Neighbors oppose rezoning of near Whitehall Plantation

emoody@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 28, 2012 

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Several Lady's Island residents near Whitehall Plantation don't want businesses -- and more traffic -- disrupting their quiet neighborhood.

Some sent letters, three attended Tuesday's Beaufort City Council meeting and one spoke against rezoning six plots on Harborview Drive and Harborview Circle in the neighborhood to allow more businesses.

"Once this is passed as neighborhood commercial, where is the buffer to protect us?" resident Bonnie Carmody asked.

The vacant land is currently zoned residential, and Carmody worries about the effect businesses could have on the community.

City Council is considering the request and intends to discuss it further -- and vote -- next month.

Alsan Whitehall LLC requested the change so all of Whitehall Plantation would have the same zoning. The northern plots are already neighborhood commercial.

Neither the Metropolitan Planning Commission or city staff recommend the change.

Commission members wanted to see a plan of how the land would be developed and were concerned about preserving the neighborhood buffer.

Staff suggests rezoning should wait because form-based code might go into effect within the year. Unlike traditional zoning, form-based code is based more on design than building use.

Attorney David Tedder argued on behalf of the developer that the change would fit with the city's master plan. He said it is inappropriate to create a development plan until the zoning is changed.

"No one is going to spend money to master plan something unless they know what they are drawing is going to fit the zoning," he said.

Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeonBeaufort.

Related content: Beaufort developer seeks to rezone part of Whitehall Plantation, Feb. 20, 2012 Whitehall project off to a rough start, Dec. 13, 2007

Beaufort residents imagine a creative future for downtown, March 29, 2011

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