South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Ingram Dunes: SC DHEC holds public meeting and hearing regarding proposed subdivision
June 7th, 2018

By Sydney Glenn, WPDE

Wednesday night about 100 people gathered at North Myrtle Beach City Hall for a public hearing regarding a storm water permit for a proposed subdivision.

The South Carolina Department of Environmental Control hosted the meeting and hearing to discuss that permit for a proposed development on what is now the Ingram Dunes.

This was not a city meeting.

DHEC officials explained how their process of granting permits works, talked about the project and opened the floor for questions during the meeting portion of the evening.

Many people raised concerns and asked questions about flooding and how this proposed subdivision could impact it.

Officials explained the proposed drainage plans and how they determine flood risks. Many people in attendance asked them to look deeper into storms and rain events.

“I think that they do hear us. Now, whether they will be able to take the information we provided and accomplish what we are trying to accomplish, as far as making the flooding issue go away, we are not trying to contribute to the flooding issue, that’s something that we will see,” William Bailey, who grew up in North Myrtle Beach, said.

This permit determines the future of the project.

Sean Hoelscher with DDC Engineers said, he came to the meeting to address any questions from DHEC during the Question and Answer portion of the agenda.

Hoelscher said after listening to the responses to questions asked of DHEC by the public, he didn't hear any major technical concerns from DHEC, but of course this is still under review. He said DDC will continue to work with DHEC.

There was a lot of emotional out cry as well as concerns for the environment brought up.

Amy Armstrong, with The South Carolina Environmental Law Project, like many others at the meeting, asked that DHEC deny the permit during the public comment portion of the hearing.

“Those are some of the words that I hope that the agency really takes to heart in evaluating this project, that we are irretrievably losing important ecological systems in the coastal zone,” Armstrong said.

The City of North Myrtle Beach is currently in negotiations with the owners of the property to purchase and preserve the land.

The grassroots effort, Preserve Ingram Dunes, is hopeful that will happen.

“The big thing is the city and the Ingrams need to get to that place where they agree upon a price and once they do that, it will be a lot easier for us to raise money, to help them raise money,” Damien Triouleyere said.

The breakdown for how the property would be purchased if an agreement can be met would be as follows, according to a North Myrtle Beach Spokesperson Pat Dowling:

Half of the purchase price would come from the state funded South Carolina Conservation Bank Up to $500,000 would come from the City of North Myrtle Beach The remainder would be up to the money raised by the public The fight to preserve the Ingram Dunes has been going on for more than a year.

“I think that we really need to realize that the Ingram Dunes are the heart of our community," Bailey said.

In terms of public outcry, DDC engineering has been hired to do a job, and that is what they have done and plan to continue to do, Hoelscher said. Hoelscher said he believes this will be a positive thing for the community.

S.C. DHEC is accepting public comment on the proposed subdivision through June 15, 2018.

To leave a public comment, click here and search "Hillside Development".

There is no official timeline for when a final decision on the permit will be made.

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