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Check out some recent Registered Statements from forum participants

Carl Braden inside Town Limits March 13, 2024, 3:12 PM

Name Carl Braden - Chaplin resident since 1997
Do you have any comments regarding the Chaplin Park Master Plan? 1. The pickleball courts, in my opinion, should be located on the Singleton tract. This is because pickleball is quite ***loud***. That tract is isolated from the main park - and has a lovely breeze/view to the ocean - so should be maximized for something other than facilities management. It is a parcel that has a view of the entire 'Folly' and out to the ocean- one of a kind!

By separating pickleball - i.e. locating it on the Singleton tract instead of in the middle of the park - it will help to preserve as much of the nature sounds as possible - including the sound of the surf - whereas if located in the center of the park will be more disruptive than it need-be: "bap - bap - bap - bap - bap - bap" ....if you have listened to this sport being played before, you know what I am referring to. Plus, those who play this sport would likely enjoy the Singleton tract with it's ocean breezes far more, in my opinion.

2. In my opinion, the basketball courts are already in a great location - close to the community that uses them the most (Chaplin residents along the marsh-side of 278). The hoops/stands themselves are made of solid concrete - and are still in great shape. The courts could be re-surfaced, saving many thousands of dollars vs. demolition and re-locating them nearby.

3. The historic trails towards the marsh-side of the park (for fishing/crabbing/bait netting) are also wonderful nature trails. These trails are still used today by locals for getting to The Folly - for all of these reasons. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that these should not be improved with crushed oyster shells, with nature signage for residents and visitors to enjoy learning about the history and all of the nature/animals.

Nothing major - only perhaps some trail & nature signage/ and some trash cans (to reduce the litter that is already often left there - I know because I often pick it up). ***This part of the park can be enjoyed without damaging the natural ecosystem***. It is amazing to walk there - and a minor loop to connect elsewhere (near the tennis courts), would make a lot of sense - so it is not just one way in/one way out. No lights or anything obtrusive is needed, other than to maintain these wonderful nature trails, and to provide litter maintenance.

Much gratitude for preserving the tennis courts - enjoyed by so many residents/guests, and an important amenity for the Chaplin community.

Name not shown outside Town Limits February 18, 2024, 8:35 AM

Do you live in a historic neighborhood on Hilton Head Island? No
Do you own or operate a business in a historic Gullah neighborhood? No
What do you know about the functions of a Community Development Corporation? I have heard the term “Community Development Corporation” but I do not know how one operates
In your opinion, what is the primary function of the Gullah Geechee Historic Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation? Neighborhood Preservation
What is the most important issue facing the neighborhood in which you live or own a business? N/A
What is the second most important issue facing the neighborhood in which you live or own a business? N/A
If you do not live in a historic Gullah neighborhood, as a stakeholder what is the top issue that you have observed impacting a Gullah neighborhood? Loss of affordable housing.
Heirs’ Property.
What is your preferred method of communication? Email

Annell St Charles inside Town Limits February 17, 2024, 2:12 PM

Do you live in a historic neighborhood on Hilton Head Island? No
Which neighborhood do you live in? Other - South Forest Beach
Do you own or operate a business in a historic Gullah neighborhood? No
What do you know about the functions of a Community Development Corporation? I have very minimal knowledge
In your opinion, what is the primary function of the Gullah Geechee Historic Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation? Neighborhood Preservation
What is the most important issue facing the neighborhood in which you live or own a business? Over development
What is the second most important issue facing the neighborhood in which you live or own a business? excess tourism
If you do not live in a historic Gullah neighborhood, as a stakeholder what is the top issue that you have observed impacting a Gullah neighborhood? loss of land and homeownership
Is there anything else that you would like to add? HHI is a historical island that deserves careful consideration of the contributing factors to this status.
What is your preferred method of communication? Text Message

Carl Braden inside Town Limits February 7, 2024, 2:51 PM

Name Carl Braden - Chaplin landowner since 1997
Do you have questions regarding the consideration of an Ordinance to amend Title 10, Chapter 2 of the Municipal Code of the Town of Hilton Head Island to amend Parking and/or Occupancy Regulations for Short-Term Rentals and Short-Term Properties? The proposed text suggests 10% of the total yard (front, sides, back) should be used for parking. This does not help an owner to maximize parking on-site. Beach homes do not need a big yard when they have the beach and beach-parks. Yards are rarely used by renters. If we are trying to maximize parking, then we should allow owners to provide parking wherever they can possibly do so. By increasing the number of spaces required, while limiting the places where you can actually make parking spaces; it's yet another way to minimize a home's footprint. If increased parking was really the goal, then why place such a limit? Any part of a yard (100% / not 10%)... if it is in fact 'pervious'.... should be allowed for parking - if the goal is to increase parking spaces in order to limit parking on roads - which is the only real problem in need of a solution. The Town should also consider working with the County to provide overflow parking solutions within the right-of-way. This is done elsewhere in the county and is a good solution which does not place additional burdens on owners or place other owners into non-compliance. Also, allowing renters to park cars in a local park overnight, would be another smart solution. Increasing demands on owners creates more problems for owners and staff - instead of creating solutions for those who are actually paying the bills. Short-term rentals are the life-blood of HHI after all, and deserve thoughtful solutions rather than imposing highly restrictive regulations. Thank you.

