Beaufort News

Want to hear or talk about plans for resort on Bay Point Island? Here’s your chance

Developers hoping to build a high-end resort on a remote Beaufort County island will share plans with the public Tuesday.

County Councilman York Glover will host the meeting at Beaufort County Library’s St. Helena branch at 6 p.m.

The 347-acre island sits off the south end of St. Helena Island at the mouth of the Port Royal Sound and is accessible only by boat or air.

Glover said after meeting with developers in August that the project would be aimed at high-end customers in a resort setting. He said developers planned to use solar energy and encroach on trees and the beach as little as possible.

Under current zoning, developers would have to have special permission from the county zoning board to build the resort as an ecotourism project. County guidelines say ecotourism developments must incorporate buildings in a natural way and allow for activities such as environmental education and wildlife-viewing opportunities. Cabins, small hotels and inns are allowed as ecotourism, with hotels limited to two stories and eight rooms per building.

Developers had previously sought to annex Bay Point into the town of Port Royal and later Hilton Head Island in 2016. The proposal at the time was for a $100 million, five-star resort run by Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas out of Bangkok, Thailand.

Environmentalists say Bay Point is susceptible to ongoing erosion, and development is ill-advised in the face of a threat from rising seas and worsening storms. They also note that the island is an important habitat for thousands of shorebirds and nesting sea turtles.

Bay Point meeting

What: Public meeting to discuss plans for developing Bay Point, with County Councilman York Glover, representatives of Bay Point Island and other county officials

Where: Beaufort County Library St. Helena Branch; 6355 Jonathan Francis Sr. Road.

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday.