PR design board has aesthetic issues with eye clinic owner

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PR design board has aesthetic issues with eye clinic owner

By MARTI COVINGTON mcovington@beaufortgazette.com 843-986-5502
Published Thursday, February 5, 2009 in The Beaufort Gazette  |  315 Words  |  local_news/business

Jane Kokinakis wants her eye clinic to stay in Port Royal -- but without approval for the design of a structure she says she needs to expand her business, she may have to move her practice away from its spot on Richmond Avenue and into another town.
That's what Kokinakis told the Port Royal Design Review Board Thursday, when she presented plans for an ancillary building on the property where Beaufort Eye Clinic is located. The separate structure would house administrative offices, freeing up additional rooms in the main building for patient use, she said.
Board members said they wanted Kokinakis to keep her practice in Port Royal, particularly when the national economic slump is pushing many businesses in town to close their doors.
Some members, however, felt Kokinakis' outbuilding wasn't sufficiently aesthetic. She was told the plans for the building resembled an ordinary shed when it should have looked more like a Lowcountry cottage.
"You're cheapening it up," said board member Michele Michael of the boxy structure. "This has no architectural character at all."
Kokinakis said she wanted the extra building to retain the look of the main structure without patients mistaking it for an alternate entrance.
"That's my big fear, because these people get very easily confused," she said.
The board tabled the vote on the accessory structure until its next meeting, suggesting Kokinakis consider altering her plans to include landscaping, signage or setting the detached structure farther away from the main building.
"I want you to stay in Port Royal," said board member Brian Hermann. "But this is the public realm, and we're supposed to take that into consideration. These things (buildings) have a habit of staying around."
The board also granted final approval at its Thursday meeting to the design of four lots in the mixed-use development on 19th Street.