Neighbors weigh in on Sea Island corridor growth

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Photo above: Victor Dover, of Dover, Kohl & Partners from Coral Cables, Fla., uses media headlines to make one of his many points during a heavily attended public forum Feb. 23 at Lady’s Island Elementary School. Photo by Bob Sofaly.

Staff reports

More than 300 people turned out at Lady’s Island Elementary School on Feb. 23 to discuss planning and development along the Sea Island Parkway.

The Sea Island Corridor Coalition, in concert with the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, helped organize the meeting, which was called “Designing a Future for Lady’s Island.” More such meetings are planned for the future.

Those attending the meeting expressed concerns about traffic, commercial development and annexation issues. They used crayons and maps to draft ideas for future development and make recommendations to local leadership.

The Sea Island Corridor Coalition was formed in early 2016 after a community outcry on the clear-cutting of Oyster Bluff. The coalition now helps residents of Lady’s Island and St. Helena monitor the planning and development along the corridor.

The Sea Island Corridor Coalition is primarily concerned with the “lands and waters” east of Beaufort including Lady’s Island, St. Helena Island, Harbor Island and Fripp Island.

According to the group, “The city has already annexed or is in the process of annexing much of commercial property within their growth boundary, most of it along the spine of the Sea Island Corridor. 

“Annexation benefits the commercial property owner by expanding public services, and benefits the city by expanding revenues from fees and taxes. Local residents, however, often fail to share in benefits, and are confronted with higher traffic levels and increased commercial density, which detract from neighborhood livability.”