HHI business owners upset about possible medical facility - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

HHI business owners upset about possible medical services facility

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

In the Lowcountry, plans are underway to transform the Main Street Inn and Spa on Hilton Head Island into a medical and behavioral health services facility.

However, the idea is not sitting well at all with Main Street businessowners.

Some of the shopowners we talked to say this kind of facility will not enhance Hilton Head Island's tourism image and it certainly won't help them with business sales.

Main Street is comprised mostly of popular local shops and restaurants.

And businessowners want to keep it that way.

"We've had a great month, November was fantastic and so far the start of December has been phenomenal," said Brian Bambeck, owner of Mangiamo's.

Mangiamo's is a pizza restaurant that sits next door to the Main Street Inn & Spa.

Bambeck is worried the town will move forward with plans to turn the property into a drug and alcohol treatment center.

"Two and a half years ago, I bought this land, built this building, I have two homes and this building on the island, I didn't mortgage that away to put it next to a mental institution," he said.

Next to Mangiamo's is Pyramids and Group 3, an architect and an interior design and gift shop.

The owners don't like the idea either.

"It sounds like it's crazy because it just doesn't fit in with the neighborhood here with what's going on, I just don't think it's going to be good, it's going to maybe scare customers away," said owner Mike Ruegamer.  

On Thursday, the town council's Planning and Development Standards Committee voted unanimously to recommend the 33 room inn be rezoned into a medical and behavioral health services property.

The idea is to provide short term, voluntary treatment for non-violent patients.

Those serving jail sentences or have been released from prison cannot participate.

It's not just business that are worried.

"Schools are right down the street. Within a half mile of this facility are going to be all our children. I challenge every parent on this island to stand up and fight for the security and safety of our children," said Bambeck.

The Town Council will take their first reading on the proposed rezoning of the Main Street Inn & Spa at their Jan. 7, 2014 meeting.

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