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The City of Charleston has created an easy-to-use and mobile friendly web portal that will allow constituents to select a drain of their choice to adopt. The interactive map shows which drains are available to adopt and where.
OPTION A: Download the City of Charleston mobile app from your app store. The web portal is located in the "maps" section.
OPTION B: Bookmark the page on your favorite browser.
OPTION C: Add the web portal to your mobile device home screen:
On Apple phones/tablets, click the share button, then scroll the bottom reel, past the Copy, Print options and select the + button that says ‘Add to Home Screen’.
On Android devices, click the ‘more’ button, then select the ‘Add to Home Screen’ option.
or visit: https://www.howtogeek.com/196087/how-to-add-websites-to-the-home-screen-on-any-smartphone-or-tablet/
Anyone! Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and organizations of all types such as churches, clubs and sports teams. Users are encouraged to only adopt drains that you or your organization can effectively and reasonably monitor.
We encourage users to only adopt storm drains on their street or on a regular walking route, but a citizen or business can adopt any drain that is currently listed as adoptable on the Adopt-A-Drain website.
There is currently no limit to the number of drains adoptable by one individual or business. However, while we appreciate an adopter’s willingness to adopt multiple drains, we encourage users to only adopt a number that you or your business can effectively and reasonably monitor.
Currently, the program is only available for drains that are owned and maintained by the City of Charleston.
On Apple devices, click the share button, then scroll the bottom reel, past the Copy, Print options and select the + button that says ‘Add to Home Screen’.
or visit: https://www.howtogeek.com/196087/how-to-add-websites-to-the-home-screen-on-any-smartphone-or-tablet/
While the City does have an extensive digital inventory of storm drains and over 9,000 have been mapped already, we are currently reviewing that inventory and once a drain has been verified by City staff, it will be made visible on the Adopt-A-Drain website.
New! We added a reporting feature for missing drains to the web portal, so now anyone can easily report a missing drain or request one be added to the program.
You can help let others know “Don’t Pollute, Storm Drains Lead to Waterways!” by adding a marker on your adopted drain.
It’s easy and free! Storm drain marking program materials are available free of charge upon request.
To obtain a marker, you may contact Charleston Clemson Extension at:
- (843) 729-4523 (Beatriss Calhoun, Water Resource Agent), or
- (843) 722-5940 (main office)
Report any new markers you add by completing a short “Field Inspection Report” in the web portal. (Simply login and click on your drain!).
Review the "How To Guidelines". We recommend that you adopt drains that can be monitored at least once a week, remove debris as needed and/or before a rain or storm event if is safe to do so, and report a drain that is full inside with debris and requires mechanical cleaning. Although not imperative, to help us monitor the success of this program, please periodically submit a Field Inspection Report via the web portal to let us know your drain has been inspected.
Please remember, each storm drain is located in a unique area and could have unique needs. Some drains are located nearby trees that shed leaves often or during particular times of year and may need to be monitored more often, while some drains may be in more open areas and that could need less attention.
Learn more about the Field Inspection Report
Yes, the "Field Inspection Report" is simple and mobile device friendly!
Submitting a Field Inspection Report after you inspect and/or service your adopted drain helps us monitor the success of the program and identify how often drains need to be cleaned and where the cleaned drains are located.
Submitting a report is easy, and you can do it from your favorite mobile device. In the web portal, simply click on your adopted drain and then click on the button titled "Send Field Report".
The Field Inspection Report will pre-populate with your Official Drain Identification Number and you simply fill out the date and indicate whether you serviced the drain or if it was already clear upon your inspection. (you will need to be signed in to your account)
Please upload photos of your drain! Include "before" and "after" pictures to highlight your efforts!
Please submit a request to have the drain mechanically cleaned using the Citizen Service Desk or call (843) 724-7367.
View and or download the flyer from the City's Public Service Environmental Services Division about Garbage, Trash & Refuse.
Yes, after logging in you simply select a drain you have previously adopted and there is an option to un-adopt.
Pollutants such as leaves and litter debris that seem to be in constant movement in wind and water can build up around the surface of storm drains and prohibit stormwater from properly flowing off of streets and sidewalks into drainage infrastructure, ultimately resulting in flooding and ponding around the drain. On top of surface ponding, when leaves, yard debris, and garbage are able to enter storm drains they can also move into pipes which can become clogged with these pollutants. Clogged pipes can not only exacerbate flooding but can lead to costly maintenance that could be avoided. Many pipes lie beneath roadways, making them difficult to access and clean regularly.
When it rains, much of the stormwater travels along the surface of the ground and picks up pollution in its path, including fertilizers and pesticides, motor oil, dirt, pet waste, and garbage. When this runoff enters storm drains it does not get treated (only wastewater is treated), but instead flows directly to the waterways that we use for fishing, swimming and more. Adding unnecessary nutrients in the form of leaves, yard debris, or fertilizer to local waterways could lead to algae problems and low levels of oxygen that fish and other sea creatures need to survive. The EPA actually considers stormwater and the pollution it carries, the greatest threat to the health of our water bodies.
On the listing of the Board, you will see a "Join" button when a Board seat is open for applications.
Select the "Join" button for the board, commission or committee you would like to apply to join. Select "Apply" next to the seat you would like to apply for and then click "Apply Now" at the top right corner of the page. You will be taken to a screen to create an account. Be sure you remember the Username and Password you create! Then you will be taken to an online application.
Information required is indicated with a "*" Please provide as much information as possible. Under "Availability" please include any relevant information. For example, you might note you are unavailable for daytime meetings.
You will be provided with an opportunity to include a "Brief Resume of Education and Experience. We also encourage you to upload a full resume/curriculum vitae (CV). You may also upload letters of recommendation.
You may save your application as a draft so you can come back to it later. To do so, you would log back in when you are ready and click on "My Applications." When you are ready to submit your application, press "Submit Application."
For each Board, there is an organizer. Please contact that person and communicate the changes/additions you would like to make.
Homeowner requirements are as follows:
1. A copy of the vehicle registration for each vehicle requiring a permit. If vehicle registration is in a company name and/or last name differs,please provide a notarized statement from the company or individual authorizing use of this vehicle.
