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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 03, 2017

DHEC Extends Public Comment Period on Proposed Beachfront Jurisdictional Lines Until April 6, 2018

[COLUMBIA, SC] Coastal property owners will have until April 6, 2018 to comment on revised beachfront jurisdictional lines proposed by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

Because of this extension, the department will begin to adopt final revised beachfront jurisdictional lines in May 2018 with all lines published by December 31, 2018. A tentative adoption schedule for each beach will be available on DHEC’s website on November 13, 2017.

Existing jurisdictional lines will remain in place until final revised lines are adopted. A 2016 amendment of the Beachfront Management Act prohibits the baseline from moving seaward from its position on December 31, 2017.

Based on feedback received during the original 30-day comment period, DHEC feels it is appropriate to give property owners and other interested parties more time to meet with department staff, understand the methodology used to set the jurisdictional lines and bring the department any additional information for consideration.

The decision to adopt revised lines after December 31, 2017 affects landowners who own property where the baseline was proposed to move seaward of the existing baseline under the department’s current proposal. DHEC is asking these property owners to contact the department prior to December 4, 2017 by email at ocrm-comments@dhec.sc.gov or phone at 843-953-0200 to receive information on requesting a board review. DHEC will also attempt to proactively reach out to these property owners.

The department is required to establish and review beachfront jurisdictional lines every seven to ten years to implement laws and regulations that support the state’s beachfront management goals and to guide development away from vulnerable shorelines. The lines were last reviewed in 2008-10.

DHEC establishes two lines of beachfront jurisdiction - the baseline and the setback line. The baseline is the more seaward of the two jurisdictional lines, while the setback line is the landward line. To locate and establish the lines, DHEC utilizes the best available scientific and historical data, including state-of-the art LIDAR, GPS and aerial photography.

The lines do not create a “no-build” area. Repairs, reconstruction and new construction are allowed under certain conditions and with authorization by the department.

DHEC staff is available to assist citizens in understanding the lines and the process. Three public hearings were held in October, and additional meetings and opportunities to gather and present information will continue to be held.

The department has developed an online tool that shows the proposed new lines in detail at https://gis.dhec.sc.gov/shoreline/. Additional information about the proposed beachfront jurisdictional lines, including a video on how the lines are developed, are available at http://www.scdhec.gov/beachfrontlines.

Public comments may be submitted to DHEC through a link provided in the viewing application or in writing to DHEC-OCRM, Attn: Barbara Neale, 1362 McMillan Avenue, Suite 400, Charleston, SC 29405. Comments can also be submitted to ocrm-comments@dhec.sc.gov.

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DHEC Media Relations
media@dhec.sc.gov
(803) 898-7769