Protect Mossy Oaks from Commercial Development Intrusion

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Mike McCombs
Mike McCombs signed this petition

A THREE-story 200-300 unit apartment building (edit: zoned up to FIVE-story) is planned for development at Allison and Ribaut Roads with a potential cut-through from Oak Haven Street to Ribaut Road. The building will loom over single-family residential homes and devastate the privacy, peace and character of Mossy Oaks.

The 9+ acres is zoned as T5U (Urban, high density, large apartments, shallow to no setbacks). It’s adjacent to Zone T3S (Suburban, low density, single-family residential, large and variable setbacks).

While this zoning is part of the Civic Master Plan, T5U adjacent to T3S does not provide transition as the plan suggests. This is abrupt and inappropriate. It’s already happening at Pine Court and First Boulevard with three- and four-story buildings with shallow to zero-foot setbacks.

In addition to the 9-acres, developer Sam Levin purchased homes/parcels on Oak Haven Street; the land was re-zoned from T3S to T5U – encroaching the development further onto Oak Haven and Pine Haven Streets.

Residents of Oak and Pine Haven Streets were not notified (edit: by mailed letter as city's policy has been in the past) of the re-zoning meetings that began in 2019. (Edit to add: The city posted re-zoning signs at the properties, city website agendas and local papers). Two residents attended the recent Metropolitan Planning Commission meeting March 16, 2020 to voice concerns of the development; the motion to re-zone 2411 Oak Haven Street to T5U was denied.

The three-story apartment building will backup to family residences; along their fences where children play with no buffer. With shallow to zero-foot setbacks per Beaufort Code and high density occupancy, we will find significant light and noise pollution, parking spaces, dumpsters, hundreds of tenants and balconies/windows creating the new backdrop to our once safe haven. 

This type of urban development outlined by the Civic Master Plan and Comprehensive Plan aren't characteristic or complementary to existing development. We need the City to re-evaluate the Code/Zoning and consider other uses of space. We need to make Beaufort better – not just bigger.

We are requesting an opportunity to review the development plans with the Metropolitan Planning Commission, Zoning Board, City Council and the developer in person (not Zoom meetings as planned for the Public Hearing on April 14, 2020) so residents can share their concerns and suggestions. 

We want to protect and preserve Mossy Oaks while supporting smart development. While mixing land uses can create a vibrant and diverse community, it does not appear this 200-300 unit apartment building achieves the community’s vision for growth and development.  

Beaufort is capable of innovative, eco-friendly and smart development that will positively impact the community. Please consider our petition to design thoughtful development.

Together, we can make better and informed decisions.