The cruise ordinance passed through a Charleston City Hall meeting Tuesday. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley wrote the ordinance that called for the State Ports Authority to follow a public procedure if it wanted to bring more than 104 cruise ships a year into the city. Basically, it would require the SPA to agree on paper that it will follow a public notification process to exceed its limit on ships per year.
By an 8-5 vote, city council approved the mayor’s ordinance. In his speech, Riley said the Port’s Authority is an ally, not some “alien force.” Nine others, including business leaders, spoke in favor of Riley’s ordinance, calling the cruise industry a vital part of the local and state economy.
Opponents, including environmental groups, said Riley’s ordinance would have no effect and “has no teeth.” Council will have to vote again on the ordinance at its September 13 meeting.