After almost a decade of work, the recommendations of DHEC’s Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) on Shoreline Management were finally codified into state law in the last week of the legislative session. Most importantly, attempts by developers to sabotage the bill for their own gain were defeated year after year, most notably in a battle over development on the fragile sands of Captain Sams Spit.
Among other things, the passage of S.139 (similar to Rep. Herbkersman’s H.3378) establishes a permanent baseline for seaward development. Instead of allowing the building line on the front beach to move seaward, as has been the case for 25 years — allowing houses to be built during temporary accretion cycles — the line will be permanently set in 2017. This means construction along our coast will never be able to move closer to the ocean. This not only protects our beaches from erosion, it also protects our communities from the repercussions of irresponsible construction projects.
We are grateful for Representatives Bill Herbkersman, Peter McCoy, Kirkman Finlay, James Smith, Leon Stavrinakis, Russell Ott, Doug Brannon, and Weston Newton for leading these efforts in the House. As well as Senators Ray Cleary, Marlon Kimpson, Chip Campsen, John Courson, Thomas McElveen, and John Matthews who led on this issue in the Senate. These legislators stood up for our state, and we thank them for their hard work! In the end, the bill passed unanimously in the House 114-0 and 39-0 in the Senate.