Okatie Development Plans Sent Back to Planning Commission

May 30, 2008

By Michael Welles Shapiro – Island Packet

Three Okatie projects that will include both residential and retail space will face several more hurdles before receiving a definitive vote from the full Beaufort County Council.

Presented with a new set of studies on the impact of the 1,252-home Okatie Village project, the council’s land management committee voted unanimously Thursday to send the plans back to the county planning commission for a second look.

That commission recommended in March that council reject the project based on county studies. Finance director Tom Henrikson said then the developments would cost the county $15.5 million, despite the new tax revenues they would create.

Traffic engineer Colin Kinton said new drivers from the project would trigger a $19-million widening project on S.C. 170, the site of the proposed developments.

New developer-commissioned studies, which paint a rosier picture, were unveiled this week.

A study performed by Clemson’s Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs shows their project will have a positive impact on county revenues. Developers say their study, presented Thursday, is more thorough and accurate than the county’s.

Hilton Head Island’s Jim Robinson and Winston-Salem-based LaCasa Real Estate Development, the developers involved in Okatie Village, need council approval to move forward. Their plans call for residential and retail space, interconnecting roads and pathways, and 15 percent of all homes set aside as middle-income housing.


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