Despite some concerns about plans for the Port of Port Royal, the general consensus at the Wednesday night's town council workshop was clear: people want something done soon but they want it done properly.
"I'd really like to get on with this project but I'd rather not have it ... done if it's not done right," councilman Vernon DeLoach said.
Most of the public hearing and workshop was dedicated to a presentation by developer Jeff Pinckney about a Planned Unit Development proposed for the property by the Port Royal Redevelopment Group.
Two earlier PUD plans for the approximately 52 acres along the waterfront and port have been unsuccessful.
When residents originally offered opinions during meetings in 2004, they unanimously asked for two things: to preserve Dockside Restaurant and to extend the existing streets to the waterfront, DeLoach said.
The current plan calls for those elements.
But DeLoach saw potential problems if construction affected a graveyard near 13th Street. He re-emphasized his longtime opposition to the dry stack remaining where it is and is concerned because housing plans are not clearly defined.
Councilman Joe Lee and Jim Crower, the town's representative on the Metropolitan Planning Commission, had concerns about how building height limits are defined in the plan.
"The tallest buildings will be right next to the water," Crowe said. "I don't think that's a good idea. We don't want tall buildings obstructing the view and obstructing the breezes off the water."
Several residents were concerned about construction in or near London Avenue Park. About 10 acres of land is designated as public space in the latest proposal.
"Don't give away the park. You'd give away the heart and soul of Port Royal," local realtor and resident Sing Pappas said.
After the initial presentation, some asked for more information.
Bob Bender sits on the Redevelopment Commission and was concerned that body was not consulted over the changes to the PUD. He asked developers to meet with the commission.
Resident Julia Peters asked the developers for a meeting at a time when more residents can attend. She said many are not able to come to Wednesday night council meetings.
Pinckney invited residents to stop by his office, which is across from the former Old Towne Coffeehaus on Paris Avenue. He promised tours of the area and to explain the plans more fully.
The council is set to vote on a first reading of those plans at its meeting Wednesday night.
- Port of Port Royal planning revived, Oct. 3, 2011
- Port plan gains steam as deadline approaches, Oct. 4, 2006
- Terraces with a view planned for Port Royal, June 18, 2007