Beach Erosion Threatens SC Condominium

guest blog by Deborah Goonan

Stories like this one never cease to amaze me. Some people will do just about anything for an ocean view. An illegal sea wall and some sand bags are the only thing stopping the Ocean Club condominium from washing out into the Atlantic on the coast of South Carolina.

The million dollar unasked question is why was a construction permit issued on this site nearly 30 years ago? The resort sits at the mouth of the Dewees inlet, where waves batter the fragile coastline.  Adjacent to the condo building of 150 units, part of the beachside golf course had to be closed, slowly eroding into the ocean.

Condo owners face a hefty $750,000 fine from the state environmental protection agency for erecting the illegal seawall in 2013. Even after spending nearly $3 million trying to keep beach erosion in check, owners must once again replenish the beach next month, just as they did in 2008.

It’s a battle with Mother Nature that they are eventually going to lose – if the regulatory fees don’t bankrupt the Association first.

(link to news article about Ocean Club Condominium) 

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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