Town should follow its rules on parking

info@islandpacket.comJune 20, 2013 

The June 15 story about the Sea Pines Beach Club deserves comment.

It isn't I who will sue to reverse town approval of the project, but a group of informed and concerned Sea Pines residents who are contemplating this action. They're not against constructing a new beach-oriented facility, but they demand that it's built in legal compliance with Hilton Head Island's Land Management Ordinance. They understand the adverse effects of the proposal on beach access, a major Sea Pines amenity.

Everyone agrees there's insufficient beach parking now; 20 fewer spaces will not likely improve that situation in the face of the enlarged building designed to attract many additional non-beachgoers to the site.

Even more important, the proposed "two-story" building, almost twice the current floor area and slightly lower than the adjacent five-story Monarch building, requires much more parking under the LMO than the proposed 158 (currently 178).

Similarly, approved parking that is not in complince with the LMO for the nearby new Plantation Club precludes that site's use for overflow parking.

Sea Pines Resort and the planners have switched their claim from "it's a 'beach club'<2009>" to "it's a 'park'<2009>," seeking added leniency in parking requirements. This isn't a park; it's a commercial development.

Has anyone recently seen a "park" with two bars, turants and no recreation facilities?

It's not clear what has influenced the town planners to make these decisions, but it certainly raises questions warranting thorough investigation by Town Council if town law is to be respected and upheld.

Karl Engelman

Hilton Head Island

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