2. One of the following: a) copy of current property tax receipt or current property tax bill or b) copy of closing statement (new property purchase - new owners only)
Renter requirements are as follows:
1. A current lease agreement or notarized form outlining terms of rental agreement if a lease does not exist.
2. A current vehicle's registration (if last name differs, you must bring notarized form from owner giving permission to use vehicle) or a current bill of sale from the recent purchase of a new vehicle.
Please call (843) 724-7375 if you have any other questions. Residential Parking Permit Website
Listed below are contact numbers for each City facility:
- Gaillard Auditorium (843) 577-7400 - Dock Street Theatre (843) 720-3968 - Visitor Center (843) 724-7174 - Old Slave Mart Museum (843) 958-6467 - Angel Oak Park (843) 559-3496 - Maritime Center (843) 853-3625 - Old Exchange Building (843) 727-2165
Contact the Revenue Collections Division at (843) 724-7311 with questions or for more information.
To determine the zoning of a particular property you can visit the Zoning Office at 75 Calhoun St. on the Third Floor Monday through Friday from 8:30am until 5:00pm or call them at 843-724-3781. Zoning Division Website
A Business License Certificate of Occupancy is required for all restaurants that are located within City limits. Applications can be obtained online or from the Revenue Collections – Business License Office which is located in the Permit Center at 2 George Street. External approvals that may be required to open a restaurant include: Any business serving food requires a Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) permit and inspection. Contact the SCDHEC Food Protection Division at (803) 896-0640 or online. A license from the state of South Carolina is required if you intend to sell or serve alcoholic beverages. Contact South Carolina Department of Revenue’s Alcohol Beverage Licensing Division at (803)898-5864. Charleston Water Systems (CWS) requires the installation of a grease trap for all businesses that prepare food. CWS will determine the size needed for your establishment. Please contact John Pellenz, CWS Engineering Manager at PellenzJM@charlestoncpw.com or (843) 308-8205. Charleston Water Systems (CWS) requires payment of impact fees. Fees are assessed based on the number of patron seating. Please contact Theresa Gadson at email@example.com or (843) 727-7134.
A license from the State of South Carolina is also required to sell alcoholic beverages for either on-premises (restaurant) or off-premises (liquor store) consumption.
Contact South Carolina Department of Revenue – Alcohol Beverage Licensing Division at (803) 898-5864 or online.
Approval of a Home Occupation remains in effect as long as you remain at the same location and meet all of the conditions set forth in the City’s Zoning Ordinance, Section 54-211. Should you move and relocate within the City of Charleston, you will be required to reapply for Home Occupation approval. Home Occupation approval can be revoked if it is found that any of the conditions of the Home Occupation requirements are being violated.
Approval Process for a Home Occupation
Step 1: Complete and submit to the Revenue Collections – Business License Division an original Home Occupation Application. Forms may be submitted via hand delivery or by mail.
Step 2: The Revenue Collections – Business License Division will process the application and verify zoning, fire, and building code approvals.
Step 3: Once all approvals have been received, the Revenue Collections – Business License Division will complete the general information on a Business License Application and return the application to the applicant.
Step 4: Applicant must sign the Business License Application and submit the original application and the appropriate business license fees to the Revenue Collections - Business License Division. Home Occupation Form
To vend food from a truck on private property you must first obtain written approval from the owner of the property. You will then apply for a new Business License CO and include the written approval of the property owner with your submittal. A Business License CO is required for all businesses and non-profits that are located within City limits. Applications can be obtained online or from the Revenue Collections – Business License Office which is located in the Permit Center at 2 George Street. A Business License CO application process is an opportunity for the City to confirm that your proposed use is permitted in the property’s zoning district and that the structure meets applicable building and fire code requirements. Please submit your application to Revenue Collections – Business License Office. The office will then forward the application to Zoning, Fire Marshal, and Building Inspections Divisions for review. These Divisions may contact you with questions regarding your application and to schedule necessary inspections. Note: Any business serving food requires a SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) permit and inspection. Contact the SCDHEC Food Protection Division at (803) 896-0640 or www.scdhec.gov.
Please confirm that garage or yard sales do not violate your neighborhood covenants. This only applies if you are located in a neighborhood with covenants or deed restrictions.
Do not block the public Right-Of-Way, such as streets or sidewalks with merchandise.
Do not negatively impact the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on public Right-Of-Ways.
No signs may be posted off-premises.
Do not nail or place signs on trees, utility poles, sign posts, parkway or other city property. It is permissible to place a sign in your own vehicle, but it must be properly parked on the street to advertise your sale. Advertising in a newspaper is a good alternative.
One single-face sign, not larger than 2-feet by 3-feet, may be posted on the premises where a sale is being conducted for the duration of the sale and must be removed immediately thereafter.
This program meets all regulatory requirements for current CPR standards. Participants will be issued an American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) CPR/AED card when they successfully complete the course. Participants who stay to complete the optional STOP-THE-BLEED add-on course will receive a certificate for that as well.
This program is designed for people with no prior medical knowledge or training. Those seeking recertification in CPR/AED may use this course to complete that requirement.
No. This course is intended for non-medical personnel. BLS is a credential specific to first responders/medical personnel.
CPR cards issued by this program are good for a period of two years. It is the card holders responsibility to find a CPR Refresher class. The Charleston Fire Department CPR Program is there for initial certification and while we’re happy to have you back – we cannot guarantee class seats for renewal!
The Charleston Fire Department CPR Program is currently in its pilot phase for 2019 and intend to host 4 classes with a student cap of 18 per class. If the program is successful, our goal is to expand this offering in 2020.
You can help your community by first providing assistance and information to establishments about the new regulations and encouraging managers to visit our resources online at www.charleston-sc.gov/plastic. The webpage is designed specifically to help facilitate a smooth transition with information on the new code requirements that we hope businesses will find helpful.
If you find establishments are not responsive to your outreach and warning efforts, please report potential violators ONLINE via the City’s Citizen Service Desk web portal at https://www.charleston-sc.gov/879/Citizen-Support-Center. The web portal has an option to upload photographs if you choose to include any.
On January 1, 2020 the ordinance went into effect and became enforceable.
The ordinance was signed into law on November 27, 2018 with an effective date of January 1. 2020. This offered a 13-month grace period to support a smooth transition and allow time for businesses and organizations to best plan ahead for enforcement starting on January 1, 2020.
