FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - The City of Folly Beach, The Coastal Conservation League and several Folly Beach residents filed a lawsuit against the State of South Carolina on Tuesday over development on beach areas susceptible to erosion.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are not suing for financial damages, meaning they are not looking for money.
The groups filed the lawsuit to get clarification from the state about the legality of developments on land that is prone to erosion and beach renourishment.
“We’re trying to just get them to recognize their own law that they have on the books,” Folly Beach resident and plaintiff Paula Stubblefield said.
When storms hit the Charleston area, beaches are usually partially eroded and then the sand is later replaced.
Some developers try to build on that land, but the groups filing the lawsuit argue that development can remove critical sand dunes that help prevent erosion and flooding.
“If the sand dunes aren’t there, then that means water can come directly at you in a hurricane,” Stubblefield said. “It’s very important to have that natural dune line there to protect all of the homes behind it.”
Folly Beach City Council voted unanimously Monday night to join the lawsuit in an effort to protect the beach.
That’s after the city and the Department of Health and Environmental Control saw an influx of building applications on those susceptible areas of the beach, according to the lawsuit.
“The hope is to protect the beaches for the people of South Carolina,” Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin said.