Horry County Council loosens restrictions on Intracoastal Waterway development
HORRY COUNTY, SC- Council voted Tuesday to relax it’s restrictions on Intracoastal Waterway development.
A resolution passed that would allow for construction on spoil easements that line the body of water. Spoil easements are piles of dirt and sediment dug up during dredging.
The county originally prohibited development on easements because they played a critical role in keep the canal clear for boats. However, several property owners got permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to build projects like a pool or a patio, according to Horry County attorney Arrigo Carotti. As a result, Council decided to allow for the issuance of building permits with written consent from the corps.
“If it’s okay with the corps, it will be okay with county,” said Carotti.
Army Corps of Engineers Spokesperson Sarah Corbett said they agreed to allow construction conditionally, meaning the corps could revoke the privilege at any time for dredging purposes.
Waccamaw River Keeper Paula Reidhaar said development on easements could negatively impact the environment.
“These are areas of land right along the edges of the waterway, which is why they were designated as potential spots to put this spoil material,” said Reidhaar. ” Anytime you’re opening up potential development for right along the water, there’s issues.”
One major issue concerns rain water. Reidhaar said the easements act as filters to keep run-off out of the waterway.
“Any time it’s going over a solid surface, the water just keeps carrying all of these materials to first available body of water,” she said.
Run-off often consists of chemicals. Reidhaar said it can dangerously affect drinking water, fish or recreational activities.
“Some of this may be upstream but it all becomes one body of water downstream so it certainly can have impacts,” stated Reidhaar.
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May 4, 2015
Horry County officials say a years-old proposal to relax restrictions on development along the Intracoastal Waterway is getting some traction, although the process will be long and expensive.
The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported (http://bit.ly/1bq8wle) that county officials are discussing a proposal with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that would allow for construction on about 2,000 acres of waterfront land.
The project involves tracts that are privately owned but fall under easements held by the corps. County attorney Arrigo Carotti says the corps has researched an issue involving sites that hold dredged material.
Corps spokeswoman Sara Corbett says the agency has asked the county to provide environmental assessments that the corps will use to decide whether to release the easements. She says t no decision has been made.
Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/news/state/south-carolina/article20138928.html#storylink=cpy