Letters to the Editor

Airbnb wrong for Bluffton’s Wharf Street

More than 60 property owners in Old Town Bluffton have signed a petition protesting development of 42-44 Wharf St. as a commercial motel of nightly Airbnb rentals with no on-site manager.

The applicant proposes five detached units (425 square feet each) on a lot 100 feet wide (total .32 of an acre). A 15-foot-wide (required setback), U-shaped, gravel drive will be 10 feet from my bedroom windows and those of my neighbors at 46 Wharf St. Headlights and noise will affect several other homes nearby also.

The town’s Unified Development Ordinance states that a hotel is not permitted in the zoning designation of Wharf Street ( “Neighborhood General-Historic District).

It defines a hotel as “a building or portion thereof, or a group of buildings, which provides sleeping accommodations for transients on a daily or weekly basis, whether such establishment is designated as a hotel, inn, automobile court, motel, motor inn, motor lodge, tourist cabin, tourist court, or tourist home.”

The five units will be sold as a condo-ownership to investors.

This commercial motel/motor court will (1) set a negative precedent in a neighborhood of single-family homes; (2) deny us of our right to enjoy our property; and (3) lower our property values.

Please tell the Bluffton Town Council that this project should be denied.

The next meeting involving this project is to be at 6 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Rotary Community Center in Oscar Frazier Park.

Vicky Foster


Can SC afford immigrants?

I had to get some additional grocery items on Thanksgiving Day. Thankfully, I found the Hardeeville Walmart open. As I walked around the store, I was struck that virtually every other customer I encountered was either obviously Hispanic or was speaking Spanish. That got me to thinking.

With the current debate on the necessity to secure our southern border, and with a new study stating that there are at least 21 million illegal aliens in our country, nearly twice former estimates, what affect is that having on South Carolina?

It isn’t difficult to see that there are many school-age children in what I will assume to be an illegal alien community. Since our state was recently rated near the bottom of the pile in scholastic achievement, 45th out of 50 states overall, the added burden of educating these children has to have an impact on our schools. Do the citizens of South Carolina want this to continue? Just the requirement to hire bilingual teachers and staff to accommodate Spanish-speaking children must necessarily siphon money away from other school programs.

As much as the pro-immigrant crowd wants to push the idea that illegal immigrants pay their way by paying sales, income and property taxes, common sense says that isn’t the case. Many illegals are paid “off the books” in cash, and pay no income tax at all. Because of lax enforcement, they also have ETB cards, Section 8 housing benefits and other public assistance. Can we really afford this?

Al Francis


$5M surplus in Beaufort: Remove charge from power bills

I have a great suggestion for the $5 million the city of Beaufort has left over from the Boundary Street project. How about using $2.5 million of it to pay for the removal of the overhead power lines on that project and remove the charge from our electric bills?

We already pay an extra 5 percent for a franchise fee. Isn’t that enough?

Brian Pirtle