By Zach Giroux for The Island Eye News
A long-standing business at the Isle of Palms Marina that refused the city’s orders to vacate the premises is now in the process of being evicted.
In September, members of the Isle of Palms City Council voted to transform what they hoped would be the former site of Tidal Wave Water Sports into green space and a public park for residents and guests. Now the city is trying not to expose itself or the former tenant to legal liabilities.
On Oct. 1, Tidal Wave owners held a peaceful protest to petition the expiration of its lease, which expired Sept. 30. A popular sign from the event was “Save The Wave.”
Just over 24 hours later, the Council convened to address legal concerns. Before members retreated into executive session to receive legal advice, Mayor Jimmy Carroll felt the need to clear the air. He recited a timeline of the city’s relationship and interactions with Tidal Wave to clear up the “misinformation on social media.”
On April 12, 2019, the Council’s Real Property Committee voted unanimously to recommend that the Council notify Tidal Wave that the city had no intention of renewing the lease or exercising its lease renewal option. On April 23, the Council voted 5-4 not to renew the contract.
As landlord, Carroll noted that the city was obliged to formally inform Tidal Wave within a year before the lease expired. The city mailed the water sports company a written notice on July 5, 2019. Nearly three weeks later, on July 23, Tidal Wave co-owner Michael Fiem acknowledged receipt of the city’s nonrenewal notice.
Almost a year later, in August 2020, Tidal Wave’s legal counsel sent a letter to the city acknowledging the nonrenewal notice and further requested the Council to consider a new or renegotiated lease. Carroll reiterated that no member of the Council has made any attempt to respond in a manner that would suggest that the city is interested in conducting future business with Tidal Wave.
“The city is and was not obligated to renew, renegotiate or obtain a new lease,” Carroll said. “This was a contract agreed by all parties, and this contract had a nonrenewal provision that the City Council exercised.”
“This Council has remained transparent in its attempt not to renew the lease with the tenants,” Carroll added, noting Tidal Wave has had 17 months to prepare to vacate the premises and has failed to do so.
Following the Council’s unanimous vote – Council Member Kevin Popson was absent – the magistrate’s office will now begin the eviction process.