The only public tennis courts on the south end of Hilton Head Island could soon be purchased by private owners.
But town officials say those seeking a free place to play will still have options if its aging courts on Cordillo Parkway are sold.
"We're not that huge of an island that getting to other (town-owned courts) is a big deal," town manager Steve Riley said.
Town Council gave initial approval Tuesday to sell its four courts on Cordillo for $15,000 to homeowners associations at The Hedges and Cordillo Courts II, condominiums complexes next to the courts.
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Council members said the courts are underused and need repairs. Estimates show it would cost $75,000 to $100,000 to renovate the cracked surfaces and rebuild the lighted hard courts, according to town documents.
The lack of restrooms, parking and space made them unattractive venues for most tennis competitions.
Five years have passed since the Island Recreation Association last tried to schedule events at the courts, according to its director, Frank Soule. He said the association does not keep statistics on court usage but "few in the community use the courts."
"I drive by and I never see anyone besides a few kids bouncing a ball around," said Councilman George Williams, who represents the area.
The homeowners associations want to renovate the courts or build new outdoor space, said Cordillo Courts II board member Sam Allman. He added that board members have discussed a park with a playground or a basketball court, but no decisions have been made, however.
Density and zoning rules prohibit development for commercial use, town community development director Shawn Colin said.
Town Council will take a final vote on the sale Oct. 21.
If approved, the town would have no public tennis facilities near Coligny, its busiest tourism district.
However, officials say those on the south end of the island wanting to play will have no trouble finding courts.
The town has six public tennis courts at the mid-island Chaplin Community Park and expects to build more there. Beaufort County manages several courts on the north end of the island. Hilton Head Island High School also has courts open to the public.
"There are enough facilities on the island that people have the opportunity to utilize," Soule said. "No one is using these."
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- Town should sell underused tennis courts , Feb. 19, 2014