South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Ingram Dunes Case Dropped After City Closes on Purchase
Posted: June 19, 2019

For immediate release

Group dismisses legal challenge after City of North Myrtle Beach takes possession of majority of treasured relic dune system.

Preserve Ingram Dunes has dismissed the legal challenge to the proposal to build 31 houses on Ingram Dunes now that the threat of development has ended for the 7.24 acres that the City of North Myrtle Beach finally purchased.

The concerned citizens group—represented by the South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP)—filed an appeal in March with the S.C. Administrative Law Court to protect the historic, cherished and environmentally significant green space from the proposed development.

Following a successful push from hundreds of concerned citizens and local leadership, the City struck a deal last month with Hillside Development, LLC to buy most of the 9.35-acre property with the intention to preserve the land as a park. The remaining 2.11 acres could be available for development.

“SCELP was honored to represent Preserve Ingram Dunes in the appeal of the environmental permits associated with the development of this important natural resource,” said co-counsel Leslie Lenhardt. “We are encouraged that a favorable resolution was reached among the interested parties that avoids protracted litigation.”

The city completed the sale on June 4, 2019, a culmination of a two-and-a-half-year community fight to save the ancient dunes.

“Preserve Ingram Dunes is very thankful and relieved that the highest and most significant dunes, covered with live oaks and other trees, will be saved. These are the highest relic dunes known on the coast of South Carolina,” said Damien Triouleyre, the coordinator of Preserve Ingram Dunes.

“As you know this has been a long, challenging and inspiring journey that began in October of 2016,” he continued. “In the beginning the preservation of the dunes seemed impossible. However, many of us have remained true to the vision that the dunes would remain safe and protected. This has been a labor of love and persistence. Through the beauty and spirit of the dunes, the dunes saved themselves. The dunes have been loved for generations by locals and visitors alike. And now they will be able to be loved by generations to come.”

The $2.5 million purchase was made possible due to contributions and donations from the family of Charles Ingram, the City of North Myrtle Beach, the S.C. Conservation Bank and members of the public.

“The city is thrilled with the result of this effort,” said North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley. “We are very grateful to the family of Charles Ingram for their donation of $1.4 million, which made the purchase possible. And we are thankful to all who contributed the remaining $1.1 million. This project is a great example of what a community can achieve when so many people of diverse viewpoints and interests come together to accomplish a common goal.”

Triouleyre of Preserve Ingram Dunes has a similar sentiment.

“In the end, the preservation of the Ingram Dunes is an inspiring example of what can happen when the different parts of a community work together in cooperation for a greater good,” he said. “This was a collaboration between many concerned citizens, the owners of the land, conservation groups, the North Myrtle Beach Mayor and City Council, City staff, our State representatives and the South Carolina State Conservation Bank. Amy Armstrong and SCELP were essential to saving the Dunes: they gave us legal representation, guidance and steadfast support, we thank them.”

Download available Ingram Dunes Notice of Dismissal

Download available Ingram Dunes Order of Dismissal