Rezoning inn for rehab center to face Hilton Head council vote

tbarton@islandpacket.comJanuary 6, 2014 

FILE: Exterior of Main Street Inn & Spa

STAFF PHOTO

  • In other action

    Also on Tuesday's Town Council agenda:

    • Final vote to end the town's solid waste and recycling franchise agreement with Republic Services on March 31. Residents and communities on Hilton Head would need to find new trash haulers starting in April.
    • Budget amendment authorizing the town to spend $175,000 to remove two abandoned shrimp boats from Jarvis Creek. Believing it has waited long enough, and with little confidence the owners can afford to remove the boats on their own, the town hopes to step in to remove the vessels that became stuck Aug. 14.
    • Approval of schematic designs for Chaplin Linear Park, a 1.5-mile park trail that would stretch from Shelter Cove to Collier Beach. The $8 million-to-$9-million project would connect a string of town-owned properties along Broad Creek to nearby recreation fields and Collier and Burkes beaches.

    If you go

    Hilton Head Island Town Council meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at Town Hall, 1 Town Center Court.

Plans to turn The Main Street Inn & Spa, a boutique hotel on Hilton Head Island, into a treatment center for patients suffering from drug and alcohol addiction and mental health disorders goes before Town Council for initial approval Tuesday.

Council's Planning and Development Standards Committee voted unanimously Dec. 5 to recommend that the property be rezoned to allow the change. Some nearby businesses objected, fearing the rehab center would attract drug dealers and the mentally disturbed and hurt their business.

"I respect their fears, but I don't believe there's much substance behind them," committee member Bill Harkins said at the time. "This fills an unmet need in the area for behavioral health services ... and adds another dimension to our health care services on the island, and provides good-paying jobs."

The inn's owner wants to sell the 33-room property after failed efforts to expand, and has a buyer who wants to use it as a residential treatment center, attorney Walter Nester of the McNair Law Firm said.

The rezoning would allow for clinical services, including diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation for drug and alcohol dependency, and mental health needs of nonviolent patients. Treatment would include overnight lodging, according to Nester and town staff.

The facility could not treat people serving jail sentences, recently released prison inmates or parolees, or those who require court-ordered therapy, senior town planner Jayme Lopko said.

Nester said the buyer, Behavioral Health Solutions, operates several facilities across the U.S. that treat addictions and psychological disorders, including licensed residential rehab centers in California, Florida, Massachusetts and Oregon.

Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/IPBG_Tom.

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