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.