By Mike McCombs
Those interested in preserving Gullah culture on St. Helena Island will take particular interest in Thursday’s Beaufort County Planning Commission meeting.
On the agenda is a potential change in language to the Cultural Protection Overlay (CPO), a planning tool that prohibits such things as golf courses and gated communities on the island. A change in the language could open the door for the county to reach agreements that would allow such development on the island.
The potential for change in the CPO comes at a time when the county is being asked to allow for exceptions to the CPO.
Specifically, developer Elvio Tropeano, representing Pine Island GC, LLP, already asked for an exception to the CPO to build a private, gated community and an 18-hole golf course on nearly 500 acres in the culturally important areas of Pine Island and St. Helenaville on St Helena Island.
The potential project, likely to be highly controversial, has already drawn opposition from Penn Center and the Coastal Conservation League, among others, and at least two petitions are circulating opposing the project.
The Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5, in Council Chambers at the County Administration Building at 100 Ribaut Road.
Mike McCombs is the Editor of The Island News and can be reached at theislandnews@gmailcom.