It’s neighborhood signs found at The Villas of Summerfield that are drawing disgust from some Hilton Head Island neighbors. They ban anyone from riding bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and rollerblading there. Otherwise, there can be costly fines. Neighbors say their children are trapped indoors without being able to play outside. Some call it child discrimination.
Some residents, like Keaton Coyne, feel they are singled-out.
“You know, like I wasn’t allowed to do something that we are publicly available to do here on a resort island that’s supposed to be bike and activity friendly,” he says.
Keaton Coyne and his family feels trapped by the rules recent posted signs enforce. Other neighbors have even threatened lawsuits against the Homeowner’s Association, claiming child discrimination.
“That seems to be the talk, I mean some people are saying why not just put a big red line and say no children allowed because they’re not allowed to bike, they’re not allowed to scooter, they’re not allowed to roller blade, they’re not allowed to through a ball, they’re not allowed to kick a ball, what are you supposed to do?” Keaton’s father, Keith Coyne, says.
There have been handwritten notes posted over the signs reading, “Never be afraid to raise your voice for those who cannot. Child discrimination will not be tolerated by those that care for our youth.”
Some have been fined for allowing their children to ride a bike on the sidewalk, starting at $75.
“I’ve been told that they need to go outside the gate and go riding out on the street,” Keith Coyne says.
That leaves children to cross two heavy lanes of traffic on Spanish Wells Road to play on the public sidewalk across from their neighborhood.
Residents hope the homeowners association who has posted the new signs can compromise–for a better lifestyle for themselves and their children.
“We want to have the ability to you know, start bike riding and start being active here in this community. And that’s something that’s been taken away from us,” Keaton Coyne says.
A staff member of the property management company, Phil Hildreth, tells NEWS 3 the signs are not discriminating against children, and that adults are not allowed to ride bikes or do any of those activities either. He says the policy is simply for the safety of the neighbors in the community.