Hilton Head commission OKs elements for new waterfront park

tbarton@islandpacket.comJuly 26, 2012 


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    Residents can have their say on plans for the Mall at Shelter Cove at a public hearing at 5 p.m. Aug. 7 in Town Council chambers, where council will consider a proposed development agreement between the town and mall owners.

    To view the agreement and designs, go to www.hiltonheadislandsc.gov and click on "Shelter Cove Mall Redevelopment Concept Plan."

A new playground, picnic shelter, fountain and more room for community festivals could be in store for Hilton Head Island.

The town's Parks and Recreation Commission recommended on Thursday a list of elements for a new waterfront park proposed along Broad Creek as part of plans to redevelop The Mall at Shelter Cove.

Among the items endorsed by the commission:

  • Wi-Fi service

  • A playground with picnic shelter

  • A fountain or public art or both

  • Restrooms, benches, swings and a pier

  • Street parking to accommodate those attending festivals sponsored by the Hilton Head Island Recreation Association, such as Wing Fest, Snow Day and the Italian-American Festival.

  • "I'm at these parks every week for play dates, and the pavilions and playgrounds are packed," commission member Heather Rath said after the meeting. "There is a significant community of active, young families on this island, and we need to build facilities that cater to that."

    Plans endorsed in June by the Planning Commission call for relocating Shelter Cove Lane farther inland to allow for the new park along Broad Creek and for apartments. The street would create a waterfront drive that would intersect a new pedestrian-friendly road that would have a variety of businesses and street parking.

    The plans would require a land swap. The town would give to the developers about five acres on which to build the apartments. In exchange, the developers would give about the same amount of land for the waterfront park. Shelter Cove Community Park would remain open until the new waterfront park is completed, according to the mall developer and town officials.

    The new park would provide a better design and backdrop for Island Recreation Association events, as well as better traffic flow, rec center executive director Frank Soule said.

    "It presents an excellent opportunity for us to grow our events and provides a better vista for our festivals," Soule said. "We're very excited about it. This will bring new life to the area."

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