Port Royal Plantation board fires GM; says land deal not to blame

bheffernan@islandpacket.comMarch 19, 2013 

Port Royal Plantation has fired its general manager, according to an email to members of the landowner's association.

The Port Royal Plantation Association of Landowners' executive board explained in the email Friday that its unanimous decision to fire Dan Davis followed an "extensive investigation," and it was "in no way related" to the recent sale of the Planter's Row Golf Course to the Town of Hilton Head Island.

"The Board, in the exercise of its discretion, has decided the circumstances leading to this decision shall remain confidential," says the email. "Therefore, please do not ask any Director for any further information as they have all agreed that this matter is now best closed. However, we thank Dan for his many past years of good service."

Board member John Lemoine will be the acting manager until the appointment of an interim manager, according to the email.

Attempts Tuesday to reach Davis, landowners association president Al Emanuelli and other voting members of the board for comment were unsuccessful.

The Hilton Head Island Town Council voted unanimously March 4 to buy 102 acres from the Heritage Golf Group, which also owns the two other courses in Port Royal Plantation.

Port Royal board members objected to the town buying the land, saying the board had already worked out a deal with a developer to buy it. That plan would have added shops and apartments, and the plantation board would have received $2.27 million from the developer for renovating the community's beach house.

The $5 million deal is the town's largest land purchase and the first major property acquisition since buying Honey Horn in the 1990s. The land includes holes 2 through 16 of the Planter's Row course and stretches 1,494 feet along William Hilton Parkway, between Dillon and Union Cemetery roads.

Town officials say they have no plans yet for the land, which will be leased to Heritage Golf Group to remain as a golf course for at least two years.

The town will pay for the land with borrowed money, but issuing new bonds will not result in a tax increase because they are replacing expiring debts, according to town manager Steve Riley.

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