BLUFFTON, Sc. (WSAV) – The redevelopment of Hilton Head National Golf Course prompted a heated discussion at a county council member town hall in Bluffton Tuesday night.
“One of the things that bothers me about this project is the lack of the willingness of them to come down and talk about details, said Beaufort County Councilman Tabor Vaux.
“Don’t do it,” said one resident, “We do not, as a community, need a development of that size.”
“The sleepy little town that I moved here for has disappeared,” said another resident, “How does an outside company have more rights than the people that live here when what they’re proposing is gonna further destroy our way of life?”
The idea behind the company’s rezoning request is to build what many are calling a ‘mini city’, including new homes, a hotel, and even a water park, requiring new infrastructure like a traffic circle.
Currently, Hilton Head National Golf Course is zoned as rural land, but in the county’s future land use plan, it’s zoned to be a village.
Tuesday’s town hall prompted the president of Scratch LLC, who owns the land, to address public concerns, saying they care about the area and residents and desire a more sustainable use of their land.
“An independent economic analysis concluded that a proposed village development will create hundreds of jobs and the economic impact could exceed $100 million within four years of the first year of development,” the president said in the statement.
But Councilman Tabor Vaux says their proposed idea does not fall under the definition of a village.
“Villages are made up of clusters of residential neighborhoods of sufficient intensity to support a central, mixed-use environment,” said Vaux.
Laura Sterling lives in the neighborhood adjacent to the golf course.
“I’ve been to most of the meetings and I’ve visited the property, I’ve never seen a real, a real development plan. Only conceptual ideas and requests for zoning changes,” said Sterling.
And like fellow residents and council members, she wants a detailed plan.
“I don’t think they’re mean evil people and I don’t want to say no to all development, but you’ve got to do something more than just change zoning,” she said.
Councilman Vaux said they are still waiting on a detailed plan before a final vote to approve or not approve the company’s application to rezone.