SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control could move where the beach begins

A public hearing Wednesday night could help the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control determine new lines for local beaches.

DHEC’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management is required, by law, to establish and review the position of the two lines of beachfront jurisdiction (the baseline and the setback line) once every seven to ten years, according to SCDHEC’s website.

For example, a SC DHEC map of the newly proposed lines in Garden City would move the setback line to about 25 feet from the roadway in some places.

According to SC DHEC’s website:

The baseline is the more seaward of the two jurisdictional lines. Seaward of the baseline, permitted activities are limited to wooden walkways, small wooden decks, fishing piers, golf courses, normal landscaping, groins, activities authorized by emergency orders, beach renourishment projects, and structures authorized by a special permit.

The setback line is the landward line of beachfront jurisdiction. Between the baseline and setback line, DHEC exercises regulatory permitting authority for such activities as habitable structures and associated infrastructure, decks, gazebos, other public access structures, and sand dune management. Seaward of the setback line, construction of new shore-parallel erosion control structures (i.e. seawalls, revetments or bulkheads) is prohibited. However, existing erosion control structures may be maintained or repaired with prior authorization by DHEC.

The new setback lines would not create a “no-build zone,” according to DHEC.

But DHEC would have to be notified or would need to permit any construction or repair activities seaward of the baseline.

If approved, property owners would have up to one year to requests a review of the lines to DHEC’s governing board. The property owner can also appeal that board’s decision to the S.C. Administrative Law Court.

The public hearing on the new lines is taking place tonight, Oct. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Horry Georgetown Technical College’s Thomas Mauser Auditorium, Building 600, at 950 Crabtree Lane in Myrtle Beach.

Categories: Associated Press, News, SC

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