Dozens of residents on Wednesday opposed a renewed proposal to annex property into Port Royal and rezone it for business.
During a Town Council hearing, Shell Point residents said annexing and rezoning 1001 Cypress St. would increase traffic in the area and disrupt their neighborhood.
Beaufort County Councilman Brian Flewelling said he researched the deed and restrictions on the property after hearing about residents' concerns. Neighborhood covenants prohibit the property from being used for business, according to Flewelling and a letter from the Minor, Haight and Arundell law firm, which is representing the Shell Point Subdivision Homeowner's Association.
"It's just not right," association president Carolyn Davis said. "It's a community, it's a neighborhood."
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Since 2006, property owner Yunhi Flores has repeatedly applied to be annexed into Port Royal and for zoning that allows businesses. The multi-use II zone she requested would allow single-family homes, multifamily homes, small shops and offices.
Originally, she asked for the zoning to operate a seafood market. On Wednesday, she said that is no longer her plan. She said she wants her 12-year-old son, who aspires to be an architect, to have the option of using the property one day.
"I'm pretty sure my baby is going to use it for his office," she said.
Flores compared her property with Fat Patties, a restaurant that opened this summer in a converted house a few blocks down Parris Island Gateway.
"I'm no different than Fat Patties, and if they can do it, I don't see why I can't," she said.
Neighbor Heather Fleury said she would "file suit immediately to stop her from having a business" if the zoning was approved.
Paul Keyserling called 1001 Cypress St. a "viable residential property." He said he didn't oppose its annexation, but was against zoning it for business.
"I think this will just contribute to strip-developing the highway," he said.
The rezoning and annexation will be voted on next week, according to the town. Despite the covenant restricting the property to residential use, town manager Van Willis said council could approve the rezoning. However, no permits could be issued until concerns about commercial use for the property were resolved.
Town Council also held a hearing Wednesday to consider proposals for annexing and zoning 873 and 875 Parris Island Gateway. Residents had little to say about these two requests.