When Sembler company briefed the Beaufort County council on their plans to build a 1.5 MILLION sq. ft. MEGA shopping mall at one of the busiest intersections in southern Beaufort County, and headwaters of the Okatie estuary, Chairman Wes Newton commented that the Town of Hardeeville had not coordinated the project with Beaufort County, as per normal protocol.
Chairman Newton and Councilman Rick Caporale pointed out that EXTENSIVE highway improvements would be necessary to handle traffic from this HUGE traffic generator at the already gridlocked intersection. He also pointed out that Beaufort County was currently buying property at the site of the proposed MEGA shopping mall in an effort to halt pollution of the already-polluted Okatie estuary. He said that building a MEGA shopping mall at that location would more than nullify Beaufort County’s efforts with the HUGE quantity of additional stormwater that the MEGA shopping mall would discharge into the Okatie.
Hardeeville has about 2,000 residents. Beaufort County has about 200,000 residents. Tiny Hardeeville endorsing a GIGANTIC shopping mall at one of Beaufort County’s busiest intersections, and in the headwaters of the Okatie estuary, where Beaufort County is buying land to protect, is CERTAINLY a case of “the tail wagging the dog”. The need for regional coordination and planning is particularly evident after tiny Hardeeville “sucker-punched” Beaufort County with the Sembler MEGA shopping mall project.