Carl Braden inside Town Limits February 7, 2024, 2:10 PM

Name Carl Braden - Chaplin/Bradley Beach property owner and resident since 1997
Do you have any comments regarding the Island Recreation Association Update? The improvements at Driessen Beach Park are nearing completion for the March 1 re-opening. However, the community expects the pedestrian access-gate to also be improved (with an electrical line run for a security camera); so that it may also be re-opened on this same date. On May 15, 2023, it was abruptly closed for what we were told was a 'safety concern'. However, having lived nearby and having used the access-gate daily for over 25+ years, (and having 20+ years of police records); I can assure you that there was never any serious safety issue.

Having called the chief of security (Mr.Bromage) on May 15, I discovered that he had no prior knowledge of it being written /legal access-easement for pedestrians which was in-use for over 30 years (ever since the fence was first erected). He also was not made aware of the history of these two connected historic neighborhoods - or the fact that there has always been an pedestrian access (both for accessing the park and the beach boardwalk from Bradley Circle - or for residents and the general public walking and riding from Bradley Beach Road over to Chaplin Park and vice versa. Nevertheless, to date I have been unable to get a proper response from any Town official.

Our town's strategic plan eloquently refers to the importance of 'neighborhood connections' - connecting pathways and placing a high value on outdoor activities such as walking, running and biking. If this closure was made so that safety improvements such as a security camera and a lock at night can be made - then this is perfectly acceptable (and if this is the case, it should be managed now - while the park is closed for improvements). Otherwise, this closure is completely unacceptable... to residents and visitors - and we will not stop protesting this 'blocking of our access-easement' until it is corrected. For decades, this access-gate has been an important part of our way of life in Chaplin.

As there are no crime reports associated with this access - there is no 'safety concern' that cannot be managed with a security camera and a lock at night. There is no reason whatsoever that we cannot have access to our local park during the daylight hours. This is the local park where I have always walked my dogs, the playground that my daughter grew-up enjoying, and the safest beach-access for our families. Therefore, we expect the Town to respect our historic and legal 'public right-of-access' (using this legal public access-easement); and to do the right thing by correcting this problem before the March 1, 2024 Driessen Park re-opening. Thank you for your cooperation.

Greg Eichman inside Town Limits February 7, 2024, 1:08 PM

Name Greg Eichman
Do you have any comments regarding the consideration of an Ordinance to Amend the Town of Hilton Head Island Comprehensive Plan to Incorporate a Housing Impact Analysis? No
Do you have questions regarding the consideration of an Ordinance to amend Title 10, Chapter 2 of the Municipal Code of the Town of Hilton Head Island to amend Parking and/or Occupancy Regulations for Short-Term Rentals and Short-Term Properties? As a house is bigger and has more bedrooms, they tend to have more common area space to spread out (less noise issues) and more space for parking, making the extra heads manageable. Large groups will gather whether there are big houses or not. If not, they will just get multiple homes. But they will all tend to congregation at one house. This is where parking, noise and trash can become a problem for a home not built for that number of people. And just about every year you hear that somewhere in the country a beach house deck collapsing due to overcrowding. Large homes have their place. Yet, you are giving them (homes over 3,000 sf) even more restrictions (1 per 250 sf vs 200 sf). It should be just the opposite. If a 2 bedroom villa around 1,110 sf can fit 8 or 9 people, you are saying a 4,000 sf home can only have 16? Makes no sense. Those 8 people at the villa are way more over crowded than the house even at 25 people. Number of bedrooms a house has should be a major factor in any calculation of occupancy! A 4,000 sf house can have 4 bedrooms or 7. How even is a homeowner able to comply on sites like Vrbo? Vrbo is the one to determine the number the house sleeps based upon the bedroom configuration you input. You cannot lie about that and a renter shows up expecting one queen bed in a room but there are two. Or two twins but there are two bunks. What problem did the new regulations show that you are trying to resolve with occupancy limits? The data seems to show there is no problem (averaged less than 1 complaint a day on the whole island and only half of those were actual violations!). Has grandfathering been considered for easier compliance.

Name not shown outside Town Limits February 7, 2024, 12:44 PM

Name Ron Talbert
Do you have questions regarding the consideration of an Ordinance to amend Title 10, Chapter 2 of the Municipal Code of the Town of Hilton Head Island to amend Parking and/or Occupancy Regulations for Short-Term Rentals and Short-Term Properties? Keep the POAs off the backs of owners who rent responsibly and are the lifeblood of the community. Many communities are majority STR owners yet the minority demand restrictions on them. If you don’t want to live in a plantation that allows rentals move to one that does not.

