Beachfront construction on Folly Beach coming to a halt

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - Beachfront construction on Folly Beach is coming to a halt.

This after Folly Beach City Council voted to initiate a six-month moratorium for beach and marsh front properties.

"I guess we're on hold until this moratorium is over," said Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin.

"This is our retirement plan," said Juanita Wright who has had property here on Folly Beach since 1981.

Wright's plans may have to change.

"This is a break in the action for six months to let the planning commission look at residential lines and make sure they're where we need them to be, and then we'll go back to work," Goodwin said.

Goodwin says in all the city's plans they have to take a look at the setback lines or the how far back your home needs to be away from the water.

Right now, the setback line is 10 feet from the state's designated critical line.

Goodwin says these setback lines determine if the dunes are still doing their job, and runoff can still get into the marshes.

"People say, 'Why can't I build up to the beach?' and those are the same people that come back after a storm when the water is washing into their house and says,'What are you going to do to save my house or my investment?'" Goodwin said.

Over the last year one woman has seen a change in the flooding first hand ever since Irma came through.

"Right now, whenever we get a king tide the water almost breaches over the dunes," said Paula Stubblefield who lives on Folly Beach."We don't want to create a situation where a house can be built there and no dunes can be built up again."

By checking the setback lines, they can try to get ahead of any future destruction.

Wright hopes it won't move too much because it could cost her retirement.

"We anticipated our lots to be worth a certain value," she said."And now we're thinking it could go to zero."

Currently, you can still build your water front property, but it has to be 20 feet back from the state's critical line.

Goodwin says that ensures it will be within any future boundary changes.

This is for waterfront property only, the rest of the island will not be affected.

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