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County sinks Coastal Resilience Overlay quicker than an incoming tide 


BEAUFORT – It’s back to the drawing board for the proposed Coastal Resilience Overlay District. 

The County Council, perhaps weary of arguing about the value of face masks, unanimously agreed Monday night to send the ordinance back to the council’s Natural Resources Committee. 

Councilman Paul Sommerville, who supported the ordinance last month, made the motion to send it back with a recommendation that the committee develop an information piece, rather than just regulations for new property owners. 

The real estate and homebuilders groups had opposed the ordinance, calling it an over-reach of governmental regulations. They asked instead for the information approach. 

Environmental groups liked the S.C. Coastal Conservation League had advocated for the regulation which was viewed as a measure to warn new property owners about flooding potential. 

The council’s action, if approved, would only have impacted areas in the unincorporated areas. Municipalities have been slow to move on the proposal, saying they were watching to see what the county did first. 

An ordinance limiting the amount of fill material allowed to be trucked onto low-lying areas, which was also promoted by the SCCCL, was given the second vote of approval, moving it forward for a third and final vote later this month. 

Pete Richards honored for work at Fort Fremont 

BEAUFORT – Beaufort County Council did one nice thing Monday night. 

They voted unanimously to name the Fort Fremont Interpretive Center for the late Pete Richards, one of the founders who got the historic preservation project done. 

The name was promoted by the Friends of Fort Fremont and their lobbying efforts paid off. 

Foundation appeals second 303 Associates project approval 

BEAUFORT – The Historic Beaufort Foundation has filed a second appeal in circuit court against the city of Beaufort’s approval of a Dick Stewart and 303 Associates project, this one involving the three-story apartment building proposed for the corner at 211 Charles Street. 

The appeal pertains to the Zoning Board of Appeals’ Aug. 9 vote to grant a special exception to the building plans of a 27,000 square foot, 19-apartment building. 

HBF two months ago filed an appeal of the city’s Historic Review Board’s approval of a parking garage on Craven Street and new hotel on Scott Street, both 303 Associates’ projects. 

The decision to appeal by the HBF Board of Trustees came after careful consideration, said the non-profit’s Executive Director Cynthia Jenkins. 

“We value the dedicated work of the City of Beaufort to protect the special character of Beaufort but question recent decisions by the HRB and ZBOA regarding numerous large-scale projects to be located within a two-block area in the heart of our historic downtown commercial area, “Jenkins said. 

To protect the city’s “character, sense of place and integrity that we cherish requires careful interpretation of the Beaufort Code, the Beaufort Preservation Manual & Supplement and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.” 

“HBF sees these as generational projects that will forever adversely impact Beaufort. Our objective, as always, is not to prevent progress or development, but to ensure that all new construction is compatible with the significant character of Beaufort’s National Historic Landmark district,” she said. 

Fatal Sam’s Point Road accident still under investigation 

LADY’S ISLAND – The S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) is continuing to investigate the details of the Saturday, Sept. 4, traffic accident on Sam’s Point Road that left two individuals dead. 

Rachell Poovey Navratil, 84, who lived with her husband Mark, in Attaway subdivision on Lady’s Island, was a passenger in the BMW sedan driven by her husband when the accident occurred around 7:40 pm. 

The second victim, Brandon Broach Jr. of Lancaster, 20, who was reportedly visiting in the area, was a passenger in a second car, a Nissan sedan. Two other individuals in the Nissan including the driver have not been identified by the patrol. 

The SCHP’s Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team is in charge of the investigation. 

Lolita Huckaby Watson is a community volunteer and former reporter/editorial assistant/columnist with The Beaufort Gazette, The Savannah Morning News, Bluffton Today, Beaufort Today and The Robesonian (Lumberton, N.C.). She can be reached at bftbay@gmail.com. 

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