Bluffton historic panel OKs five new buildings in the Carson Cottages area

March 6, 2008 

Old Town Bluffton could soon have five new retail buildings along Calhoun Street.

Bluffton's Historic Preservation Commission approved plans Wednesday night for five new buildings in the Carson Cottages area being developed by Thomas Viljac.

The plans approved Wednesday are for the second phase of development, covering just over two-thirds of an acre. The commission approved the first phase -- on about .44 acres -- last October.

The project is slated to be constructed around existing buildings, including May River Realty and the Carson Cottage, a historic site Viljac restored.

Members of the Historic Preservation Commission praised some of the plans Viljac presented Wednesday, but were critical of others.

Member Matt Taylor, for example, criticized plans on one structure for not being "simple" enough.

"It looks like Hilton Head architecture," he said, "not Bluffton."

Viljac said he'd alter the style of the windows of the structure. He also agreed to address other architectural and placement concerns -- such as setbacks on a carriage house -- the commission raised.

Viljac's plans already meet town code, so the project does not need town council or planning commission approval.

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