Letters to the Editor

Heed public's concerns about gas station at mall

The LMO Committee of the Hilton Head Island Planning Commission held a meeting Sept. 20 to review and make recommendations on modifications proposed by the developer of the Mall at Shelter Cove. Included in the proposal is a request to increase the number of fueling stations from eight to 16. The current ordinance allows eight pumps with one fueling station per pump.

Approving this revision, which applies to the mall redevelopment only, would allow the developer to build a gas station twice the size of any existing station on the island. There are six gas stations between Mathews Drive and Arrow Road, and none of these has more than four pumps and eight fueling stations.

The larger size permitted would put existing gas stations at a competitive disadvantage. It would create an undesirable facility in an area known for its natural beauty.

I brought this issue to the LMO Committee. After all public comments were heard, most of which were negative about the size of the proposed station, the committee began discussing the developer's proposals. Chairman David Bennett requested comments from committee members. None of them commented on or questioned the staff's recommendation that the increase in fueling stations be approved. There was no response to the public's input at the meeting.

What is the purpose of the public's preparations to understand and comment on issues before the committee if no consideration is given to those comments? It makes the public wonder why they bother to participate.

Aubrey W. Vaughan

Hilton Head Island