Posted on: December 5, 2017

Lowcountry leaders prep for 'spillover effect' as Hardeeville plans 9,500 new homes

Anyone who’s had a spat with a neighbor about an overgrown lawn or untidy trash cans knows that issues can easily ooze over the imaginary border of a property line.

The same concept applies to cities and counties: The effects of growth — particularly large-scale growth planned in Hardeeville with the recently announced East Argent development— will undoubtedly affect neighbors in Jasper and Beaufort counties and municipalities such as Bluffton.

The city of Hardeeville announced a massive residential and commercial development set to begin in 2018 in the town's East Argent Tract. While 9,500 homes will eventually be built, zoning allowed for 12,574 units.

“There’s a general awareness that the actions in one jurisdiction have impacts on their neighbors,” S.C. Sen. Tom Davis, whose district includes both Jasper and Beaufort County, said — referring to those shared impacts as the “spillover effect.”

While leaders in Hardeeville are full-throatedly celebrating news of a plan to bring 9,500 homes, 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, and about 20,000 new residents to the city, officials in nearby Beaufort County jurisdictions are taking a more cautiously optimistic view.

They’ve been burned before by fights over proposed developments that straddle county and municipal boundaries.

A debacle surrounding proposed redevelopment at the Hilton Head National Golf Club in greater Bluffton found the property owner, Beaufort County leaders, professional planners, Bluffton officials, and locals who live both inside and outside the town at odds with one another, and ultimately resulted in a pending lawsuit against the county.

In the months since that turmoil, governments have vowed to embrace a wider-scope regional approach to growth.

Island Packet
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