I have been working with citizens of the city of Beaufort and Beaufort County in an effort consisting of the islands east of downtown, to help develop what we believe is a better plan to the development concept that was presented to the city by MidCity Partners of Atlanta, for the waterfront property on Lady’s Island known as Whitehall Point. Their plan entailed a complex of apartments, an independent living wing, and commercial offices, all crammed into 19 acres of historic and environmentally-sensitive land at the foot of Woods Memorial Bridge.
The traffic result of such a permanent residential community would have been untenable, and mature, majestic oaks and magnolias would have been destroyed. Drainage issues would have certainly resulted as well, with no apparent usage of permeable materials.
Organizations are working to influence the ultimate use of Whitehall Point and creative ideas are coming forward. The results of my effort will be transmitted to the mayor, City Council, Beaufort County Council, and city planners. As a property annexed into the city, Whitehall Point offers the unique opportunity of a park with a walkable village, connected and within walking distance to downtown via the Woods Bridge. Some plans would add no permanent residents, averting what would have been traffic nightmares.
The community must keep focused and continue this effort, working in cooperation with city and county officials, so that when we depart Beaufort and drive over Woods Bridge, looking to the right, we will be proud of what we see there.
Fereol de Gastyne
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