Street.
"I think it's important for the public to know this brings no additional cost or tax, no additional regulatory authority," Edwards said.