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News Release

Public Hearing Scheduled for Historic Neighborhoods Preservation Overlay District in Town of Hilton Head Island

Release Date: September 29, 2020

Contact Information:
Carolyn Grant email icon , Communications Director, 843-341-4618

The Town of Hilton Head Island Planning Commission will hold a virtual public hearing at 9 am, Wednesday, October 14, to gather public feedback on proposed amendments for the Historic Neighborhoods Preservation Overlay (HNP-O) District.

Notices about the public hearing will be mailed this week to property owners within the proposed overlay district and within 350 feet of the overlay boundaries alerting them of the hearing. Additionally, signs alerting the public of the hearing will be placed within the boundaries of the proposed overlay district, including many of the Island's historic Gullah Geechee communities.

The proposed amendments for the HNP-O District include the following:

  • Reductions to buffers, setbacks, and access.
  • Increases in impervious cover and building height.
  • Rezoning of RM-4 properties within HNP-O District to RM-6, thereby increasing density from four to six dwelling units per acre.
  • Increase of density in the Marsh Front (MF) District along major arterials from four to six dwelling units per acre.
  • Addition of two new applications that honor communal living traditions of Gullah families: family subdivision and family compound.

The proposed amendments are the result of efforts by the Town's Gullah Geechee Land and Cultural Preservation Task Force and concerned citizens to protect land in the Island's historic Gullah Geechee communities. Having the HNP-O District was among 37 recommendations developed by the Walker Collaborative, a consulting firm the Town hired in 2018 to explore ways for preservation of the Island's Gullah Geechee culture and communities.

Town Council approved these recommendations in 2019. Establishing a historic overlay district was the highest priority. Early this year, Town staff, working with the task force, began drafting amendments for HNP-O District based on the needs of the historic communities outlined in the consultants' report.

For more information on the HNP-O district, please contact Sheryse DuBose, the Town's Historic Neighborhoods Administrator, at sherysed@hiltonheadislandsc.gov.