The ordinance applies to all organizations and businesses within the City of Charleston, including any City of Charleston facility or property, City sponsored event, or other event (public or private) within City limits.
This includes but is not limited to:
Yes. Regulations apply to all sales, activities and events within the City of Charleston limits, including, in City facilities and on City property.
This includes public events and private events within City limits. For example, a vendor for a wedding held within City limits would need to comply with the regulations.
This ordinance is designed to protect the engine of our economy and livability of our City so businesses, particularly those influenced by tourism, and residents can continue to enjoy what the beauty and bounty of Charleston's waterways offer for generations to come.
These new measures are about cleaner streets and waterways, preserving the beauty and livability of Charleston for generations to come.
More than 302 million tons of plastics are discarded worldwide each year1. Plastic waste ends up on Charleston’s streets and 7.6 tons are in Charleston Harbor alone.2
As many as 100,000 marine animals have been injured or killed by entanglement with or ingestion of plastic waste.3
Plastics never fully biodegrade, but when pieces of these bags and containers are eaten by animals, the plastic enters our food chain.
You may view the ordinance online at www.charleston-sc.gov/plastic.
The original ordinance, which was made into law on November 27, 2018, is linked here.
An amendment to the Exemptions Section of the original ordinance was approved on September 24, 2019, and is linked here.
After January 1, 2020, operations will be required to stop using: Single-use plastic carryout bags, Non-Recyclable and Non-Compostable Disposable Food Containers and Service Ware, and polystyrene products.
Plastic Single-Use Carryout Bags
Less than 4 mils thick
Intended for one-time use to transport purchases
Not included in exemptions outlined below
Non-Recyclable and Non-Compostable Disposable Food Containers and Service Ware
Polystyrene (also known as plastic foam or StyrofoamTM) and other non-recyclable and non-compostable food service ware, carryout containers and food packaging materials including —
Operations also will be required to stop selling or renting polystyrene:
Please note, there are specialty items that are not restricted or are exempt from restrictions.
Yes. The following specialty items are not restricted or are exempt from restrictions —
For a complete list, please see the full ordinance.
By definition in the City's ordinance, RECYCLABLE shall mean any material that is accepted by the Charleston County recycling program.
Visit the Charleston County website for more information on materials accepted for recycling at https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/environmental-management/recycle-what.php.
If you have specific questions about a particular product not listed on their website, please contact the Charleston County Recycling Center at:
Establishments will be able to choose from numerous affordable alternatives and certain specialty items will still be allowed.
Reusable Bags and Recyclable Paper Bags
Recyclable Paper Bags
Recyclable or Compostable Disposable Food Containers and Service Ware
Food service ware, containers and packaging made out of materials that are compostable** or are accepted by the Charleston County recycling program*** including —
**Use of compostable products must be combined with an active composting program to be considered acceptable. Visit the Charleston County website for more information on materials accepted for composting (https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/environmental-management/compost-program.php) and ***recycling (https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/environmental-management/recycle-what.php).
**All service ware must be free of any food residue to be accepted for recycling in Charleston County.
A reusable carryout bag is a carryout bag with handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse with a minimum lifetime of 125 uses.
Language describing the bag's ability to be reused and recycled should be highly visible on the exterior of the bag, and a minimum thickness of four (4) mils is required for plastic reusable bags.
Reusable bags also need to be capable of being cleaned.
Reusable bags and reusable food service ware are ideal, as possible.
Remember to bring your own reusable bags and encourage customers to bring their own reusable bags and/or own reusable food service ware (such as takeout containers, reusable straws, etc.,) as this is the best way to reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill or ends up in the environment.
When disposable food service ware is necessary, encouraging the proper disposal of compostable and recyclable materials is important. If an organization provides compostable containers, ensure the vessel to compost is available. Also remember, all disposable service ware must be free of any food residue to be accepted for recycling in Charleston County. If food waste cannot be easily removed, your business may be a better candidate for compostable products.
Establishments are allowed to use up stock on hand if they seek out and obtain approval of an exemption, which will require proof of a purchase date and ideally prior to November 27, 2019 when the ordinance originally passed.
Alternatively, chain stores with outlets outside of Charleston can consider shipping their bag inventory to those outlets. Smaller stores with stocks likely to last a while will probably find their customers wondering why they are still using plastic bags. Faced with customer concern, they may choose to donate their remaining stock to a food bank.
If you can't reuse them or donate them, please bring them to a grocery store that accepts plastic bags for recycling. Please note, plastic bags contaminate Charleston County's Recycling Centers, so please do NOT place them in your blue carts.
The intention of this ordinance is not to hurt our business community. You may request an exemption at any time for any unique circumstances that may arise.
Establishments may file for a temporary exemption if you qualify for one of the below reasons. Read below to see if you qualify, and how to apply.
Applications for an Undue Hardship or Practical Difficulty (not including excess inventory) should prove proactive efforts have been made and be substantiated with factual evidence of why the hardship or difficulty exists despite best efforts to uphold the spirit of the ordinance.
Applications for excess inventory should include proof excess inventory was purchased prior to 11/27/18, the date of ratification. The City may ask for information periodically on inventory reduction and remaining stock.
If you qualify for either of the above reasons, the next step is for you to complete an exemption application(Temporarily Suspended due to Covid-19). Make sure to explain clearly why you feel like you qualify for an exemption. Please also remember to attach documents that support your claim. Please note, approved requests may be posted publicly on the City’s webpage.
No! Only single-use plastic bags with the purpose of a one-time use to transport purchases (typically used at point of sale / checkout) are prohibited.
Plastic bags such as produce bags, bread bags, newspaper bags, dry cleaning/garment bags, garbage bags, pet waste bags, bags used for charity or emergency and medical supplies, bags that are used inside stores for bulk foods and other items, bags for meats and produce, bags for unwrapped bakery goods, and bags for flowers and plant wrappings are all still allowed.
By definition in the City's ordinance:
Visit the Charleston County website for more information on materials accepted for composting and information on how to participate in Charleston County’s Composting Program: https://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/environmental-management/compost-program.php
Yes. Customers may bring any type of bag with them to transport purchases. The City encourages residents to remember their reusable bags!
