Criminal Defense Attorney inKiawah Island, SC

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CDH Law Firm: Giving Hope to
Criminal Defense Clients in
Kiawah Island, SC

Getting charged with a crime in Kiawah Island can be a traumatic experience. Even "petty" crimes can cause an individual's life to fall apart professionally and personally. Spending time in jail is bad enough, but the ramifications of a criminal record run deep, resulting in loss of employment, loss of friends, and even family. For many people, having a zealous criminal defense attorney in Kiawah Island, SC, to defend their rights is the only shot they have of living a normal life.

That's why, if you have been charged with a crime, you need the help of a veteran criminal defense lawyer early in the legal process. That's where CDH Law Firm comes in to give you or your loved one hope when you need it the most.

Our criminal defense law firm was founded to help people just like you - hardworking men and women who are looking at diminished employment opportunities and a possible lifetime of embarrassment. But with our team of experts fighting by your side, you have a much better chance of maintaining your freedom and living a normal, productive life. When it comes to criminal law in Kiawah Island, we've seen it all. With decades of combined experience, there is no case too complicated or severe for us to handle, from common DUI charges to complicated cases involving juvenile crimes. Unlike some of our competition, we prioritize personalized service and cutting-edge criminal defense strategies to effectively represent our clients.

Criminal Defense Attorney Kiawah Island, SC

Clients rank CHSA Law, LLC as the top choice for Kiawah Island criminal defense because we provide:

  • One-on-One Counsel
  • Education on the Kiawah Island Legal Process and Its Risks
  • Ardent, Effective Representation
  • Commitment to Our Clients and Defending Their Rights
  • Prompt Inquiry Response
  • Robust Experience with Criminal Law Cases in Kiawah Island
  • Innovative Defense Strategies
  • Effective, Thorough Research and Investigation

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Kiawah Island can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. Our firm has represented thousands of clients in the Lowcountry, and we're ready to defend you too. Some of our specialties include:

 Law Firm Kiawah Island, SC
The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

DUI Cases
in Kiawah Island, SC

DUI penalties in Kiawah Island can be very harsh. Many first-time DUI offenders must endure a lifelong criminal record, license suspension, and the possibility of spending time in jail. Officers and judges take DUI very seriously, with 30% of traffic fatalities in South Carolina involving impaired drivers, according to NHTSA. Criminal convictions can have lasting impacts on your life, which is why CDH Law Firm works so hard to get these charges dismissed or negotiated down. In some cases, we help clients avoid jail time altogether.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Kiawah Island, SC
When you hire our DUI defense firm, our team will always work towards your best interests and will go above and beyond to achieve the best outcome in your case. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI charges, we will investigate whether:
  • Your DUI stop was legal
  • You were administered a field sobriety test correctly
  • The breathalyzer used was calibrated correctly and properly maintained
  • Urine and blood tests were administered and collected properly

The bottom line? Our criminal law defense attorneys will do everything possible to keep you out of jail with a clean permanent record. It all starts with a free consultation, where we will take time to explain the DUI process. We'll also discuss your defense options and speak at length about the differences between going to trial and accepting a plea bargain.

DUI Penalties in Kiawah Island, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Kiawah Island depend on a number of factors, including your blood alcohol level and how many DUIs you have received in the last 10 years. If you're convicted, the DUI charge will remain on your criminal history and can be seen by anyone who runs a background check on you. Sometimes, a judge will require you to enter alcohol treatment or install an interlock device on your automobile.

If you're on the fence about hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Kiawah Island, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

Criminal Defense Attorney Kiawah Island, SC

First Offense

Offense

48 hours to 90 days

in jail

with fines ranging from

$400 to $1,000

Second Offense

Offense

Five days to three years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$2,100 to $6,500

Third Offense

Offense

60 days to five years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$3,800 to $10,000

Additional consequences can include:

1

Alcohol or Drug Treatment

When convicted of DUI in South Carolina, most offenders must join the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. This program mandates that offenders complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow the recommended treatment options.

 Law Firm Kiawah Island, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Kiawah Island may choose to complete community service in lieu of jail time. Community service hours are usually equal to the length of jail time an offender would be required to serve.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Kiawah Island, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

Typically, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Kiawah Island, their driver's license is restricted or suspended. The length of restriction or suspension depends on how many prior DUI convictions an individual has.

First DUI Offense

First-time DUI offenders must endure a six-month license suspension. Drivers convicted with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or more do not qualify for a provisional license. However, sometimes they may still drive using an ignition interlock device.

Second DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a second DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for two years.

