For years Sullivan’s Island Town Council has indeed successfully defended, in the South Carolina Courts, the Town’s right to protect and manage the Accreted Land Trust area – the Maritime Forest – for the benefit of all Sullivan’s Island residents. Now Town Council is bending over backwards in a compassionate attempt to implement a 100 ft. transition zone between adjacent homeowner’s property and the forest.
Many appreciate the aesthetic value of this green space. Most understand that the protective function of this land is well established and beyond debate. Many do not agree that any transition zone is necessary. Yet others, myself included, consider themselves conservationists yet support the Transition Zone plan formulated by council in 2016. This plan is a compromise that is in the spirit of the good neighbor principle.
Unfortunately, some adjacent residents have manipulated their own version of a transition zone by cutting vegetation in spite of Town ordinances that prohibit such actions. Enforcement of the present restrictions is disappointing at best. And it is with deep dismay that Council is now poised to possibly adjust the 2016 plan to the detriment of the protected land.
Regarding a “right to a view”, with all respect, the right to a view through protected, public land has been consistently rejected by South Carolina courts. Regretfully, in the future Council may try to further manipulate the Maritime Forest to provide view corridors. As they proceed with planning, I urge Council not to formulate any plan that will unalterably degrade the health and protective value of our Accreted Land. I sure hope that the obstreperous behavior of some who do not agree with these sentiments does not influence Council to make decisions that we will come to regret. Finding the correct compromises should, indeed, be the island-governing norm.