Wednesday I go before the firing squad

27 Sep Wednesday I go before the firing squad

Wednesday morning, at 8:30 am in the Conference Room at the Ladys Island Airport,  I will face a firing squad.  Fortunately members of the Sea Island Coalition and members of the public who are invited will be shooting questions and not bullets.

The following questions were submitted for my consideration.


What are the chances of having a public area along the river on the  site of the Whitehall plantation  for the enjoyment of everyone?

With the pollution documented by the biologists in the Beaufort River and surrounding creeks, we are jeopardizing marine life – yet we keep doing too much developing, and too little controlling. How can we protect the River and the marshes from future development of parcels such as Whitehall and other development on Lady’s Island?

The City sometime soon will be presented with a plan for Whitehall Plantation. Regardless of what goes in there, it will create a mess with traffic. Will the City just go ahead and say Ok like we’ve done in the past, and worry about the impacts later? I don’t think a study adds much as far as a solution is concerned.

What will happen to Meridian Road once Whitehall has taken over that site?

Why couldn’t the rural land trust acquire the Whitehall site, and leave it undeveloped?


Why have all the trees in the buffer in front of Walmart died? Will they be replaced?

Will it actually be a “buffer” or a single line of trees that really doesn’t shield the view at all?

Do you think the benefits of Walmart will outweigh the impacts?


Why can’t the City and the County agree on a development strategy for the Sea Island Parkway that eases the pressure on traffic?

City Council recently approved an annexation and re-zoning to permit a Taco Bell drive-through near Lost Island Road. This was the worst place for a business that adds to traffic flow, but the City Council seemed to ignore that. Can’t the city control what kind of development takes place on a given property?

You have said that the City has no interest in annexing and re-zoning east of Walmart (out to Chowan Creek Bluff). If that’s the case, why not just move the growth boundary and formalize the policy?

Some of us know the airport is on City property but most flights and tree-clearing projects are on County property. Does the City have an airport overlay district or plan for Sea Island Parkway as annexation continues? Is there any coordination. And if not, why not?

It appears that all a big corporation has to do to get approval is threaten a lawsuit and the city caves in and approves.  Why isn’t it possible to declare a moratorium on ALL development until laws can be put in place which are effective?

Beaufort gets the tax benefits, and Lady’s Island/St. Helena Island suffer the consequences.  It’s win/win for Beaufort, and lose/lose for us. Why is Beaufort being so land greedy??

What are the circumstances under which annexation can occur and are there any provisions in place to deny annexation?

Why do so many lady’s Island property owners like Fred Trask request the City annex their property (vs. staying in the county) when cashing in — is the City more lenient in criteria for development?

Don’t these annexations take away from the County’ tax base and if so, why doesn’t the County put a stop to it?


Mt. Pleasant recently toyed with the idea of a development moratorium. Why couldn’t we do this here given what is happening on Lady’s Island? Is there a middle ground, or should we just sign it all over to developers?

Only a few people on Lady’s Island can vote in city elections. Does this mean the City Council can basically do what it wishes here, knowing that it doesn’t matter if people are upset or traffic grinds to a halt.


Beaufort has a unique personality in South Carolina. As it grows, what attributes must be protected to maintain this uniqueness? How can we support the projected growth, and at the same time feel comfortable that the Beaufort of tomorrow will have the same charm as the Beaufort of today?

If you had your way entirely – what would Lady’s Island look like in 20 years?

Has the City Council and the decision makers for building and traffic management for Beaufort looked at what other similarly sized and naturally endowed communities have done successfully to preserve the quality of life, while still offering viable business opportunities to the construction industry? Where? And what have we learned?

It took me an hour on a parade day to travel Meridian Road, across McTeer Bridge, to Ribaut Road. Is an evacuation plan being considered in a traffic study? Are those of us living on Lady’s Island just doomed in the event of a major storm?

What are your plans to do something different that will support “economic balance” in Beaufort? Small business vs. large, service business vs. manufacturing, a small-town economy vs. a large suburban or urban economy?