Third DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a third DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for three years. That term increases to four years if the driver is convicted of three DUIs in five years.

Immobilized Vehicle

For offenders with two or more convictions, the judge will immobilize their vehicle if it is not equipped with an IID. When a judge immobilizes a vehicle, the owner must turn over their registration and license plate. Clearly, the consequences of receiving a DUI in Kiawah Island can be life-changing, and not in a good way. The good news is that with CDH Law Firm, you have a real chance at beating your charges and avoiding serious fines and jail time. Every case is different, which is why it's so important that you call our office as soon as possible if you are charged with a DUI.

Traffic Violation Cases

Most drivers brush off traffic law violations as minor offenses, but the fact of the matter is they are criminal matters to be taken seriously. Despite popular opinion, Traffic Violation cases in Kiawah Island can carry significant consequences like fines and even incarceration. If you or someone you love has been convicted of several traffic offenses, your license could be suspended, restricting your ability to work and feed your family.

Every driver should take Traffic Violations seriously. If you're charged with a traffic crime, it's time to protect yourself and your family with a trusted criminal defense lawyer in Kiawah Island, SC. Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC is ready to provide the legal guidance and advice you need to beat your traffic charges. We'll research the merits of your case, explain what charges you're facing, discuss your defense options, and strategize an effective defense on your behalf.

Common Kiawah Island
Traffic Violations That CDH Law
Firm Fights

There are dozens and dozens of traffic laws in Kiawah Island, all of which affect drivers in some way. Our Kiawah Island defense attorneys fight a full range of violations, including but not limited to the following:

Criminal Defense Attorney Kiawah Island, SC
  • Driving Under Suspension: If you drive while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you could be looking at 30 days in jail and fines up to $300.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol is illegal and often results in jail time and fines.
  • Reckless Driving: You could be ordered to pay up to $200 in fines or jailed for up to 30 days if you drive with wanton disregard for the safety of other people.
  • Racing: You can be cited and fined if you aid or participate in street racing.
  • Hit and Run: When you leave the scene of an accident that involved injury to another party, you can be arrested. This serious charge can lead to up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000 for first-time offenders.
  • Disregard Traffic Signals: Drivers must obey all traffic signals and control devices, less they be ticketed and sometimes fined.

As seasoned traffic violation lawyers, we know how frustrating it can be to get charged with a Traffic Violation. While some traffic charges can be minor, others are severe and can affect your life for years to come. Don't leave your fate up to chance call CDH Law Firm today for the highest-quality Traffic Violation representation in Kiawah Island.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Kiawah Island, SC

At Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC, we understand that children are still growing and learning about the world around them. As such, they may make mistakes that get them into trouble with the law. Children and teens who are arrested in Kiawah Island can face much different futures than other children their age. Some face intensive probation, while others are made to spend time in jail.

This happens most often when a child's parents fail to retain legal counsel for their son or daughter. Cases referred to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice often move quicker than adult cases, so finding a good lawyer is of utmost importance. With that said, a compassionate criminal defense attorney in Kiawah Island, SC, can educate you and your child about their alleged charges. To help prevent your child from going to a detention center, we will devise a strategy to achieve favorable results in their case.

 Law Firm Kiawah Island, SC
 Criminal Defense Lawyer Kiawah Island, SC

Juvenile Detention Hearings

Unlike adults, juveniles don't have a constitutional right to a bond hearing. Instead, once your child is taken into custody a Detention Hearing is conducted within 48 hours. This hearing is similar to a combination of a Bond Hearing and a Preliminary Hearing. Unfortunately, there is little time to prepare for these hearings, which is why you must move quickly and call CDH law firm as soon as possible.

Our team gathers police reports, petitions, interviews your child at the DJJ, speaks with you about the case and talks to the prosecutor to discover if they have plans for detention. In most cases, we strive to avoid detention and seek alternatives like divisionary programs or treatment facilities. This strategy better addresses your child's issues and keeps them out of the juvenile legal system in Kiawah Island. If your child is charged with a crime, and South Carolina decides to prosecute, your child will appear before a family court judge, who will find them delinquent or not delinquent. There are no juries in juvenile cases in South Carolina, which is why it's crucial to have a lawyer present to defend your child if they go in front of a judge.

