Panel makes bad call on rezoning near airport

info@islandpacket.comMay 12, 2013 

Just who's interest is the Hilton Head Island Planning Commission looking out for?

The Federal Aviation Administration, S.C. Aeronautics Commission, Beaufort County and Town of Hilton Head Island staff all opposed the rezoning request for property near the Hilton Head Island Airport, and several area residents spoke out against it.

Despite all of this opposition, the commission, after an executive session to discuss this among themselves, voted to approve the increased density request.

The only people in favor of this were the individuals who stand to gain financially on the sale of the property after rezoning. I don't believe it is the town's job to bail out investors who made bad decisions. Several of the individuals involved do not even live on the island.

And what kind of property will go here? Apparently apartments, and the property's location under the approach to the airport will be subject to extremely high noise levels, especially since the rezoning will allow three-story units to be built. At the least, a noise study should be done at the three-story level to determine the potential noise damage that could be done.

The number of lives potentialy at risk from constructing high-density apartment buildings under the airport approach is high, especially considering that landings and take-offs are the most dangerous times of flight.

Hopefully, Town Council will take a hard look at this ill-advised recommendation and overturn it.

Gary Runge

Hilton Head Island

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