Isadora Guggenheim outside Town Limits February 7, 2024, 11:51 AM

Name Isadora Guggenheim
Do you have any comments regarding the consideration of an Ordinance to Amend the Town of Hilton Head Island Comprehensive Plan to Incorporate a Housing Impact Analysis? I think OPTION 2 is the most reasonable plan and I vote for OPTION 2.

Jerry Jeter inside Town Limits February 7, 2024, 11:48 AM

Name Jerry Jeter
Do you have any comments regarding the consideration of an Ordinance to Amend the Town of Hilton Head Island Comprehensive Plan to Incorporate a Housing Impact Analysis? Although I support Option 2, 16 persons in a 3,000 SF house is ridiculous; 12 is a reasonable compromise. I suggest revising the metrics to 3 persons in lieu of 4 persons per vehicle and 1 person per 250 SF in lieu of 1 per 200 SF.
Do you have questions regarding the consideration of an Ordinance to amend Title 10, Chapter 2 of the Municipal Code of the Town of Hilton Head Island to amend Parking and/or Occupancy Regulations for Short-Term Rentals and Short-Term Properties? I think it's long overdue.

Jay Sudowski inside Town Limits February 6, 2024, 5:24 PM

Name Jay Sudowski
Do you have any comments regarding the consideration of an Ordinance to Amend the Town of Hilton Head Island Comprehensive Plan to Incorporate a Housing Impact Analysis? None
Do you have questions regarding the consideration of an Ordinance to amend Title 10, Chapter 2 of the Municipal Code of the Town of Hilton Head Island to amend Parking and/or Occupancy Regulations for Short-Term Rentals and Short-Term Properties? 1. Please clarify the rationale to only apply maximum occupancy limitations to single family homes, and not condos/villas? This approach seems problematic. There are 2-bedroom villas between 1000-1200 square feet that advertise a max occupancy of 8, 9, and even 10. Why should these units be exempt from any max. occupancy regulations that apply to single family homes? 2. What is the desired policy outcome this committee is attempting to achieve through regulating maximum occupancy? Is this committee confident that the current regulations are being enforced as designed? In my humble opinion, I suspect that there are significant enforcement gaps and any policy impacts that this committee hopes to achieve by regulating max. occupancy could be addressed through more consistent enforcement of the existing regulations. Instead of adopting new regulations, I also suggest that this committee take a data driven approach and look at violations that are occurring relative to the advertised max occupancy of a property. The staff report included in the agenda non-specifically notes that “continued community concern with parking and short-term rentals.” What, specifically, are these concerns, how frequently are they happening, what data exists to support these anecdotal concerns? 3. Most vehicles are designed to accommodate more than 4 people. What is the basis for the ratio of 4 people per parking space? This seems like a very conservative number to use. 4. The staff recommendation notes that "the number of occupants in the unit at any time cannot exceed the maximum occupancy" - please clarify, in the regulation, who specifically counts as an occupant. For instance, do maintenance people, property management staff, other vendors who may be performing services in the home temporarily count as an occupant? If not, please make the regulation clear to on this point. In a similar vein, note that it is common for multiple families to travel together to Hilton Head at the same time and stay in multiple houses and go back and forth for meals and activities. The regulation, as written, could potentially prevent such innocuous and completely normal behavior from happening. 5. Please outline clarify how you plan on assessing the number of occupants in a home. Does the town assert that it has carte blanche access to all short-term rentals, on a 24x7 basis, to count the number of occupants? Are community officials going to stand outside of short-term rentals and count people coming and going for a long period of time? Does Hilton Head expect that Beaufort County Sheriff’s department will be on standby to evict guests who exceed the maximum occupancy in the middle of the night? Let's seriously give some thought to how you want to practically enforce this without violating the due process rights of all visitors to Hilton Head. 6. I can’t help but notice that these regulations assume that guests who come to Hilton Head will magically become perfect guests, so long as property managers and homeowners are compliant with these regulations. Yet, in reality, we all know that is not the case – certain guests will break the rules and regulations, even if the homeowner and property manager is fully compliant with the regulations. Despite this obvious reality, the only enforcement mechanism in these regulations is against the homeowner. Even if a homeowner is completely complaint with the regulations, actions taken by a guest could lead to a conviction against the homeowner, which could ultimately result in the homeowner losing their license to operate a short-term rental. Why isn’t there any sort of concept of safe harbor protections for property managers and homeowners who are in compliance with the regulations set forth by the town, but occasionally have a bad guest who flout the rules? 7. More pointedly, let me ask: why are there no penalties for guests who violate the regulations, specifically around parking and occupancy? If a home can only accommodate 3 cars, is advertised as such, has notices to this effect in the lease, in the home, and the guest ultimately shows up with 6 cars spread all over the yard … the current regulations only punish the homeowner. Why?