Common penalties for juveniles charged with crimes in Kiawah Island include:

Criminal Defense Attorney Kiawah Island, SC
  • Probation: Children charged with probation are released to their parents or guardians. Depending on their charges, they must abide by certain stipulations while at home and may be subject to random drug screenings. Violation of probation often results in jail time.
  • 90 Days in Juvenile Detention Center: When probation is not a viable option, prosecutors may push for 90 days of jail time in a juvenile detention facility.
  • Juvenile Detention: Children who commit very serious crimes can be sent to a juvenile detention center for a long time. These sentences can last up to the child's 21st birthday.
  • School Expulsion: When a child is convicted of a crime, their school is notified of the offense. Sometimes, the administration may decide to expel the child from school for the misdemeanors or felonies they commit.

We Fight to Protect
Your Rights So You Can
Provide for Your Family

Whether you are facing a DUI charge or a serious traffic violation, CDH Law Firm is here to fight for your rights so you can continue living life. The future might seem bleak, but our criminal defense lawyers in Kiawah Island, SC, have the tools, experience, and strategy to win your case, as we have with so many others. Don't lose hope call our office today and maintain your freedom tomorrow.

Ask us anything

Call Now 843-936-6680 PH

Latest News in Kiawah Island, SC

2031 PGA Championship will be hosted at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

...KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — The 113th PGA Championship in May 2031 will be hosted at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.The PGA America announced Kiawah Island would host the 2031 championship on April 17. The 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships will also be contested at The Ocean Course and Turtle Point Golf Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.Read more: ...

...

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) — The 113th PGA Championship in May 2031 will be hosted at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

The PGA America announced Kiawah Island would host the 2031 championship on April 17. The 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships will also be contested at The Ocean Course and Turtle Point Golf Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

Read more: The Sky added plenty of star power in the WNBA draft with Kamilla Cardoso and Angel Reese

"We are ecstatic to bring the Junior PGA Championships and PGA Championship to The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2029 and 2031," PGA of America President John Lindert said in a statement. "Past PGA Championships at Kiawah Island have provided no shortage of memorable moments and historic performances, all taking place along a breathtaking coastal setting. The Ocean Course's challenging layout and rich history make it an ideal destination for our championships."

This will be the third PGA Championship hosted at Kiawah Island, following the 2012 and 2021 championships.

"We are proud to again be selected as the host course for the 2031 PGA Championship," Kiawah Island Golf Resort President Roger Warren said in a statement. "The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Pete Dye's brilliant seaside design, will present a formidable challenge for the strongest, all-professional field in major championship golf. We are confident our partnership with the PGA of America and the local community will produce another world class event."

Read more: Lowcountry youth soccer teams gain firsthand European experience during spring break

Explore Charleston CEO Helen Hill issued a statement on Kiawah Island Golf Resort the 2031 PGA Championship.

"Congratulations to Kiawah Island Golf Resort and the Town of Kiawah Island. The remarkable opportunities to host the 2031 PGA Championship and the 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships are realized only through community and industry leaders' collective vision and unwavering commitment."

"Events of this caliber are momentous for the entire Charleston region, and we are sincerely grateful for the PGA's trust in our community's capacity to host world-class championships catering to players, patrons, and other stakeholders."

"Drawing from our past experiences with prestigious events like the 1991 Ryder Cup, the 2019 U.S. Women's Open, and the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships, we understand the transformative power of these tournaments. They not only spotlight the resort, island, region, and state on a global scale, but also yield substantial economic benefits."

"Despite pandemic-induced limitations on attendance, the 2021 PGA Championship generated nearly $60 million in economic impact, bolstering state and local economies with over $8 million in tax revenues. The event's international broadcast reached over half a billion households, garnering over $160 million in media exposure for Kiawah and the surrounding area."

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"The Explore Charleston team eagerly anticipates collaborating with the PGA, resort, town, and broader destination stakeholders to ensure the unparalleled success of these championships."

THE OCEAN COURSE AT KIAWAH ISLAND GOLF RESORT TO HOST 2031 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

2029 Junior PGA Championships to be held at The Ocean Course and Turtle PointFRISCO, Texas & KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The PGA of America announced today that The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, will host the 2031 PGA Championship. Additionally, the 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships will be contested at The Ocean Course and Turtle Point Golf Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.The 113th PGA Championship, scheduled for May 2031, marks the third time the strongest fie...

2029 Junior PGA Championships to be held at The Ocean Course and Turtle Point

FRISCO, Texas & KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The PGA of America announced today that The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, will host the 2031 PGA Championship. Additionally, the 2029 Girls and Boys Junior PGA Championships will be contested at The Ocean Course and Turtle Point Golf Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.

The 113th PGA Championship, scheduled for May 2031, marks the third time the strongest field in golf will compete for the Wanamaker Trophy along South Carolina’s coast.

