LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

in Letters to Editor by

Bay Point project a beacon for county

As the president of a Bluffton-based landscape architecture firm that has been involved in coastal projects from North Carolina to Florida, I can say that our proposed plans for Bay Point Island represent the vanguard of sustainability.

The resulting low-imprint construction practices, preservation of open space, forest protection, and sensible stewardship will result in an improved ecosystem for an island in need of sound management.

Bay Point Island encompasses over 400 acres, of which only 50.55 acres are proposed for the Ecotourism use. Of that 50 acres, only 2.23 acres will be impacted for rooftops and other impervious surfaces; the balance of that acreage will remain as open space and protected natural resource.

All the structures will be under two stories and tucked into the tree line to protect the existing river and beachfront vegetative buffers. The views of the island now enjoyed from a passing boat will remain intact.

The plans don’t call for any paved roads; transportation throughout the island will be on foot or bicycle. Most of the facilities will be modular, built off-site and then placed in the field on pilings to avoid impacts to trees and without the use of heavy foundations.

County zoning could allow many different types of construction on this private island. The ecotourism use and this low-impact plan are the best and most sustainable use for the land. This project will be a beacon for both Beaufort County and the world for sustainable development and stewardship.

Thank you,

– Josh K. Tiller

Tiller is President of JK Tiller and Associates, a Bluffton-based landscape architecture firm involved in the proposed Bay Point Island project.

A different sound from the Marines

Your recent article about The Sound Of Freedom and the noise created by the F-35 squadrons at the Air Station brings up an additional ugly problem that impacts the peace and tranquility of Beaufort, and that is the noise created by muscle cars and motorcycles with illegal and obnoxiously loud muffler systems coming from the Air Station and Laurel Bay.

The Marine Corps doesn’t allow vehicles to create this type of noise on base or in Laurel Bay Housing, and if they do they receive a citation.

My letters to the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Commanding officers of MCAS Beaufort and MAG 31 must have fallen on deaf ears because the problem still exists.

For the past two years, I have contacted every law enforcement agency in the City of Beaufort, Beaufort County and the S.C. Highway Patrol regarding the excessive noise created by these vehicles.

It’s common knowledge of law enforcement where the problem is coming from, and additional squadrons and staff will only make it worse. When I asked a Military Policeman at the Laurel Bay gate about the loud cars and motorcycles entering the gate, he said the number seems to be growing.

Because I live outside of the City of Beaufort, the only recourse was to take the problem to Beaufort County Council, which has drafted a noise ordinance similar to the City. The ordinance makes it illegal for these vehicles to include boom boxes to produce excessive and unseemly noise in the unincorporated areas of Beaufort County.

As Citizens of Beaufort and Beaufort County, we must stop this wave of obnoxious noise from taking over our community. As one officer said, along with the loud noise comes the aggressive driving behavior which makes the problem worse.

We must not allow this needless behavior to continue in what Mayor Billy Keyserling calls the “The best little town in America.”

– Michael Thompson, Beaufort

Thompson spent more than 20 years working for the U.S. Marine Corps as an Instillation Safety manager at Parris Island, at Marine Corps Base Albany and as Safety Specialist at Headquarters Marine Corps, serving with the Inspector General as a Safety Inspector.