Commentary: Sullivan’s Island’s accreted land is hardly a ‘marvel of nature’ | Commentary


I’ve lived on Sullivan’s Island for 25 years. I’m a doctor, and take into account myself to be an advocate of the setting and historic preservation.

In truth, I personal the one property on the island that has been acknowledged and awarded the Carolopolis award by the Preservation Society of Charleston.

When I learn Brian Hicks’ column Wednesday, I questioned if he’d ever stepped foot within the island’s accreted land.

He described the maritime forest as a “public park and a marvel of nature,” however I problem him or anybody else to walk off of the general public seaside paths that lower by way of it.

If invasive species are your factor, then what you discover could also be a “marvel,” however remember to carry your snake boots and thick clothes. The overwhelming majority of the accreted land is nothing just like the picturesque images routinely revealed in The Post and Courier.

There is no point out within the settlement settlement of a plan to “chop down much of the island’s maritime forest,” as Mr. Hicks describes it. The settlement — copies of that are available by way of the city’s web site and different public sources — spells out precisely what vegetation will probably be eliminated and what’s going to stay.

I’ve been a witness to the accreted land battle on the island that has lasted for practically 30 years. The self-described “islanders” who’ve orchestrated this Eleventh-hour effort to upend the settlement settlement are united solely of their opposition to any cheap land administration.

Some even have gone as far as to bodily block equipment that was widening the Station 16 seaside path after a woman was assaulted on it in 2007.

The accreted land difficulty actually ought to have been settled proper after that horrible occasion.

Her haunting testimony — “I thought … this is it, nobody can hear my screams …, I’m all alone” — nonetheless resonates as a warning that the unnatural overgrowth has gone too far.

The settlement settlement that was proposed within the common course of city enterprise, and supported and voted on by the prior elected Town Council, is a cheap compromise.

The different is many extra years of further lawsuits and a whole bunch of hundreds (or maybe thousands and thousands) of {dollars} in authorized charges borne by taxpayers.

Mr. Hicks applauded Mayor Pat O’Neil for making the analogy that relying in town attorneys’ recommendation was basically like getting a second opinion from the identical physician.

Well, for those who’re a hypochondriac and have seen the identical physician for 20 years, and but insist that the physician is now incorrect, you’re going to must foot the invoice if you would like all of the assessments repeated.

That’s precisely the case right here. The insurance coverage firm is going to disclaim the care, and we’re going to pay our second-opinion lawyer a whole bunch of {dollars} an hour and a hefty retainer.

Up till now, an insurance coverage coverage has paid the city’s authorized charges, that are in a million-dollar vary so far.

Now, William Wilkins’ authorized charges will probably be paid by the city straight.

Which, of course, signifies that we the taxpayers pays.

It is essential to notice that protected land grants and town-owned rights of approach on the mayor’s aspect of the island — the waterway aspect — have little if any restriction imposed on shrub and tree removing.

Despite what the “conservationists” say, the settlement is a cheap compromise that serves our island nicely. It ought to be applied by the city with out additional shenanigans or delay.

The solely factor the opponents need to protect is battle and hostility, and their vitriol has poisoned our island neighborhood.

Mr Hicks’ opinion appears nothing greater than an echo chamber fed to him by the same old suspects.

Steven Poletti is a Sullivan’s Island resident.

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