SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The town of Sullivan’s Island is looking at ways to manage one of their most important green spaces.
On Tuesday, town council voted to bring in a group of consultants to review and possibly update the town’s accredited land management plan.
The plan governs what to do with the 150 acres of town-owned accredited land and maritime forest.
The land is protected under deed restrictions with the Lowcountry Land Trust that prevents any type of development, but the area still needs to be kept and managed.
Some residents believe the updates could be an excuse to cut down trees and vegetation within the protected land.
“Now we have town council who is coming back and asking for us to do more cutting within that maritime forest,” said Karen Byko who lives on Sullivan’s Island. “Our concern is that maritime forest provides a lot of protection to us in storms and sea salt sprays and protection for the entire island.”
Ocean-front property owners on the island recently expressed concerns with the unkempt vegetation, stating the vegetation prevented breezes and disrupted ocean views.
The town recently created a transition zone, which is a belt that’s 100 feet deep along properties near the accredited land, to thin out the vegetation more aggressively in the area.
That was the compromise made for those property owners.
Folks at the meeting were still concerned that this motion would still play into the interest of those property owners.
One council member said it has been eight years since a draft was planned for the management plan and the forest has changed a lot since then. That’s why he felt the group of experts was needed.
Other council members weren’t sure about what they were voting for and why the consultants needed to be brought in.
It could cost around $35,000 to bring in the consultants.