No. Per the ordinance, please provide your customers an option to transport their purchases free of charge (per the ordinance) and please encourage the use of reusable bags.
No. Paper bags are not required to be made with recycled-content, but the City encourages establishments to use recycled-content paper bags as possible.
The Livability and Tourism Department has primary responsibility for enforcement of the regulations.
If a code enforcement officer determines that a violation has occurred, a written warning accompanied with outreach about the law and what is needed to comply will typically be a first step. If it happens again or becomes clear a retailer is intentionally not complying they can be fined.
Yes! The City of Charleston is collaborating closely with nearby jurisdictions to ensure our ordinances are similar so it is easy for businesses with multiple locations to plan ahead.
Starting January 1, 2020, the new regulations will take effect in the City of Charleston, Town of James Island, and in the unincorporated areas of Charleston County. These same regulations are already in effect in the Town of Mount Pleasant, as of April 2019.
Basic fire reports can be obtained by visiting Charleston Fire Department Headquarters at:1451 King StreetCharleston, SC, 29403
Requests for a full report or additional records must be made in writing by emailing the Fire Department.
Call the fire inspection request line at 843-973-7230.
We will provide and install free smoke alarms and batteries for homes in need of assistance. Please note that we do not hand out alarms, we must schedule the installation. Please call the fire department at 843-720-1981.
We do not refill or service fire extinguishers, please contact a licensed fire protection vendor in the area.
We do not fill swimming pools, please contact your local water authority for details and requirements.
We do not inspect chimneys, we encourage you to contact a professional contractor to inspect and ensure proper operations.
The City of Charleston does not have a maximum age limit.
Yes. However, upon employment, all Firefighters have to move into the State of South Carolina.
We are thankful for your service!
We are thankful for your service! A five-point preference will be awarded on the TEAS test for honorably discharged veterans or service members currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. To qualify for the veteran’s preference points, applicants must meet the following criteria:
For points to be awarded, above documentation must be received prior to the written examination.
We are proud to offer the following additional resources to Veterans:
Only online applications will be accepted. Applications may submitted through the employment portal: www.charleston-sc.gov/employment
The following documents are required:
⁂ Applications without required documents will not be accepted.
* Before applying, please read this guide in its entirety.
Applicants meeting the minimum requirements and who submit a completed application may be selected to proceed in the following:
TEAS Test - Applicants must pass the TEAS test to proceed to the Physical Ability Test (PAT).
Essay Questions – Applicants will be asked to provide responses to a series of questions. Candidates will move forward based on highest to lowest evaluation scores and based on department needs.
Physical Ability Test (PAT) – PRACTICE – Optional (not required)
Physical Ability Test (PAT) – Required for those who do not possess a valid CPAT certificate or have passed the CFD administered PAT with the minimum required passing score within the 12 months preceding the application close date.
Applicants who pass the PAT will be eligible for an oral board interview
ORAL BOARD INTERVIEW - As a condition of employment. Selected candidates must successfully pass a Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), background check, pass a comprehensive medical, and psychological evaluation. Selection will be based on overall qualifications, oral board interview process, and the needs of the City.
⁂ Applicants will be selected based on the department needs for future recruit academies
The Charleston Fire Department recruits for Firefighter approximately once per year. This varies depending on hiring needs. The only means of applying is online. To apply, go to the Employment page and search for Firefighter Trainee.
You must be at least 18 years of age on or before the date of application.
Your experience as a firefighter may help in the testing process, but the Charleston Fire Department does not accept transfers. You will be required to test and if successful, you will have to go through the training as any other firefighter recruit.
Applicants may obtain preparation materials at their own expense through the exam vendor, ATI Testing, by visiting: https://www.atitesting.com/teas-prep
Yes, results from ATI must be submitted by the predetermined deadline.
Hard copy of your exam notice and documentation is required. Per ATI’s policy, phones are not permitted on the testing site therefore a digital copy is not acceptable.
Yes. You will need to present photo identification, or you will not be allowed to take the exam.
Yes. However, if you are a non-citizen, you must have acceptable documentation that you are a legal resident of the United States. The documentation must be presented when a job offer is made.
No. You will have to present two (2) forms of identification at the time of hire (usually a driver’s license & social security card).
Yes. You will have to upload a copy at the time of application to obtain your Veteran Preference Points.
All firefighter trainees go through a background screening process before being hired. Criminal history and convictions will be reviewed prior to a final job offer. Sworn public safety positions require closer scrutiny by hiring authorities during the background screening process. Disclosure of all criminal history is required for the background screening process.
Those with a valid EMT or Paramedic certification must obtain South Carolina reciprocity by their reporting date/first day of the Academy. Visit the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control website for more information: https://www.scemsportal.org/sites/default/files/SC_Certification_Guidelines_07-2017.pdf
Fire Prevention Week has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire. The fire occurred on October 9,1871. It killed 300 people and left 100,000 homeless.
The fire triangle represents the three elements needed for a fire to occur. All three elements must be present at the same time to have a fire. The fire will continue to burn until one element is removed. The three elements are:
Captain David Kenyon of the Chicago Fire Department invented fire poles in 1878. Fire poles have fallen out of favor in recent years due to injuries. Many fire stations built today are single story structures that do not utilize fire poles.
Fire sprinkler systems have been putting out fires since 1860. Although there have been some design improvements, the basic technology has remained the same for over 130 years. Most recently, fire sprinklers have started to appear in single family homes.
A large fire in Boston, in 1679, led to the organization of the first paid fire department in America. The city imported a fire engine from England and employed a chief and 12 firefighters. The first volunteer Fire Company was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , in 1736. Benjamin Franklin served as America’s first Volunteer Fire Chief.
In the early days of the fire service, fire trucks were horse-drawn. In those days, nearly every firehouse had a resident dalmatian. The job of the dalmatian was to direct the horses, keep the horses company, and guard the firehouse. Today we do not keep horses in the fire station, but many firehouses still have a dalmatian. The resident dalmatian is still responsible for guarding the firehouse and the fire trucks.
