Beaufort hears voters, now tackle the day dock

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 12, 2014 

I thank Beaufort City Council for rescinding the planned re-zoning and redevelopment of the City Marina parking lot.

For more than a year, a few of us had been telling Council that the "vision" included in the Civic Master Plan was inappropriate for that location, but we were dismissed as "the same small handful of citizens who oppose all change."

At long last, "we, the people" showed up twice in large numbers and spoke in opposition to the plan. The Council has shown that is responds to large groups of voters who speak up. We owe special thanks to Councilman George O'Kelley, who opposed the plan from the beginning.

Citizens would look upon the "vision" more favorably if it were proposed for a suitable location outside the Historic District. We didn't oppose development, but adamantly opposed the location, and we never believed it was the answer for our economic viability. That serious conversation is yet to be held.

Now I ask City Council to re-think its 2012 approval of a 250-foot floating day-dock in front of the seawall in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park, along with a 3,000- to 7,000-square-foot watersports building. Neither is in the best interest of taxpayers in the locations approved. Council will be looking for additional taxes beyond the debt service tax increase already being tossed about.

It needs to be rescinded before a construction contract is awarded for the day-dock, and that means we need action now.

Edie Rodgers


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