Posted on August 30, 2023
An intensifying hurricane season — that typically hits hardest during the early fall months of September and October — has recently prompted the City of Isle of Palms to modify its easement requirements in order to facilitate a dune replenishment project between 114 and 304 Ocean Blvd.
At the Aug. 22 City Council meeting, Administrator Désirée Fragoso updated IOP elected officials on staff efforts to gain approval from 21 property owners in the work area to sign easement covenants to authorize local government to maintain and/or repair a raised sand barrier along the Breach Inlet separating Isle of Palms from Sullivan’s Island.
With only five of the 21 stakeholders agreeing to the terms of the permanent easement, IOP staff opted to walk back the conditions of their proposal by presenting the property owners with two-year easements instead.
“We believe that there is bigger and more risk in not doing a project down that end with than with [the prospect] of not having permanent easements,” said Fragoso in relation to the forthcoming undertaking involving the addition of nearly 500,000 cubic yards of sand. Similarly, neighboring Sullivan’s Island will be on the receiving end of 150,000 cubic yards of protective sand.
“We feel comfortable with that. We’ve communicated with the property owners and we believe that we will have 90 percent, if not 100 percent participation, which is our goal.”
The breach area in question has traditionally been susceptible to strong currents and undertow, which has hastened the City to afford the area proprietors 10 days to sign off on the revised easements in the interest of initiating work shortly after Labor Day.
The sand replenishment, it was noted, will occur in two phases, with a local contractor executing a portion of the work, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shouldering another piece of the workload.