Letters to the Editor

How you can help stop massive new buildings on Hilton Head | Letters

Do you support tall, massive timeshare buildings on Hilton Head Island?

Should buildings tower above the trees?

Is it “silly” to determine height restrictions of buildings based on tree heights?

If so, you will like the recommendations of town staff and four of the town Planning Commission members at this past week’s meeting of the Land Management Ordinance committee.

If not, it’s time to make a difference.

During the past year, a 243,778-square-foot complex of buildings (Hilton Gardens) was completed on South Forest Beach Drive under the 2014 LMO (as amended in 2016). That’s 30,096 square feet per acre. The maximum gross floor area for “nonresidential” use in the zoning district is 8,000 square feet per acre. Why should timeshare buildings be nearly quadruple that maximum?

Adjacent to this group of buildings is the massive beachfront Ocean Oak Resort. At 89 feet above sea level, it rises well above the beach and trees in South Forest Beach. It has seven stories with a large roof structure. Should large hotels dominate our beachfront?

If you oppose this type of development, you have a chance to make a difference on Nov. 6. The entire Planning Commission will consider a proposal to reduce the height and density and to establish a maximum square footage per acre for these types of buildings. The meeting is to be at 9 a.m. in the Town Council chambers in Town Hall.

Attend, speak out and make a difference. Do not let massive buildings spoil our island anymore.

Patsy Brison

Hilton Head Island

Tell the whole cost of $345 million in school bonds

We have seen information regarding the needs supporting the $344.6 million bond referendum on Nov. 5. We’ve seen the typical projected tax cost to homeowners on an annual basis.

What I have not seen is the actual cost of the bonds at maturity, including the registration costs and underwriting costs.

If I were to buy $344.6 million in 25-year bonds with a fixed 2% yield, at the end of 25 years my total payback would be nearly $440 million; and at 2.5%, it would be nearly $465 million.

Wouldn’t this be a more transparent cost range of the bond referendum?

While we can speculate about future home appreciation/depreciation, bull/bear markets, employment/unemployment rates, economic growth/recession, cost of living increase/decrease, the COLA for Social Security, etc., the cost to pay back the bonds will be fixed.

Why the opaque transparency in this important matter? Haven’t we had enough of that?

Michael A. Collins


Now is time to vote ‘yes’ on Beaufort County school bond referendum

Like many of you, I voted “no” in the last school bond referendum because I knew it was time for a drastic change.

Since that time, I have had the privilege of working alongside the Beaufort County School District during the referendum-planning process. Over the past months, I have seen a shift in tides that is so exciting. Herbert Berg, our interim superintendent, laid the framework of how to draft a healthy bond referendum with the concepts of transparency and communication.

Frank Rodriguez, our new superintendent, has now come in with his sleeves rolled up and has run a marathon of weekly speaking engagements until 9 p.m. almost every night. He is sincere and open and is listening to what Beaufort County is telling him. Dr. Rodriguez has promised that an independent community committee will be selected to monitor the bond referendum building projects and to report back to the community on a regular basis throughout the construction process.

Many community organizations have come forward in an unprecedented fashion to publicly endorse a “yes” vote for the school bond referendum on Nov. 5. This forward momentum has to be translated into actual votes.

Parents, teachers, retirees and local business owners, join me in voting “yes” on Nov. 5 and remind everyone you know to do the same.

It is our moral and community obligation to put our public support into action.

Shannon Bedenbaugh

Hilton Head Island

Choose these U.S. 278 corridor options for Hilton Head

I learned by attending a recent meeting that 17 alternatives for the U.S. 278 corridor were pared down to the worst six, by faulty evaluation criteria.

Demand option 6B or 6C, which call for a second bridge from Bluffton Parkway to the toll plaza area on the Cross Island Parkway.

This would split north/south traffic before it reaches Hilton Head Island, reducing traffic at the Squire Pope and Spanish Wells road intersections.Traffic counters already show that half the traffic that crosses Squire Pope also crosses the Cross Island Parkway. It would also provide a second evacuation route off the island to the Bluffton Parkway.

The overview of the project states three purposes: Replace the Mackays Creek bridge, increase capacity and reduce congestion.

Capacity and congestion are not even mentioned, nor considered, in the first evaluation process. So the best options (6B and 6C) are filtered out.

Furthermore, the head of the project management team admitted that all plans keep traffic lights in place at the Squire Pope, Spanish Wells, and Gum Tree road intersections. No current design plan has been produced to show what/how the lights/lanes/signage will look.

Stop this travesty before it’s too late.

Demand options 6B or 6C!

John Floyd

Hilton Head Island

Record shows GOP not racist

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, enacted July 2, 1964, is a landmark civil rights and labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It prohibits unequal application of voter registration, and racial segregation in schools, employment and public accommodations, as described by Wikipedia.

During the term of Lyndon Johnson, a Democratic president, he was saved by Republican help to pass the Civil Rights Act.

In the House of Representatives, 415 members voted, four avoided responsibility by voting present, and 12 members were not present.

Overall, the measure passed 70% (289 votes) to 30% (126).

The vote by party in the House: Democrats, 153 votes yes, 91 no. Republicans: 136 yes, only 35 no. So, 37.3% of the Democratic delegation voted against the Civil Rights Act, while only 20.5% of the Republican delegation did.

The Democrats, while larger in number of delegates than Republicans, had twice the number voting against the Civil Rights Act than the so-called racist Republicans.

In the Senate, the bill passed 73 to 27.

The Democratic supermajority in the Senate split its vote 46 (69%) for and 21 (31%) against. The Republicans voted 27 (82%) for and six (18%) against. Thus, Democrats made up 78% of the “no” votes.

So which party is the party of racists?

Steven Strom

Hilton Head Island

Why are letter writers so angry?

I am 80 years old and, for most of my adult life, I start out each morning with a fresh newspaper and my first cup of coffee.

I read the entire paper and then do the crosswords and jumble.

Today, as in many of the days, the editorial page is filled with angry letters.

It is difficult to understand why so many people living in our paradise can start out each day so angry with the world.

Why not start your day by enjoying the sweet smell of a Carolina morning, and recognize how grateful we are to be here?

John A. Alaimo

Hilton Head Island

Is betrayal now ‘greatness’?

Our betrayal of an ally, the Kurds, is a betrayal of our own military troops who fought as well as died beside the Kurds we so shamefully betrayed.

Is our despicable act of betrayal the new definition of our “greatness”?

Calvin Jordan


How to submit a letter

Send letters to the editor by email to letters@islandpacket.com or letters@beaufortgazette.com.

Or you may submit a letter online.

Letters to the editor must be 250 words or fewer and include your first and last names, street address and daytime telephone number so we can verify the letter before publication.

You are limited to one letter per 30 days.

Letters may be edited for length, style, grammar, taste and libel. All letters submitted become the property of The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette.

Letters will be accepted only if they are typed into the body of an email, not sent as an email attachment.