The Maltese Cross represents the heroic ideals of saving lives and extinguishing fires. The emblem was borrowed from the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. The Knights were an organization that existed in the 11th and 12th Centuries helping the poor and the sick. The Knights of St. John later assisted the Knights of the Crusades in a relief effort to the Island of Malta, the island for which the Maltese Cross was named. The Maltese Cross came to represent the principles of:
Green Business Challenge events re being held in the public meeting room at 2 George Street on the first floor of the Gailliard Center.
Events will focus on creating both cost effective and sustainable solutions to businesses. Once we get closer to the EnergyStar launch, events will have training ranging from navigating the EnergyStar Website to Portfolio Manager software training.
If you are interested in participating in the workshop series or joining the challenge in August, please review the Green Business Challenge Interest Form.
Yes. Candidates must complete and pass a medical examination that includes a cardiovascular fitness component.
Yes, and you will be subject to random drug testing throughout your career.
The City of Charleston accepts applications for Firefighter Trainee on a continuous basis. However, the date of the next testing process is based on the needs of the city.
We don’t know at this time. The number of people hired varies from year to year, depending upon the number of employees retiring, the amount of employee turnover, and the number of new stations opened and the budget.
The Charleston Fire Department is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against race or gender. All candidates have to pass the same physical ability exam. Women enjoy respect in the Department because they have demonstrated their abilities in order to be hired. In training everyone is held to the same standard. During the CFD Training Academy, one of the most important things instructors look for is that recruits are giving 100%.
You may also contact us by phone at (843) 722-4357 or by email.
No. If a property is currently in the Town, the property cannot be annexed. If a property is in the City, it also cannot be annexed by the Town. However, many areas of the previous Town of James Island prior to 2011 are not included in the current Town boundaries. This means that some properties are located in unincorporated areas that are neither in the Town nor in the City. These properties are eligible to annex into the City of Charleston.
Not all former residents of the Town of James Island are eligible to join the City. To see if your property is eligible to annex into the City, email us to find out.
In South Carolina, residents are afforded the opportunity to specifically request as an individual (or group of neighbors) to incorporate their homes into the surrounding City. Many "donut holes" of unincorporated properties exist in James Island, West Ashley, Johns Island, and Cainhoy. The City reaches out to the homeowners of those areas to offer them the advantages of annexation. "Donut holes" are small areas within the City that are touching city limits but are still under the jurisdiction of Charleston County.
Annexation means incorporating your property into City limits. It is the process of transferring parcels of land from unincorporated areas of a county into the service area and jurisdiction of a city. Properties brought into the City receive City garbage pickup, emergency services, public services and much more.
Yes, both state and local ordinances address littering. Anyone can review City ordinances at: https://www.municode.com/library/sc/charleston.
If you see someone littering from a vehicle, you can report them to the statewide Litter Busters Hotline at 1-877-7LITTER (1-877-754-8837). Have the following information ready: Item littered, Time, Car's location, Make and model of car, and License plate number. An officer will take down the information and track the owner of the vehicle through the state Department of Public Safety. The owner of the vehicle will receive a notice that he or she was witnessed littering and they will be reminded that there are stiff penalties for littering in South Carolina. This letter is just a courtesy letter and does not constitute a ticket of any sort.
Call 577-7434 immediately if you see someone painting graffiti or posting flyers.
You can also purchase a Pick Up After Your Pet sign to hang on your private property or you can sponsor a dog bag dispenser at a City park near you. Additionally, Keep Charleston Beautiful has brochures available on the harmful impacts of pet waste and the laws regarding it.
Municipal Code states "It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly authorize or employ any person to cause the erecting, posting, plastering, painting, gluing, writing, drawing, chalking, stamping, sticking, printing, nailing, stapling, tacking, or attaching or affixing by any means whatsoever of any handbill, poster, card, notice, marker, placard, bumper sticker, gummed label, sign, advertisement, inscription, figure, mark, symbol, lettering, name, sticker or any other material not exempt pursuant to the subsection 21-87(c) herein upon any public sidewalk, building, curb, gutter, wall, flagstone, tree, lamp post, awning post, telegraph pole, telephone pole, public utility pole, public garage bin, bus shelter, bridge [abutment], highway fence, barrel, box, parking meter, mailbox, traffic [signal] control device, traffic stanchion, traffic sign (including pole), tree box, tree pit protection device, bench, traffic barrier, hydrant, public pay telephone, picnic tables, playground equipment, or any other public property or on private property except by permission of the owner or authorized agent of the owner of such property"
Basically, snipe signs make our roadways look bad and they are not allowed. If you would like to report snipe signs please call the Livability Court at 805-3226.
Garbage and trash collection is handled by the City’s Environmental Services Division. You may contact them at 843-724-7364 with questions or concerns about residential or commercial garbage and trash collection. Or find more information about their services under the Public Service Division on the City web page. Recycling is handled by Charleston County- 720-7111.
For more information visit their web site at: http://www.charlestoncounty.org/departments/solidwaste/index.htm
Local Recycling Centers:Bees Ferry Road Convenience Center, 1344 Bees Ferry RoadCharleston County Recycling Center, 13 Romney Street
If you are not sure who maintains a roadway near you check out the SCDOT link. http://www.scdot.org/default.aspx
Each entity uses their own contractor to maintain roadways. The City of Charleston's ‘Gateway Maintenance’ contractor is required to pick-up and remove all litter prior to mowing, and we have experienced full compliance from him over the past six years.
If you would like information on Adopt-a-Highway please visit the Community Pride website, http://communityprideinc.com/.
If you are a new resident to the City of Charleston, you will be issued a garbage container for your household garbage upon request. Please submit an online request with the link listed below or call (843) 724-7311 to request a container. Residential containers are available in three sizes to suit the needs of the customer. Most customers use a 96-gallon container. A record of each assigned container is maintained to control and ensure against container loss.
During the holiday week, your collection generally occurs one day later than your regular day. You may check the City’s Website (www.charleston-sc.gov) or visit the City’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/CityCharleston) for the exact dates your garbage or trash will be picked-up.
A Public Defender may be appointed for offenses that you may be sentenced to jail time. The defendant must meet the eligibility requirements as determined by the judge. After the Public Defender Application has been completed judges will approve or deny.
All continuance requests must be submitted PRIOR to the court date.
