We don't need a shopping center

newsroom@islandpacket.comApril 30, 2014 

I would like to comment on the April 23 column by my old school chum, Collins Doughtie. We both remember the unique nature of old southern Beaufort County. With sorrow we have watched the steady march of urban sprawl. Even though some consider the ordinances strict, elected officials have trouble enforcing them. In addition, we certainly ought to require an objective market survey to determine a need before continuing to approve redundant commercial development.

There is no justification for a big new shopping center at the corner of U.S. 278 and S.C. 46. There also is no reason on God's green Earth to allow deviation from the scientist-recommended 10 percent of impervious surface in the watershed at that location.

Neither consumers nor existing retailers want more stores to sell more stuff from China. All this place would do is create more low-paying, dead-end jobs. No matter how nice it might be, it still is doomed for failure because of the growth of online shopping. It is easier and cheaper, and even I, a computer klutz, use it.

The county should end its obsession with retail as alleged economic development. Surely more imaginative ways can be found to employ Beaufort County residents.

Our formerly pristine waters already are polluted, and many, many more permits exist already for future buildings and parking lots. Give the waters a break, please.

Bill Bollin

Hilton Head Island

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