Westbury Park homeowners favor separate entrance for condo dwellers

Homeowners in Westbury Park in Bluffton are petitioning the county to build a gated entrance along a road being built between the community and Plantation Business Park.

But they don't want the separate entrance for themselves. They want it for their neighbors at the Estate at Westbury -- a condominium complex with a separate residential association whose residents use the same gated entrances as the homeowners. The homeowners association said it would pay for the gate, if the county would extend an access road.

The residents of the condo complex, most of whom are renters, would not be excluded from the other entrances if a new gate was added, according to the homeowners association.

The condo association, however, likes things the way they are and opposes a separate electronic gate on the future two-lane, 200-yard road. The road, from Westbury Parkway East to Plantation Park Drive, should be finished by February and is intended to relieve congestion on U.S. 278, county officials have said.

Westbury Park homeowners have gathered a petition with more than 200 signatures, asking for the gate to reduce traffic in their neighborhood and for safety reasons, including potential emergency evacuations.

Westbury has two entrances: one on Buck Island Road and one at the community's commercial section off of U.S. 278. Both open onto areas of single-family homes.

Kevin Farruggio, vice president of the homeowners association, presented its case Monday to Beaufort County Council.

"I've been in the community for about 10 years, and it has always been a point of issue for the development that two developments take access from one roadway," Farruggio said.

Farruggio suggested the county add several hundred feet of road perpendicular to the frontage road to access the condos.

County engineering director Rob McFee said his department is studying the request and will make a recommendation to council. He said he has no cost estimate, nor does he know where an access road might be built.

"It puts us in a very difficult position with something of a reluctant bride at the Estate," he said.

Attempts to reach the condo association at the Estate at Westbury were unsuccessful Wednesday.