The Ocean Course previously hosted the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships, and will join elite company as just the ninth course to host three or more PGA Championships. The PGA of America also conducted the 1991 Ryder Cup, 2005 PGA Professional Championship and the 2007 Senior PGA Championship there.

“We are ecstatic to bring the Junior PGA Championships and PGA Championship to The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2029 and 2031,” said PGA of America President John Lindert, PGA Director of Golf at The Country Club of Lansing. “Past PGA Championships at Kiawah Island have provided no shortage of memorable moments and historic performances, all taking place along a breathtaking coastal setting. The Ocean Course’s challenging layout and rich history make it an ideal destination for our Championships.”

At the 2021 PGA Championship, 50-year-old Phil Mickelson became the oldest men’s major champion in golf history. He registered a final-round 1-over-par 73 to finish at 6-under-par and clinch the two-shot victory.

The 2012 PGA Championship saw a 23-year-old Rory McIlroy cruise to a record-setting victory. The Northern Ireland native posted a 6-under-par 66 on Sunday to finish at 13-under-par 275. McIlroy’s eight-stroke victory surpassed the PGA Championship record for victory margin set by Jack Nicklaus in 1980.

The 1991 Ryder Cup proved to be a significant moment in the history of golf’s greatest team event. Following an intense, drama-filled two days, the three-day contest came down to the final hole of the final match between Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer.

With the U.S. holding a 14-13 lead and the match tied, Langer needed to win the 18th to capture a full point and secure the 14-14 tie for Europe to retain the Cup. Following Irwin’s bogey, Langer’s six-foot putt for par narrowly missed, resulting in a 14 ½ to 13 ½ victory for the home team.

The Junior PGA Championships, two of golf’s major championships for juniors, continue to serve as a springboard for many of the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour’s biggest stars. Tiger Woods, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Speith and Justin Thomas competed in past editions while past Girls Junior PGA winners include Inbee Park, Yuka Saso, Lexi Thompson and Rose Zhang.

“We are proud to again be selected as the host course for the 2031 PGA Championship,” said Kiawah Island Golf Resort President Roger Warren, PGA. “The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Pete Dye’s brilliant seaside design, will present a formidable challenge for the strongest, all-professional field in major championship golf. We are confident our partnership with the PGA of America and the local community will produce another world class event.”

The Ocean Course, designed by Pete and Alice Dye from 1989-91, is widely regarded as one of the best golf courses in the country. Located on the easternmost end of Kiawah Island, it boasts the most seaside holes in the Northern Hemisphere with 10 hugging the Atlantic and the other eight running parallel to those. Although the course was originally planned to sit behind the dunes, Alice Dye suggested raising the entire course to give players unobstructed views of Kiawah Island’s stunning coastline on every hole.

The Ocean Course has consistently ranked among Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest and 100 Greatest Public Courses in the United States, including 24th (100 Greatest) and third (100 Greatest Public) in 2023-24.

For more information on the PGA Championship, visit here.

About the PGA Championship

The PGA Championship is the only all-professional major in men’s golf. It began in 1916, just months after the birth of the PGA of America, and today features one of the deepest international fields in golf. Since 1994, it has perennially featured the strongest field in golf with the most top-100 players in the Official World Golf Rankings.

About PGA of America

The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of more than 30,000 PGA of America Golf Professionals who love the game, are expert coaches, operators and business leaders, and work daily to drive interest, inclusion and participation in the sport. The PGA of America owns and operates numerous championships and events, including major championships for men, women, seniors and the Ryder Cup, one of the world’s foremost sporting events. For more information, visit PGA.com and follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Located along 10 miles of pristine beach less than 30 miles south of Charleston, S.C., Kiawah Island Golf Resort consistently ranks as one of the country’s top resorts. It includes The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, a 255-room hotel awarded with a triple Forbes Five-Star rating for hotel, restaurant and spa, and AAA Five Diamond rating for hotel and spa. Additional accommodations include nearly 500 private villas and luxury homes, and four Cottages at The Ocean Course. Renowned for its nature and recreational offerings, the resort features five championship golf courses, including The Ocean Course, host of the 1991 Ryder Cup, and the 2012 and 2021 PGA Championships. For 15 of the past 17 years, the resort has ranked as the number-one tennis resort in the world by TennisResortsOnline.com. For more information, visit kiawahresort.com.

Media Contacts

PGA of America

Greg Dillard, 561-308-8013, gdillard@pgahq.com

Kiawah Island Golf Resort

Bryan Hunter, 843-327-2528, bryan_hunter@kiawahresort.com

Kiawah Island ponders next steps after proposed sale of Captain Sams Spit

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Kiawah is continuing its fight to protect Captain Sams Spit, a sandy inlet that’s stirred a legal battle over development rights for years.Officials became aware that Kiawah Partners, the owners of the land in question, have now offered to sell the land to the state. An agreement between Kiawah Partners and the town recently expired, prompting the town t...

