Medal of Honor Museum to seek public input following design controversy

June 4, 2018

The Post and Courier, David Slade, 6/4/2018

MOUNT PLEASANT — After a plan for a 125-foot-tall National Medal of Honor Museum proved too controversial, and was withdrawn, the leaders of the museum effort say they will welcome the community into the redesign effort.

National Medal of Honor Museum Chief Executive Officer Joseph Daniels announced on Monday the first of three “community engagement meetings.” It will be at 6 p.m. June 27 on the aircraft carrier Yorktown, at Patriots Point, near the planned location of the museum.

“The first meeting will be about the purpose of this museum, as well as the design,” Daniels said at a Town Council committee meeting.

Councilman Joe Bustos sought assurance that the town’s staff would be involved in the redesign planning, to provide input about the town’s land-use regulations.

Daniels assured Bustos that the town’s planning staff will be involved, from the start, and throughout the process.

“We learned our lesson from the last time,” Daniels said.

The last time, the museum’s foundation spent $3.5 million on design plans for the museum and showed those plans to the public starting in 2015, only to see Mount Pleasant’s Planning Commission overwhelmingly reject those plans in 2018.

One issue was that the plan called for a building up to 75 feet taller than zoning rules allowed, in a town where the height of buildings has been a source of controversy for several years.

After the design was rejected, museum Board Chairman Bill Phillips said the museum could be built in another city if the town didn’t like it. Since then, talk of taking the planned museum elsewhere has faded.

Dates have not been set for the second and third community meetings about the museum plans.

Daniels’ comments Monday came as the National Medal of Honor Museum officially withdrew its zoning request that had been pending.

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