FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) — Folly Beach City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on a new construction moratorium, according to Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin.
If approved, the moratorium would ban new construction along the beach and marsh areas of Folly Beach for six months, or until November.
“I’m pro-growth but I’m also pro wanting to protect the environment too,” said Melinda Cauthen, who’s lived near the beach her entire life. “Rules have to be in place, but I think to protect the land that’s there now, I don’t think we should build that close to the beach.”
So just how close is too close? Mayor Goodwin told ABC News 4 the moratorium would ban construction within 20 feet of the “critical line”, which is an area determined by Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. Goodwin said the critical line is where marshland begins, and also the area near beach sand dunes.
“I certainly don’t think we should be building closer to the shore line, it’s only going to cause more erosion,” said Chris Kemp, who lives in Foly Beach. We want to preserve what’s left of this beach.”
Mayor Goodwin said the moratorium is an effort to prevent further beach erosion and to protect the environment. He also said Folly Beach City Council is trying to catch up with requests for new construction.
“I love the beach and I grew up on the beach but there have to be guidelines, too,” Cauthen added.
Mayor Goodwin noted that construction permits on beachfront and marsh front lots could still be approved during the six-month moratorium under one condition: if the proposed lot is large enough to keep construction 20 feet back from sand dunes and the marsh.
“If we build closer to the shoreline, those aren’t our local people building,” Kemp said. “Those are big investors building vacation rentals and stuff like that we don’t need more of that anyway.”
Wednesday’s meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. at Folly Beach City Hall.