180 Lockwood Blvd., Charleston, SC 29403
They can also be submitted by:Fax: 843-724-7171OREmail: Municipal-Court-Continuance-Requests@charleston-sc.gov
Individual artists or organizations may request up to $1,000 in matching funds. They can only be funded up to two times through this grant program as this program is meant to be a starting point to help new and emerging artists/arts organizations.
Required match is as follows:
The LQAGP will fund the following application:
The LQAGP will fund the following applications:
The grant year for the LQAGP is made up of four granting periods, each with separate application deadlines. Funds granted by LQAGP may be used for intended grant period only.
To apply for a quarterly grant from the LQAGP, the following must be received on the appropriate deadline date no later than 5 p.m.
All materials must be collated as follows:
The Grants Review Panel reviews applications for completeness, accuracy, etc. and reserves the right to contact applicants if further information is needed.
To pay online please go to our website. You must have your citation number and a valid debit card, Visa, or MasterCard to make a payment.
To pay in person please go to the Revenue Collections Parking Division office at 180 Lockwood Boulevard on the second floor using cash, check, debit card, Visa, or MasterCard.
You may also mail the citation and payment (only checks or money orders accepted by mail) to: City of CharlestonRevenue Collections Parking Division180 Lockwood Boulevard, 2nd FloorCharleston, SC 29403 Online Parking Citation Portal
If this situation occurs, be aware that Citations may also be paid over the phone by calling 843-724-7375 during regular business hours. Also, if you can provide our office with information on the date/time/citation and browser/PC Operating System you are using when unable to access our system, we can investigate to see if improved accessibility can be achieved.
Computer generated citations are downloaded daily and should be available for payment on the website the following day.
If you continue to have problems please call the Revenue Collections Parking Division at (843) 724-7375.
- Monday & Tuesday – 4:30pm - 6:00pm
- Wednesday & Thursday & Friday – 9:00am - 10:30am
Bring your citation and any other documentation that may support your appeal.
If you have further questions or comments please call the Revenue Collections Parking Division at (843) 724-7375.
Please call (843) 724-7375 if you have a questions. Residential Parking Permit Map
Firefighters must carry an array of specialized tools and equipment that can weigh over 70 pounds, plus a breathing apparatus that weighs 40 pounds.
Applicants must pass the TEAS test to proceed to the Physical Ability Test (PAT). The PAT is required for those who do not possess a CPAT certificate with a date of passing within the past 12 months from February 1, 2020. Applicants who pass the PAT will be eligible for an oral board interview. Proof of successful completion of the PAT is required to move forward in the process.
Yes. The City of Charleston Fire Department will only accept Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) certification from other “licensed” agencies or municipalities. You must show proof of successful completion from a licensed agency within the past 12 months from February 1, 2020.
Bike share is innovative and fun 24/7 transportation. It is perfect for both point-to-point trips and long scenic rides. Users can download a mobile app, sign up for the system, and pick up a bike from any of the convenient bike hubs and return it to any other bike hub within the system area.
There are 27 stations located around the Charleston Peninsula.
To view the bike share hub locations and a real time look at the number of bikes at each hub, check out the Holy Spokes system map.
Users can purchase different levels of membership online or via the SoBi mobile app on a smartphone.
Once registered, a rider can access the map of hubs which will indicate how many bikes are available at each hub. Users can simply walk up to a bike to use it or reserve a bike in advance using the mobile app. The booking time is 15 minutes. To unlock a bike, simply enter your 6-digit account number and 4 digit pin code onto the keypad on the back of a bike. This will unlock the bike and you are ready to ride.
When you arrive at your destination, return and lock the bike at a designated Holy Spokes station. The bike is now available for others to use. Always end your ride within the system area. Please note riders should always end their trip within the system area and the bike must always be securely locked to a fixed object when locking a bike or putting it on hold.
View the system area map. The area covers the Charleston peninsula to roughly just north of Heriot Street.
Users will receive a $5 fee when they lock the bike and end their ride at a non-designated Holy Spokes station.
Review Hub locations.
If a user decides to ride a bike out of the system, lock the bike and end their ride there, that user will be charged a $50 “Out of System” fee. Feel free to ride the bikes anywhere but make sure to return them to the system area when finished to avoid this fee.
Please see the Holy Spokes pricing page for a full breakdown of the subscription levels and their costs.
Yes, the bikes do have a “Hold” feature. If a user wants to pop in a coffee shop and hop back on the same bike, simply press the “Hold” button on the keypad on the back of the bike and you will be prompted to lock the bike.
This will avoid the $5 out of hub fee as well as hold the bike for the user for up to 30 minutes. During this time the bike will not be available for other users to rent.
In 1996, a private bike share program was launched in Charleston. Unfortunately, theft became an immediate issue as users did not lock their bikes when finished riding. 11 years later, bike share has evolved and now incorporates the smart bike. Gotcha Bike, owner and operator of Holy Spokes, designed a Global Positioning System integrated smart bike specifically intended for bike share.
Gotcha is able to track all of the bikes at all times and they cannot be unlocked without a registered user’s personal identification number code and account number.
No. You are able to register for a membership on a computer via the Holy Spokes website and once registered, you can simply approach the bike, enter your account and Personal Identification Number and ride.
Yes. Users who are on any of the standard payment plans, including “Founding Members” are able to rent up to three bikes at a time on their account. Users on a discounted pricing plan will only be able to rent one bike at a time.
Holy Spokes’ bike share system is available to everyone who is 16 years of age and older, 16 and 17 year old riders must have the permission of their parent/guardian.
The difference in bike share versus bike renting is that it is completely self-sufficient and the user does not have to return the bike to the same location that it was picked up from. System bikes also track the user’s calories burned, carbon dioxide emissions reduced and money saved versus driving (all of this information is accessible on the mobile app or the website under the “Usage” tab).
Yes, whether you are a Charleston local who commutes all too often, a frequent visitor, or just in town for the day, Holy Spokes is perfect for you. With our 27 convenient locations across the peninsula, you can spend a day riding around town and indulging in Charleston’s beautiful scenery, use it to commute or to hop around town.
