When I read that a Hilton Head Island property owner wants to upzone her property by 150 percent to make it more economically viable, it makes me very concerned.
Using this logic, why don’t we upzone all property by 150 percent? Because our town can only tolerate so much before we impact our quality of life.
My issue is not this one rezoning, but the bigger picture of up zoning. What we should be doing is looking for ways to downzone property. The more ways we can explore to do this the better.
The best way to control development is to buy property or property density. The town has purchased more than 1,300 acres for the express purpose of controlling development. It is the best investment we can make. This assumes no current or future Town Council ever tries to utilize our public land for development. When we voted for our land buying program, we did so with voter approval to buy land and not have it commercially developed. Let’s be sure our current Town Council and Planning Commission are reminded of that fact.
The Great Recession made us all re-evaluate our world and our place in it. It did not change our core values or principles. We should stay the course of protecting our island from overdevelopment. We should promote redevelopment of existing structures while maintaining or reducing densities of undeveloped land.
Hilton Head Island
Peeples was mayor of Hilton Head Island from 1995 to 2010