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Sea Pines residents settle beach-setback dispute with state

Mar 31, 2011 8:21:00 AM - thestate.com
A group of Sea Pines property owners has succeeded in reversing oceanfront building regulations they said were too strict.

The 36 property owners reached a settlement March 10 with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, which established setback lines in 2009 that extended building restrictions farther from the ocean in some parts of Hilton Head Island. The settlement will return the lines to their 1999 positions only in the Sea Pines area.

Palmetto Dunes and the town are also challenging the setback lines for that gated community. That case is pending.

The 2009 setback lines mean oceanfront property owners in certain areas on the island face greater restrictions when redeveloping or when building a home or hotel larger than 5,000 square feet. The lines extend building restrictions from 80 to 100 feet inland in some areas, causing them to run though the middle of homes. In other areas, the lines moved seaward.

Town officials and island property owners argue the lines are too restrictive on some landowners and are based on inaccurate data going back to the 1850s.

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