South Carolina Environmental Law Project

Lawyers for the Wild Side of South Carolina

Developers say Capt. Sam’s Spit homes won’t disrupt park or habitat; others disagree
April 28th, 2013

KIAWAH ISLAND — The access road would cross through Beachwalker Park but not ruin it, the developers say. The homes they build on fragile Capt. Sam’s Spit would have risks, but so do other island sites.

Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island lies in the path of plans to develop Capt. Sam’s spit. Developers say the plans will not significantly affect the park. (Paul Zoeller/postandcourier.com) Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island lies in the path of plans to develop Capt. Sam’s spit. Developers say the plans will not significantly affect the park. (Paul Zoeller/postandcourier.com)

Staffers said the 50-home development planned on the spit would be made up of “green” houses set back far enough not to disrupt the scenic spit’s wildlife-rich habitat.

Environmentalists and community groups disagree, and have fought the development for more than two years.

The spit is a teardrop of exposed land at the island’s western edge.

Controversy has keyed on an access road to be built to the development. The road will cut across the boardwalk access to acclaimed Beachwalker Park and require a revetment, or a porous stone embankment, along the Kiawah River where the neck is at its narrowest point. The embankment, a sloping wall, is planned along a riverbank stretch that is a rare out-of-water feeding ground for dolphins. The homes will be built across a dune field near the tip of a changeable inlet where the tidal flats are a relatively undisturbed feeding ground for flocks of shorebirds.

Article by Bo Peterson

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