Words of caution to public developers

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 11, 2014 

I have been following the story about the town of Bluffton and other public entities wanting to buy part of Buckwalter Place since it was first mentioned in the newspaper, and I have some concerns and cautions with it.

Local development corporations can be a great asset to an area if they are handled properly and are transparent.

It seems that this group has some very good ideas about growth in the area. It must be controlled and steered in the right direction. Usually it is done through zoning, but sometimes government has to step in with a local development corporation.

I have had a great deal of experience with a local development corporation that went astray. The town supervisor took over the corporation and decided to build a baseball stadium. The people voted it down but the stadium was built anyway. Consequently, the town is in debt for $65 million and it is the most financially stressed town in the state.

So I would caution the fine people who have undertaken this worthwhile endeavor: transparency and listening to the people in the community is extremely important.

Robert Olori


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