Retirement community works for Squire Pope Road site

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 18, 2014 

A retirement community sounds like a good fit -- and a non-controversial use -- for a 10-acre site off Squire Pope Road.

Property owner S. Kittredge Collins of San Francisco recently said he will sell the land to Bayshore Retirement Living of Tampa, Fla., because he's tired of fighting nearby residents over various projects considered for the site.

During the past two years, proposals -- some not ever seriously considered -- included a dock where watercraft tours would have been offered as well as a water park, a hotel and restaurants. But residents of nearby Hilton Head Plantation and The Cypress of Hilton Head shot down the proposals in their tracks each time, kicking up sand about the potential for loud noise, increased traffic and more.

Kittredge has likely made a good call this time. Neighbors are unlikely to oppose a retirement community that will not disturb the peace nor drastically increase traffic. Residents can rest assured that their peaceful communities will remain so, likely for many years to come. And the town can feel good about a project that fits nicely with the surrounding area.

It also ends the difficulties Kittredge said he has had, trying to manage the property from afar.

But we agree that Kittredge has not been given a fair shake by the Town of Hilton Head Island.

Residents of The Cypress worked to shut down a watersports company operating at Salty Fare Landing, which Kittredge owns, after the town mistakenly issued it a business license in early 2013. The license was not renewed after staff discovered their error. It's unfortunate that Kittredge had to suffer because of the staff's mistake.

And Kittredge rightly points out that the company never disturbed the peace while it operated. It even held a Wave Runner demonstration in June for town officials and residents, proving that noise concerns were overstated.

Hopefully, no mistakes will slow the progress of the planned retirement home. Neighbors and the new owner deserve that.

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