Nov 15 2018

Letter To The Editor: Town Council Likes Winner Take All

For years Sullivan’s Island Town Council has vigorously defended the accreted land including their latest “success” at the State Supreme Court regarding the Town’s right to control the land. Now that it has clarified that the Town controls the land, how about leading with compassion instead of continuing to drive conflict and complexity?

There should really be three objectives of Council:

  1. Protect the island’s accreted land,
  2. Provide the Front Beach homeowners the fire/wildlife hazard protection they need, and
  3. Protect the views their assessed property tax values reflect. It seems that only the first objective has received any real focus.

Basic facts from the last committee on the transition zone I attended:

  • Chief Stith asked years ago for a 100 ft. transition zone that was clear-cut to allow for fire fighting. He reiterated this at the meeting and continues to feel that is best for the island. I guess 38 years of service to the island gets “trumped” by a consultant and the all or nothing views of some.
  • Of the 82 or so Front Beach properties around 40 have manipulated their version of a transition zone as a result of historical maintenance practices. As a result we have some front beach homeowners with what is at least a 100 ft. transition zone that is basically clear-cut. Let those remaining have the 100 ft. clear-cut transition zone too. It represents a very small portion of the accreted land.
  • No one argues the accreted land should not be protected. However, that doesn’t preclude the land from being responsibly managed so that the front beach properties could have ocean views in such a way to preserve the integrity of the accreted land. To think otherwise is being obstreperous.

 I urge Council to revisit this entire subject and create a balance so that the front beach homeowners can have view corridors and provide them a minimum of 100 ft. of clear-cut protection. Our elected officials would do well by finding compromises versus the all or nothing attitude that seems to be the island-governing norm.

Do the right thing.

Kevin Pennington

Middle Street

(Not Front Beach)

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