Zoning Changes



In 1983, when Alcoa decided to develop Dataw Island and the nearby 32 acre Oak Island, they requested permission from Beaufort County to build 1,143 single family units and 403 multi-family units on its property. Beaufort County approved the request as a planned unit development (PUD). If every authorized home was built the community would have a gross density of 1.78 units per acre. To place this density in perspective the New Point community on Lady’s Island has a density of 2.45 units to an acre. Of the total 1,546 dwelling units authorized only 1,194 have actually been built leaving another 352 units which could legally be built on the remaining property.


The 32 acre Oak Island which is connected to Dawtaw Island by Oak Island Road was not developed. In August 2010 Beaufort County approved a request to build 21 single family homes on the island with 9 acres dedicated to open space and the rest of the island’s property used for roads. The developer has requested to change the concept of development from 21 single family homes to 21 duplexes or 42 units. Since this is significant change to the original request County Council must grant approval.  The Dataw Island Property Owners Association has recommended approval of the request and the Beaufort County Planning Department has also recommended approval.



To prevent property from being approved as a planned unit development (PUD) but not actually building anything Beaufort County required that as of January 2010 all approved but undeveloped planned unit developments be evaluated for reversion to a type of zoning similar to that surrounding the property.


When January 2010 arrived there were 4 planned unit developments which had been in existence a significant period of time and were not developed. On Lady’s Island there were two such developments.   Greenheath, the 100 acre PUD adjacent to Coosaw Elementary School, for which an extension of the deadline for rezoning was approved and during this time developed an agreement whereby the PUD could remain in effect for another decade.  The Village is a 35 acre PUD located between Sunset Bluff and  Sams Point Road which is presently being considered by  county council for rezoning to Community Preservation and Expanded Home Business zoning. Burlington is a 1000 unit PUD near the Habersham community is presently negotiating with Beaufort County regarding its future zoning.  The 4th PUD St. Helena Station is a 13 acre PUD on the north side of Sea Island Parkway between Warsaw Road and Polowana Road on St. Helena Island.


St. Helena Station was approved as a PUD in 1989.  The front of the property was approved for general commercial use and the rear was approved for residential development up to 12 units to an acre. The surrounding property was rural when the PUD was originally approved and now, 21 years later it remains rural.  The planning department has recommended the property revert to rural zoning (1 unit per 3 acres).


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