Council should ensure town rules followed

info@islandpacket.comOctober 30, 2013 

Although construction of Sea Pines Resort's super-sized Plantation Club and Beach Club projects is underway, the unpleasant aroma of the Town of Hilton Head Island's approval process hasn't yet dissipated.

In its objective to construct structures larger than permitted by town ordinances, the company misstated data from calculated parking requirements, which mandated providing more parking spaces than were available.

Planning officials admitted to not making the requisite calculations required to check the company's submissions, declining to do so and approving the projects even after being informed of the erroneous data. Their motivation in knowingly aiding this travesty is still open to question.

Town Council members discuss encouraging more commerce on Hilton Head, but to do so with disregard of legal regulations is indefensible. While Town Council should not interfere with ongoing staff decision processes, they have the responsibility and authority to assure that town employees operate within the law.

The newspaper's excellent July 30 editorial demanded explanations from both town officials and Sea Pines Resort. Have they responded?

Hilton Head voters must be aware that what transpired has implications extending beyond Sea Pines. They should consider this at the next election.

Karl Engelman

Hilton Head Island

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