Hilton Head Plantation plans pool renovation without assessment

tbarton@islandpacket.comNovember 8, 2013 

Hilton Head Plantation officials say they're confident they can pay for a proposed $2.2 million renovation of the Spring Lake Pool without having to raise assessments.

About 100 residents attended a community meeting Oct. 29 to view conceptual plans to renovate the pool, built in the 1980s, according to plantation officials.

Proposed renovations include a shallow-sloped entry area for families, a splash pad, lap lanes, a lazy river and access for the disabled, according to drawings from island architectural firm Wood and Partners.

The concept also includes a boardwalk that would function as a fishing area, connecting the Spring Lake Pavilion with the leisure path that runs from Seabrook Drive to the Plantation House.

The plantation could likely borrow from itself and pay the money back over time using revenue from a .25 percent charge added to each real estate transaction, according to the plantation's board of directors. The fee is used to pay for improvements to roads and other infrastructure and to upgrade facilities. The plantation financed the new Spring Lake Pavilion similarly.

Other options presented included issuing bonds, securing a bank loan, passing a special assessment and increasing annual property assessments by $100 for one or two years, board president Lois Wilkinson said.

"The board prefers to finance the project without an increase in property owners' annual assessments," Wilkinson said.

The board meets Dec. 3 to decide whether to move forward with the renovations.

The project comes as other gated communities and island resorts, including Sea Pines, have poured tens of millions of dollars over the past two years into large-scale renovations.

Years ago, golf and tennis were king on Hilton Head. Now, more vacationers and residents are looking for other types of recreation and offerings, general manager Peter Kristian said.

The pool renovations were included in a community master plan approved in the early 2000s.

"We've renovated tennis courts and the pro shop and upgraded bath houses and added bocce courts," Kristian said. "This is just the next evolution of that plan."

Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/IPBG_Tom.

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