In the ongoing discussion by the Sullivan’s Island Town Council about the accreted land, I think one aspect of this debate has not been presented adequately.
The accreted land was placed under a conservation easement in 1991. It was placed in this Trust for the benefit and enjoyment of all of the residents of Sullivan’s Island. Yet it seems that the homes near the accreted land, whose owners are arguing for heavy cutting of trees in the forest, have not acknowledged the benefit they already have, which is that no houses can be built between those properties and the beach. Imagine the disappointing view there would be if there were rows of houses between them and the beach.
While the homeowners argue that they lose home value because of a lesser view, I would answer that they gain value because their view does not include the backyards of houses, but of a living, green and protected forest.
Also, many of these homes were purchased after the land was placed in trust, so the owners knew there was a permanently protected green space already present. What, then, is the benefit to the rest the island’s residents?
It is the presence of a rich and thriving woodlands, which along with our beaches and dunes, provides a unique and valuable maritime ecosystem. Anyone walking along the pathways in the forest experiences not only the beauty and lushness of the trees and vegetation, but the quiet and peace of the surroundings.
I would hope that Town Council acts wisely and does not allow excessive cutting of trees and vegetation in our forest. I hope they decide fairly and do not ignore the benefit of this protected land to the majority of island residents now and for future generations.