Letters to the Editor

At the Helm


You might have recently heard about plans for the acquisition and expansion of the facilities at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, as well as a collaborative arrangement with the University of South Carolina Beaufort to locate its new production design major at the arts center campus.

While the discussions are still in the early stages, there will be no changes to the arts center’s organization, mission or role; we will still focus on education, community outreach and staging performing arts productions in our current facility. The plans include the sale, improvement and development of the arts center’s 4.6-acre campus to broaden its use by USCB and the island arts community, as well as where the arts center will continue to operate.

If the Town of Hilton Head Island referendum, now scheduled for Nov. 2021, is approved, it will benefit the town, USCB, the arts center and the broader arts community. It also will have an increased economic impact on the town as additional higher education opportunities move to the island’s expanded campus.

While there is much work to be done — and again, we are still early in this process — we greatly appreciate your support and we will continue to share details as they unfold.

Robert E. Lee
Chairman, board of trustees,
Arts Center of Coastal Carolina


The Foundation for Educational Excellence wants to thank The Bargain Box of Hilton Head for its recent grant, which will fund at least 10 grants during our 2020 Innovative Teacher Grant cycle, impacting hundreds of Beaufort County students. 

Our program is funded by private donations and grants, as well as by the foundation’s annual fundraising event, Jewels & Jeans. This year’s Jewels & Jeans will be 6-9:30 p.m. March 7 at Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort. Since 2009, the foundation has awarded more than $270,000 in grants, offering over 85,000 student learning opportunities.

We thank The Bargain Box of Hilton Head for its support. To date, The Bargain Box has contributed $15 million to local nonprofit groups serving Beaufort County. We are thankful for the group’s commitment to Beaufort County students.

Deborah E. Colella 
Chairwoman, Foundation for Educational Excellence


The Global Climate Change Group in Sun City Hilton Head has been focused on ways our community can help fight climate change. One of the biggest items on our list was solar panels, but we discovered design guidelines bar them from most homes — visibility from streets, golf courses and across lagoons was not permitted. As a result, only 20 of the 8,500 homes in our community have rooftop solar. 

After South Carolina passed the Energy Freedom Act, we thought our time had come. We circulated a petition asking the Sun City board to ease its restrictions on solar, collecting nearly 300 signatures. But when we attempted to share the petition with the board, it was rejected with no explanation.

So we turned to state Sen. Tom Davis, who had written the Energy Freedom Act, to discuss legislation to limit HOAs’ authority to restrict solar. We also wrote to Pulte Corp., the current Sun City builder, which actively promotes solar in its national advertising.

During a formal meeting with the Sun City board president, we shared what we had learned and that we felt Sun City’s guidelines were outdated. The board agreed to survey the community about loosening the rules, and solar prevailed. The guidelines will be updated to allow rear roof placement with lagoon or golf course visibility. 

We appreciate the board’s willingness to listen to residents, and we hope that eventually street visibility of solar panels will be allowed to make solar available to all. 

Laura McFadden
Sun City Hilton Head


The Sun City Hilton Head Board of Directors is pleased to announce a change to the Community Association’s governing policies that will introduce relaxed regulations for the placement of solar panels on homes inside the community.

The Board’s decision allows residents to install solar panels on the side and rear roofs even if they are visible from homes with golf course or lagoon views. Residents who wish to install solar panels must still follow the current application process for exterior home modifications.

The change revises Sun City Hilton Head’s Design Guidelines, a set of governing documents that outlines a set of standards for exterior house appearance and curb appeal.

The Board unanimously approved the revision to express support for residents’ desires to make personal choices to live environmentally friendly lifestyles. The decision came after a community-wide survey that showed overwhelming support for more lenient rules about the placement of solar panels.  

Sun City residents may download a copy of the Design Guidelines from the Community Library of www.SunCityHiltonHead.org

Jennifer Mathis,
Director of Communication, Sun City Hilton Head

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