St. Helena Island
St. Helena Island's Cultural Protection Overlay, dedicated towards protecting the island's cultural heritage, is at risk. The recently proposed development on 450+ acres of the island calls for three separate 6-hole golf courses and a gated community. At present, the overlay does not allow for golf courses, gated communities, or resorts in order to prevent the gentrification and loss of Gullah Geechee culture and land.
In November of 2022, Boston-based developer, Elvio Tropeano, submitted a zoning map amendment to the overlay that would exclude the projected location of the golf courses and gated community. Tropeano withdrew the request before being heard by the Planning Commission. Instead, county administrators proposed new overlay language that would allow for development agreements with the county.
These text amendments to the overlay, will if approved, pose a direct threat not only to important historically significant sites, some known and some yet undiscovered, but to landscapes important to Gullah culture, one of South Carolina's most distinctive cultural expressions.
What are the next steps?
On April 10th, the county's newly formed Cultural Protection Overlay District Committee will meet to consider the text changes. This meeting, located at 100 Ribaut Rd. Beaufort, SC, will be open to the public.
We stand with the island's community and many other groups, including Penn Center, and the Coastal Conservation League, in opposing this development.
We ask that you stand with us to protect the heritage of St. Helena Island. Visit www.ProtectStHelenaIsland.com to learn more about this development and how to get involved.