FAQ Friends of Whitehall Park in Beaufort

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: On August 29th the Gazette published this: "Plans also call for 4.2 acres of open space, including a smaller waterfront park and central green space developers say could be used for public festivals or markets."

"Is this true?


A:False

The currently approved plan, the plan without a 10 acre park, does call for a one acre waterfront public park with other open space as required by code. The proposed Whitehall Park plan will be developed after purchase and will include public input


Q:Who will maintain the 10 Acre Park?

A: The City and the County are negotiating a memo of understanding which defines the initial structure as well as the responsibilities for maintenance going forward. The Developer has agreed to assist with maintenance for two years.


Q: What is the difference between "A" park and THE Park.


A: "A park" can be anything from a tiny pocket park of one acre with 7 parking spots on it, to a 2.5 acre park, counting the causeway in the measurement. THE park is the Whitehall park that is 10 acres, preserves the specimen trees and is open to the public. So if you hear "we support A park" ask some more questions to find out what is really being said. Our petition supports THE 10 acre park.


Q: Who will take care of the trees?

A: Negotiations are underway to be certain that the ancient live oaks and other important trees are well taken care of.



Q: Will the purchase "drain" the Rural and Critical funds?

 

A: No it will not!

“Funds available for the Rural & Critical Land Preservation Program total approximately $11M. Roughly half of those funds are designated for land purchases only. The remaining funds can be used for park improvements OR land purchases. County Council makes the final decision on how the funds will be used.” Per Barbara Holmes of Beaufort County Open Land Trust


Q: What is the "Civic Master Plan" we keep hearing about?


A:The plan is an excellent document completed in 2014 after much effort by many talented and qualified people.  It is a guideline, not specific instructions on what our communities might do over the long haul.

You can look at and download this document here:

http://www.cityofbeaufort.org/Data/Sites/1/media/Departments/planning/civic-master-plan-book-final-021114-sm.pdf

It's a very large document, but you can refer to the Lady's Island section which begins on Page 176.. It's an important and well done document.



Q: What is the Whitehall Tract?

-Total 20 acres

 Includes:

1. 98 Units – Independent Living Facility

*Adults can manage daily living on their own

*no aides/medical personnel

Commercial office space

Condominiums

Private homes and cottages


Q: What changes with 10 Acre park?

Benefits:

-67 dwellings eliminated

- Over 600 car trips/day eliminated

- Passive park for ALL Beaufort residents

-Saves our natural resources and uniqueness

-City/County/Open Land Trust/Community collaboration

- Sets us apart from more developed nearby Cities

- Preserves our community for generations to come


Q:What is in the remaining 10 acres if the park is approved?

 -98 unit Independent living facility

 -Commercial properties

 -Restaurant

 -Coffee shop

 -Cottages

 -Individual homes

-No homes, condominiums or other living space within the park.


Q What are some benefits to the environment?

- Little change from current, natural state

- Saves ancient live oak trees

- Permeable trails and parking

-Water runoff virtually eliminated

-Removes permeable roadways within park

-Fill is not required for roads

-Trees will not be "welled" due to raised property levels due to fill

-Minimal tree root disturbance

-Eliminates underground cisterns in park.


Q:What is a passive park?

-Less developed than “active” parks

- Walking tracks 

- Gardens

-Seating areas

-Picnic areas

-Dawn to Dusk availability

- To be determined through public input and full time Passive Park county employee

 There are many definitions of a passive park, but it generally means that the park will be minimally changed from its natural state. Details are yet to be determined but Beaufort County has a team dedicated to monitoring and creating parks. Public input is planned and "Friends" will continue to work with the county and city.

The county definition of passive park is

Recreation requiring little or no physical exertion focusing on the enjoyment of one’s natural surroundings.


  

What is Whitehall Development Group?

-Developed Retreat at Lady’s Island and other properties.

-Assisted Living Facility

-Where residents from Whitehall can come as increased care is needed.

- Memory Wellness Facility

-80 bed capacity



Q: What is the price of the park?

Though there has been much speculation, that has not been determined and is being negotiated by the Beaufort County Open Land Trust, Barbara Holmes, who represents Beaufort County, and Sam Levin who represents a group of investors named Whitehall Development Group

There are no other negotiators. 

The County has stated that it will pay less than appraised value.


Q: Where does the money come from?

Monies will come from various sources:

-Beaufort County Rural and Critical   Land Preservation Program

 -Open Land Trust

 -Private Donors 

-Public contributions


Q:What is this under 10 acre rule that is being talked about?

According to City Manager Bill Prokop, and Architect Lauren Kelly, this project was approved before new rules were put into place on July,  2018. 

The approved plan will be reviewed in accordance with City codes, and any requests for significant variations will be  considered with full public scrutiny.


Q: When will the park be opened?

A: That will be determined after purchase and will enter a detailed analysis phase.


Q: How large is the proposed park?

A: 10 Waterfront acres.


Q: Where on the property is the park proposed?

A: The tip of the parcel, waterfront closest to the city of Beaufort.




Q: How can I ask more questions?

A: Email us at: FriendsofWhitehallPark@gmail.com and we will get back to you.





Q: What is in the remaining 10 acres?

 -98 unit Independent living facility

 -Commercial properties

 -Restaurant, with proposed rooftop  bar.

 -Coffee shop

 -Office Space

 -Cottages

 -Individual homes.



Q:When will the park be opened?

That will be determined after purchase and will enter a detailed analysis phase. The public will be invited to share their views..


Q: How do I get updates on progress?

A:If you have "opted in" on Change.org, you are all set. If you are not getting mailings, Click Subscribe: Here

https://friendsofwhitehallpark.com/subscribe


Q: Who is on the Board of Friends of Whitehall Park?


A:

Paul Butare
Dr. Caroline Fermin
Dr. Trudi Kissiah
Kathy Mixon
Pat Harvey-Palmer 
Robert Semmler
Mark Weeks