Beaufort News

Planning commission rejects Olive Garden/Red Lobster plans in Beaufort

Plans for an Olive Garden and Red Lobster on Boundary Street in front of the Hilton Garden Inn met more resistance Monday, this time from the Beaufort-Port Royal Metropolitan Planning Commission. The panel said putting the restaurants more than 30 feet from the street doesn't create the pedestrian-friendly environment the city seeks.

The commission followed staff's lead and recommended City Council deny the request.

303 Associates applied in October to change development regulations to allow the building to sit 32 feet off Boundary Street rather than 10 to 15 feet, as allowed in a 2001 planned unit development.

Project representatives said city plans call for a "slip lane" to be built there. But Libby Anderson, the city's planning director, said the 2006 Boundary Street Master Plan does not.

Darden Restaurants, which signed a contract to bring the $4.6 million project to Beaufort, wants the road for better circulation, a 303 Associates representative said Monday.

A public hearing on the matter is at 6 p.m. today at Beaufort City Hall.