A public hearing on allowing commercial and residential development of the 310-acre Hilton Head National Golf Club will be Thursday in Beaufort -- too far away for people living near the golf course to go to object, one opponent says.
The site could one day include 2 million square feet of commercial space, 700 hotel rooms and 500 homes, according to a county planning staff report. The site, with frontage on U.S. 278, Bluffton Parkway and Malphrus Road, is now zoned rural.
Representatives for the owner, Scratch Golf LLC, want it rezoned to "regional commercial," which would allow dozens of uses, including housing, retail, hotels, office buildings, conference centers and water parks. Scratch Golf has said it has no plans to develop the site itself, but wants the new zoning so it can sell the property to a developer.
Heritage Lakes resident Leonard Cyrlin said he has talked to neighbors and residents in nearby areas along Malphrus Road who fear developing the property would bring too much traffic.
"It doesn't belong here," he said. "It's something that belongs along (U.S.) 278 or even some place on the island."
But many opponents won't be able to attend the hearing because they work, Cyrlin said, so the commission should consider meeting in Bluffton. He said he has not formally requested a Bluffton hearing.
"I see this meeting being held in Beaufort, when it impacts a neighborhood in Bluffton," Cyrlin said. "I'm going to make every effort to get up there, but we're going to have a very, very small turnout because of the location."
At the hearing, the commission will consider asking for more information about the proposal, including a more comprehensive traffic analysis and an economic study, before the rezoning request can advance, said county assistant planning director Delores Frazier.
After the commission makes a recommendation, Frazier said, the request would go to the Natural Resources Committee and then to County Council for consideration.
If you go
The Beaufort County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday on a request to change the zoning of the 310-acre Hilton Head National Golf Course to allow commercial and residential development. The hearing will be in council chambers at the administration building at 100 Ribaut Road in Beaufort.
Follow reporter Zach Murdock at twitter.com/IPBG_Zach.