Hilton Head Island purchased land on Marshland Road for parks and open space. Town Council plans to donate some of this land to Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity to build potentially dozens of homes on less than eight acres.
Mayor Tom Peeples said neighborhood parks have fallen out of favor. Are high-density developments preferable?
Habitat will pave Alex Patterson Road, adding infrastructure as repayment for the property. Grant money for this represents more tax dollars. The land cost $1.22 million, and Habitat's road estimate is $1.4 million. Does this include other infrastructure?
Public comments against this were futile. The council already had decided to vote for the development. Changing land designations from a park to a high-density development requires rezoning, usually a difficult process. Is the community's best interest being sacrificed for these families? What is the tax cost for each family? If the public was aware of the actual use of our taxes, would we have voted for it? Doubtful.
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Is Habitat's Brendan Park subdivision in Bluffton the highest and best use? Go see for yourself. Expenses for this project (i.e., road maintenance, police and fire protection, educating children who live there) are ongoing.
Hilton Head taxpayers are not villains for wanting to preserve property values and lifestyle. Hilton Head residents are charitable, but there are consequences to high-density developments paid for with tax dollars.
The final vote is scheduled for Wednesday's Town Council meeting. Spending our tax dollars and rezoning land affects us all.
Boyd LaughlinHilton Head Island