Beaufort County Council is debating the proposed routing change for Phase 5B of the Bluffton Parkway. But the real debate should be whether this road should ever be built.
The current route was built at taxpayer expense at the request of the town of Bluffton and developers. It was built knowing full well that adjustments would be proposed later. The town and a developer now want to choose the route for the proposed "straightening." The proposed new route would increase the value of a portion of the undeveloped land. Not widely mentioned is that Phase 5B of the parkway would enable a connector road to run between U.S. 278 and that section of the Bluffton Parkway. This would make the Willow Run property to the west of Rose Hill more attractive for commercial development. Existing development precludes a connector to the current section of the Bluffton Parkway.
County taxpayers are being asked to fund a road that enables Bluffton to open up land for development, increase its tax base and increase profit potential for a developer. That the roadway would decrease the value of existing residential development, owned by those who would assist in paying for the new route, is of no concern to Bluffton or the developer. County Council should be encouraged to abandon plans to construct this road.