Residents of the Bradley Circle neighborhood on Hilton Head’s north end recently fought to change their zoning after three resort-style homes were built in their neighborhood. Now, residents have launched a new front in their battle.
At Thursday’s town Public Planning Committee meeting, a unanimous recommendation was approved to take the steps necessary to introduce “no parking” signs into the neighborhood.
“Those existing homes currently are — for parts of the year — rentals,” Tamara Becker, a Bradley Circle resident, told the committee. “They’re large rentals — and so they’re mini-hotels quite honestly — and they bring in large numbers of people, and the parking isn’t adequate.”
Becker said the neighborhood created a petition to request no parking signs, which currently has 125 signatures.
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Committee member Bill Harkins said Friday the recommendation will go to Town Council and if approved, Hilton Head staff will work with Beaufort County officials because it is a county-owned road.
Darrin Shoemaker, traffic and transportation engineer for the town, said at Thursday’s meeting the county indicated it would “certainly entertain” a recommendation from the town to install no parking signs. The county would handle installation and maintenance, but the town of Hilton Head would be responsible for enforcement of the rule, he said.
Shoemaker said in his trips to the neighborhood, he didn’t witness the parking issues that neighbors told him about.
“I see it as potentially setting a precedent, putting up no parking signs,” Shoemaker said. “And I haven’t been able to identify a justification for it.”
But Kim Likins, a member of the planning committee and Town Council, said she has seen the parking issues on several occasions. She said the number of cars pose a safety risk if emergency services needed to use the road.
“This is an area with very large homes that people are renting out, basically, for events,” she said. “So they’re not necessarily going to use this area for the beach (parking), but they are going to this area for events. And that’s why they’re parking all down the sides of the road.”
Committee chairman David Ames, who also serves on Town Council, said the parking issues could be caused by the construction vehicles and equipment along the road near the three homes being built.
“I think we have an issue because three significant structures are being built side-by-side on a curve, and it creates an unmanageable problem,” he said. “If I were making the decision unilaterally, I would postpone putting up signs until those three structures were completed and inhabited to see whether or not we truly have a problem.”
Becker also asked the committee to consider the installation of a “children at play” sign, along with changing the name of Bradley Circle. She said the road is not a circle, and that a name change might prevent people from driving down the road and needing to turn around. She suggested a name such as “Horseshoe Crab Way.”