No, in fact, we prefer that you call from the scene of the crime (if it is safe), your residence, or your business. Check fraud, transaction card fraud, and other bank-related cases are often best reported during business hours at the bank itself. A police officer will be dispatched as soon as possible to respond directly to your location and speak to you in person. Response times vary based on call priority, traffic, and other factors, but it is the department's goal to respond as quickly as possible. It is our policy to take reports in person. Only in rare instances are reports filed over the phone. View a copy of the police report (JPG).
Come to the Records Office at the Police Department headquarters at 180 Lockwood Boulevard. The cost of the Police report is $5. Be sure and bring a state-issued ID/license. You must be able to provide information about the report you are requesting such as:
View a copy of the police/accident report (JPG).
You may schedule off-duty Charleston police officers to provide security for your event that takes place within the City of Charleston. However, the department makes no expressed guarantees an off-duty job will be filled. Requests for off-duty police officers must be made at least 72 hours prior to the event. The request form (Hire an off-duty officer (PDF) must be completed in its entirety by the prospective employer and delivered to the personnel at the front desk for receipt by the Office of Special Events and Off-Duty Employment or email the form. Upon completing the required form, the names of the officers requesting to be considered for the employment will be faxed to the prospective employer prior to the scheduled event.
Effective Monday, May 5, 2014, the Charleston Police Department will no longer provide background checks. For an official comprehensive background check, please visit the SLED website.
Complaints or compliments can be made in person, by phone, in writing or through this website. All complaints to include anonymous complaints are accepted and reviewed with follow up activity to be assigned to the appropriate personnel. Keep in mind that if you file a complaint anonymously, we will not be able to follow up with you on your complaint.
If you would like to file a complaint or compliment, please contact the Professional Standards Office:
The opportunity to observe police patrol activities is offered to students and interested persons through the cooperation of the Chief of Police. Strict adherence to the following instructions is necessary in order to safeguard participants and to minimize the possibility of interference with normal department activities. A valid form of identification is required by the Department to complete the process.
All paperwork should be emailed to Mrs. Olive Coleman, Fax 843-973-7220, or mail to:180 Lockwood BoulevardCharleston, SC 29403
If there are any questions, email Mrs. Coleman or call 843-720-2449.
There are areas in the City where skateboarding is prohibited. Please review the map to make sure you are in compliance with the restricted areas.
Employees may have visible tattoos while at work. Tattoos, body art, or brands, anywhere on the body, that are commonly associated with gangs, supremacist or extremist groups, or that are sexist, racist, or advocate religious discrimination, or drug use are prohibited. Tattoos are explicitly prohibited from being visible above the collarbone on the neck, face, or head and visible with an open collar shirt. Additionally, tattoos will not extend below the wrist onto employees hands. The only exception is a tattoo of one wedding band, on a ring finger, on one hand. A tattoo, brand or body art that is deemed indecent will be covered while the employee is at work.
The Charleston Police Department will vet all exposed tattoos, body art, and brands through the Criminal Intelligence Unit. The Department reserves the right to require employees to conceal their tattoos, body art or brands if deemed necessary to conform to evolving community standards, attitudes, or beliefs. This policy and its exceptions do not grant permanent approval to display any tattoos, body art or brands subsequently deemed unacceptable for display and employees may be required to cover them at any time. If an employee has any tattoo, body art or brand that meets one of the above prohibited criteria, the employee will be required to remove or alter the prohibited marking (at his/her expense) or face disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The Chief of Police or his designee shall make the final determination as to whether tattoos, body art or brands are inappropriate.
The ordinance prohibits parking or locking a bicycle to:
Parking bicycles in such a manner impede the public right of way creating a safety hazard for pedestrians and can block or impede the ingress and egress of public and private property.
Bicycles that are in violation of this ordinance will be removed and transported to the Charleston Police Department. A storage fee of forty-five dollars will be required to recover a bicycle removed under the ordinance. This ordinance is intended to create a safer and more vibrant King Street business district.
The City has installed over 100 public bike parking spaces, including five new bike corrals, on King Street between Calhoun and Spring Streets to accommodate public bicycle parking in a safe and convenient manner.
To register your bicycle with the Charleston Police Department, print and fill out the Bicycle Registration form and bring it to the Records Office at the Police Department headquarters at:180 Lockwood BoulevardCharleston, SC 29403
This ordinance prohibits all vehicles for hire from picking up passengers on King Street from Spring Street to Calhoun Street and in the Market area on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. The prohibited zones are also in effect during the same hours on the following days:
This essentially means Thursday night through Saturday night for clarification. Taxis are asked to stage at six strategically located stands that provide taxi only parking. All of the taxi only spaces are located on the corners of King Street and the respective side streets to keep the stands visible and as close as possible to King Street itself. View the map of King Street stands and prohibited zone (PDF). These include the existing valet stand locations along with a newly created location at the corner of Reid Street and King Street.
The Market area also contains a prohibited vehicle for hire pick-up zone under the ordinance which is applicable to the mentioned nights and times. View the map of Market Street stands and prohibited zone (PDF).
Please review Chapter 31, as well as the amendment to31-212, of the Charleston City Code (PDF).
View the Soft Closing Extension Memorandum (PDF).
You can look at our open positions on our website or you can come to the Human Resources Department and check our job postings. Our office is located at 75 Calhoun Street, Suite 3600, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Due to the volume of applications we receive, applications are accepted only for posted positions.
Although we accept resumes, applicants are required to complete the City of Charleston employment application for open positions. It is important that the application be completed in its entirety.
Yes, a separate application is required for each position of interest.
Applicants will be contacted by the Hiring Supervisor if they are selected for an interview.
Please refer to the Employment Opportunities page to view the positions we are currently accepting applications for.
If you are selected for a position, you will be contacted by the Hiring Supervisor or Human Resources.
You can search your property using our GIS Map. The green shaded areas are in the City of Charleston. You can find more useful maps on our GIS page, https://gis.charleston-sc.gov/ .
Get a copy of your plat (showing property lines, the house, and any easements) from your closing paperwork and draw in where you would like to place the fence.
Your fence will need Zoning approval – bring the marked up plat to Zoning in the Permit Center at 2 George St. to discuss and get approval.
If your fence will encroach on a drainage easement, you will need to complete an encroachment application found on the City’s website. For questions about the application, call Marcella Hedegor at 724-3754.
