We are concerned about the recent decisions of the Hilton Head Island Town Council and its Planning Commission to allow temporary signs outside businesses having "specials" and to clear the underbrush outside businesses and various other locations.
We are opposed to both practices. We came to the island 14 years ago as tourists and retired here 11 years ago. We were impressed with the natural beauty of the island, the emphasis on preserving the environment and the absence of tacky commercialism, e.g. signs advertising bargains and specials.
We urge Town Council and all government officials to consider some of the reasons people come here as tourists: We want a different vacation experience, something out of the ordinary. We visited and now reside here because of the unique character of the island, the "unique sense of place," the first core value of the mayor's vision task force of 2010. It is important to preserve the underbrush, as we do the marsh, as a habitat and protection for birds. Underbrush is part of the vegetation of a semi-tropical island and needs to remain. We ask Town Council to focus on the island's natural beauty as a magnet to draw tourists, not on narrow commercial interests. Preserving the quality of life on Hilton Head offers the best future for all of us, tourists and permanent residents.
Elizabeth and Richard Becker
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Hilton Head Island