Sea Pines Resort doesn't deserve special favors

info@islandpacket.comJuly 17, 2013 

Based on Town of Hilton Head Island records, Sea Pines residential property owners invest annually more than $30 million on building, renovating or maintaining their properties. These projects must comply with town ordinances and Sea Pines covenants.

The Sea Pines Resort is in the process of renovating and replacing some of its facilities. I expected that the same standards of regulatory compliance would be applied to its projects.

However, the town's characterization of the proposed redevelopment of the Sea Pines Beach Club as an "active park" calls into question whether the rules are applied to individual residents in the same way as they are applied to large commercial entities.

Does any neutral observer think a 3.2-acre site containing a 27,500-square-foot, multi-story, multi-use building and a 158-space paved parking lot that serves only residents and resort guests is a public "active park"?

To a group of citizens, this apparent double standard applied by the town was worthy of additional review and warranted an appeal to the town's Board of Zoning Appeals.

The resort's quest for favored treatment and the town's acquiescence continued after the appeal filing. Although not provided for in the town code, the resort has moved to dismiss the appeal. They wish to deny the citizens the opportunity to present to the Zoning Board the misrepresentations and inaccuracies that were part of the initial review decision.

If there is a double standard, let it be brought into the open.

Mike Garvey

Hilton Head Island

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