Beaufort officials need to stop 'improving' city

newsroom@islandpacket.comApril 1, 2014 

As I read the paper the other morning I had to smile -- well, sort of. A gas main had ruptured while replacing the street lights in Beaufort. It seems such a short time ago that a previous City Council replaced the old lights with mall lights, which would be less glaring to people the city was trying to attract to live in apartments over existing stores.

Two days before this unintended consequence manifested itself, the city's development commission announced its dynamic plan for the Waterfront Park. Unfortunately the fallout from this plan could have more disastrous effects in the future.

City Council panders to the tourists. Do they not realize that tourists come to see a unique small town? The historic charm and vistas of water and marsh grass lure the tourists -- not "boutique hotels" and shops. Tourists want to see and enjoy the life that Beaufortonians used to enjoy. Let the privileged enjoy boutique hotels in places like Naples, Fla., and other resort cities where the water is hidden by these structures.

Let the tourists enjoy our charming inns, which give them access to the park. Beautify the parking area. Fix up what we have. Don't carve up the golden goose. A design disaster of this magnitude will not be so easy to fix as a ruptured gas line.

Polly Swenson


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