Want to rent something faster than a bicycle in the Coligny area? If plans for a new rental facility are approved, you might be able to.
Tom Parker with Parker Design Group, based in Hilton Head, has applied to the town to construct a bike, Vespa (scooter) and golf cart rental facility on behalf of a company called Port Royal Investment.
Town officials said Monday the shop on Executive Park Road would be the first of its kind on the island because of the golf cart and Vespa rentals. But for those same reasons there are concerns about the project.
During a meeting Monday to discuss the initial plans, town officials urged Parker to convey to the applicant, who was not present, their concerns about the proposed business.
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“The applicant really needs to know that by no means are the golf carts allowed on ... the bike path,” said Shari Mendrick, a planner for the town. “There’s another thing in the state law that requires that golf carts are only allowed to be driven within four miles of the address of the registration certificate.”
Mendrick also said that Vespas are “actually considered motorcycles if they’re over 50 cc (engine size),” adding, “So they will have to make sure if someone is renting a Vespa that is over 50 cc that they have a motorcycle license. Needless to say, they are not allowed on the town pathways, either.”
Mendrick said during the meeting golf carts are not allowed in areas with a speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour. Golf carts are permitted to cross U.S. 278 but are not permitted to drive along that highway, she said.
Officials did not voice concerns about the bike-rental aspect of the project.
Frank Babel, a biking advocate on Hilton Head, said Monday there are about 15 to 18 businesses that rent bikes on the island, but that doesn’t include shops with multiple names or hotels that rent bikes.
There are about 25,000 bikes for rent in total on the island, he said.
Parker said the Coligny-area project is being proposed by “local investors” and would not be part of a chain. He noted the planned facility does not yet have a name. The 1.38-acre empty lot would house two one-story buildings connected by a trellis.
“The project design is rooted in its simplicity, craft and overall ‘green’ selections including a solar array for charging the golf carts,” according to town application documents. “Large window walls will provide the interior spaces enough natural light so as not to need artificial lighting during business hours.”
The building proposal itself had few critiques from town officials.
Chris Darnell, urban designer for the town, said Monday the project would need two approvals from the town’s Design Review Board. Town documents show the project also needs a “major development plan review” before any construction could begin.