Residents concerned about beach development project

By Nicole Johnson  bio | email | Twitter

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Local residents are fighting a new development along Sullivan's Island Beach after the property owner was issued permits to renourish sand dunes and build a home near the Breach Inlet area.

Extra piles of dirt and pilings for a new home are now in place at the Marshall Boulevard property on Sullivan's Island. Concerned citizens and residents want to stop the construction because they don't think the property owner or DHEC's Office of Coastal Resource Management has taken the proper steps for the development.

"I don't think god could create a sand dune in eight days. There's nothing stable," resident Bill Walker said.

DHEC's OCRM department says it issued a permit to the property owner to renourish the sand dunes and the property owner had to send a form informing DHEC of the intent to build. Spokesman Dan Burger says inspectors from his office were out here last month and the property owner has complied with all codes and regulations so far.

"Sand is being put on the beach and immediately construction began before any dune stabilization. Already 20 feet of the sand out there has quickly eroded. It's really a poor situation," Coastal Conservation League project manager Nancy Vinson said.

Concerned citizens have tried to appeal to DHEC to stop construction, but DHEC's board chose not to hear the appeal.

"We've got it in writing from OCRM that we'd have the opportunity to appeal. There are some serious problems with this project. Now they're saying no they can't appeal it. We were sort of very surprised by that," Vinson said.

DHEC says all rules are being followed in this situation. Some of the more important rules when it comes to beach front building include a home fewer than 5,000 square feet of heated area, no seawall built into the foundation and it must be built as far landward as possible.

The Town of Sullivan's Island says it granted all needed permits to the property owner and the town follows the guidelines that DHEC's OCRM has in place.

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