BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) -A Lowcountry community is speaking out about a Beaufort County proposal to change an area families have worked to preserve for generations.
What was once a small fishing village in Bluffton is now a bustling little area, made unique by the people who’ve called it home for decades. Community members said they’ve faced issues for years, adding their concerns about how a county proposal to construct an eight foot wide bike path from the Town of Bluffton along Alljoy Road to Thomas Lawton Road could create additional problems.
Bob Wiliams, a resident who’s lived in Buffton for 16 years said the community feels blindsided by the proposal they said was never appropriately presented to the community: “Well over a thousand people signed a petition against this, but it seems like Beaufort County completely ignores it.”
Williams pointed out the drainage problems many locals in the area have faced for years, an issue he said the county still hasn’t resolved and could amplify with a new bike path being placed where there’s already flooding every year.
“It’s a huge problem with eight feet of concrete or asphalt going into a drainage system that doesn’t work now,” Williams explained.
Community members said this project will impact other areas like the Alljoy Boat Landing which gives them acces to Brighton Beach and the May River. Locals said the area has already struggled with trash and littering, and believe having more tourist traffic in the area will amplify the issue.
“You know beer bottles and cans and needles, and luckily for the community now the neighbors pick that stuff up and do away with it, and the use of the boat landing would make it impossible to use it,” Williams described.
Locals believe the county’s additional plans for building a Brighton Beach boardwalk would serve the city in controlling tourist traffic, but could cost the locals their quality of life. They said they want a chance to be heard before the county moves forward with the proposal valued at around 750,000 in tax dollars.
WSAV reached out to the district’s representative, he did not respond to our request for comment.
County officials plan to hold a pathway proposal meeting on Thursday, July 1st at 6 p.m. at the Bluffton Recreation Center.
Click HERE to learn more about the community members pushing for the meeting to be made into a town hall so locals can address their concerns.