The encroachment permit process takes 2-4 weeks. You will need to include a copy of the Zoning-approved plat; the completed, typed application; and the $25 fee. Contact Engineering at 724-3782 to schedule a time to meet with an inspector to discuss your fence and assist with staking the placement of the fence on your lot.
All fences require a building permit. If you will need an encroachment permit it must be approved prior to obtaining the fence building permit. Building permits are issued in the Permit Center at 2 George St.
Residential containers are available in three sizes to suit the needs of the customer. Most customers use a 96-gallon container. A record of each assigned container is maintained to control and ensure against container loss.
Request a Garbage Container
Trash is defined as yard waste, such as grass clippings, weeds, twigs leaves, etc…
If you have questions about refuse please contact the Environmental Services Division at (843) 724-7364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unacceptable waste for commercial and multifamily service includes hazardous waste (examples include: paint, auto fluids, nickel cadmium batteries, and household and pool chemicals), electronics (computers, TVs, etc.), concrete, dirt, sod, sand, plaster, shingles, heavy building materials, hot ashes, tires, fluorescent bulbs and flammable or biomedical waste.
Environmental Services Website
Garbage should be placed no earlier than 6:00 PM the day before scheduled pick-up and trash shall not be placed earlier than two days before scheduled pickup. Garbage containers must be removed as soon as possible after pickup, but no later than 6:00 PM on the scheduled pickup days.
- Drain and wrap or bag wet garbage. - Nothing should stick out of the top or hang over the sides of the container. - The lid of your container should close. - Don't place objects on top of closed lids or in front of containers.
All leaves, twigs, weeds and grass clippings shall be placed in brown paper bags designed for the purpose of leaf and clippings disposal and placed at the curb. It is the responsibility of the resident to provide the necessary bags. Loose leaves and grass placed at the curb in piles will not be collected. No household garbage may be placed with yard waste for pick-up. Tree limbs and stumps need to be cut into 4 foot lengths and 4 inch diameter and stacked curbside clear of obstructions.
Residents shall place bulk pickup with all doors and drawers removed, if applicable at the curb or edge of pavement only on the date and time assigned by the Environmental Services Division. No white goods shall be picked up by the city unless all doors or drawers are removed.
To order a replacement container, or to report repair/service needs due to vandalism or graffiti, please call (843) 724-7311 or enter an online service request. When calling for service, please give the service address, telephone number, your name and the case number given to you by the Police Department. Please empty and wash out the damaged containers and place them at the curb on the scheduled day of repair.
Garbage Container Lost or Stolen Online Request
The City of Charleston does not collect hazardous waste. Please see Charleston County's Household Hazardous Waste Website for further information on how to dispose of hazardous waste. Household Hazardous Waste Website
Household hazardous waste (HHW) can harm the environment, especially when disposed of incorrectly. To make getting rid of these materials safe and easy, the Charleston County Environmental Management Department has nine convenience centers where Charleston County residents can drop off their HHW.
All sharps shall be placed in an empty bleach, detergent, or other hard plastic or metal bottle or container and labeled with either a premade label that can be obtained for free from SCDHEC or the City of Charleston Environmental Services, or a homemade label with at least three-eighths-inch lettering stating: "WARNING: NEEDLES!" The bottle should then be placed in the garbage container at the top so it is clearly visible to collection crews.
Environmental Services Website
Used motor oil can be dropped off for recycling Charleston County’ Bees Ferry Landfill located at 1344 Bee’s Ferry Road. You may contact them at (843) 571-0929 or visit their website for disposal information.
City Ordinance Section 14-51
Construction or renovation refuse which is generated exclusively by an owner or resident on a residential and/or commercial construction, renovation or demolition project shall be collected by the city when the volume of the said material does not exceed ninety (90) gallons per trash collection cycle.
Environmental Management Website
New Recycling Bin Request Website
Generally, Charleston County recycles glass bottles and jars, aluminum, steel cans and aerosols, plastic bottles and containers (no plastic bags, plastic wrap or Styrofoam) and all paper (no shredded paper), paperboard and cardboard.
Please contact them at (843) 720-7111 for more information.
Charleston County Recyclable List
You can search for activities, or if you know the activity # of the program you'd like to sign up for, just enter it in the activity number search field.
Yes! Our programs are open to anyone and everyone, despite your residency. Some programs do have different resident and non-resident prices.
After registration ends, teams will be formed and given to the coaches. Coaches will contact you once they receive their teams.
Firefighting involves extremely hard, skilled physical work, and firefighters must be able to handle emergency, life-or-death situations. Firefighters must also be willing learners. There will be continuous in-service training throughout their careers keeps them up-to-date on the newest technologies and latest fire suppression methods. Training in the fire service encompasses many subjects, such as building construction, emergency medical procedures, hazardous materials, technical rescue, public education, community relations. Firefighters must have strong social skills, and the ability to think and communicate clearly in very stressful situations.
The first promotional opportunity is to Assistant Engineer. You must have 1 year on the job. This position consists of a written and practical exercise.
Every station is designed to accommodate a crew for 24 hours. This includes:
Sleeping is permitted, as is cooking, working out, and studying, although you must be ready to respond to alarms and fulfill other duty requirements at all times.
The Charleston Fire Department is structured to mirror a military hierarchy. The station is a microcosm of that, beginning with the firefighters, a fire engineer (driver) in charge of the apparatus, and a Captain in charge of the entire crew. Each area of the city has a Battalion Chief in charge of operations and stations in his or her Battalion.
The Recruit Academy lasts approximately 26 weeks. Those who successfully complete the recruit program are placed in the field as probationary firefighters for approximately 6 months. During that time period an on-going structured training program will be provided along with monthly evaluations. Probationary firefighters return to the Training Academy for a final probationary exam.
Yes, home- or business owners in West Ashley that qualify to join or annex into the City receive Charleston's property tax credit and a huge reduction on their circulating water system bills. Homes in the St. Andrews PSD (County jurisdiction) do not qualify.
You must join the City to receive the discounts.
Annexation means incorporating your property into City limits. It is the process of transferring parcels of land from unincorporated areas of a county into the service area and jurisdiction of a city. Properties brought into the City receive City garbage pickup, emergency services, public services and much more.