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The Town of Kiawah is continuing its fight to protect Captain Sams Spit, a sandy inlet that’s stirred a legal battle over development rights for years.

Officials became aware that Kiawah Partners, the owners of the land in question, have now offered to sell the land to the state. An agreement between Kiawah Partners and the town recently expired, prompting the town to look for options to keep the land untouched.

Kiawah Town Council discussed what action to take in the executive session this week after they got word of the possible sale. Council members authorized their legal counsel to send a note to South Carolina Attorney General Emory Smith regarding Captain Sams Spit.

Executive Director of the South Carolina Environmental Law Project Amy Armstrong explained that it’s unknown what state ownership would mean.

“The state hasn’t said what it would do, who would actually hold it, or what they would do with it,” Armstrong said. “It’s not necessarily assured that just because the state buys it that it’s going to stay exactly how it is today.”

The letter includes three attachments, one of which is the town’s demand letter to Kiawah Development Partners, dated Jan. 8, 2024, and it lays out obligations that were outlined in the contract between the town and developer that recently expired, that the developer did not fulfill.

One concern is that money will be wasted if the state agrees to purchase the land because Kiawah Partners should have already placed a conservation easement on the Spit, recorded a no-development covenant, and conveyed portions of the spit to the island’s Home Owners Association.

“The public doesn’t see why public funds need to be added to the cost of locking down what was supposed to be locked down by an agreement,” Kiawah property owner and land development lawyer Tim Hazel said. “So, in our opinion, it seems that we’re looking at potentially a waste of public funds to get to the point where we should be anyway.”

Kiawah town officials said in part, “The Town of Kiawah Island has a duty to ensure the developer honors its obligations under the development agreement.”

Island property owner and land development lawyer Tim Hazel said while this back-and-forth battle is extremely frustrating, he’s glad that the town is on the same side of this as residents.

Hazel said while this back-and-forth battle is extremely frustrating, he’s glad that the town is on the same side of this as residents.

“It’s funny because we’re not aligned on some of the issues involving development on Kiawah Island but this issue in particular, I think to the credit of the town council and the mayor, there is an effort to enforce what the town had negotiated in 2013,” Hazel said.

Armstrong said it’s encouraging that permanent protection for Sams Spit is potentially closer, but she’s keeping a cautious eye out for what comes next.

“If the community association owns part of the land and then there’s a conservation easement on the other part that the Kiawah conservancy holds, then that assurance that there’s not going to development out there and that would be a favorable outcome,” Armstrong said.

Kiawah councilmember Brad Belt said he could not comment on pending legal issues, but that “As has been noted at public meetings, the Town’s goal is to both preserve the access the public currently has to Beachwalker Park and the beach areas of the Spit and to protect the highlands area of the Spit, which is critical habitat for bobcats, nesting sea turtles and migrating shorebirds, from any development.”

Kiawah Partners declined a request for comment.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Editorial: Stop wasting money; start conserving Capt Sam's Spit

For years, we have called for the conservation of the fragile, ever-shifting southern tip of Kiawah Island, a slice of land many know as Capt. Sam’s Spit. We reiterate that call for a deal — and encourage leaders in our state government and conservation community to focus anew on it — particularly as the property remains in between controversial efforts to develop homes there.As The Post and Courier’s Toby Cox reported, the property is tied up in a complicated legal dispute over a 2013 Amended and Restated Deve...

For years, we have called for the conservation of the fragile, ever-shifting southern tip of Kiawah Island, a slice of land many know as Capt. Sam’s Spit. We reiterate that call for a deal — and encourage leaders in our state government and conservation community to focus anew on it — particularly as the property remains in between controversial efforts to develop homes there.

As The Post and Courier’s Toby Cox reported, the property is tied up in a complicated legal dispute over a 2013 Amended and Restated Development Agreement between the town of Kiawah Island and developer Kiawah Resort Associates that expired last month. At issue is whether the developer met contractual obligations to transfer ownership of some of the property’s highlands to the community association and to protect the remaining highlands with deed restrictions. These actions would protect the spit from development efforts, but the developer says these obligations were contingent on development, which did not occur.

Since 2008, developers have sought state permits to build 50 homes on the land, but the complexity of running a road and utility lines to the property has resulted in years-long court battles and appeals that stopped the plans. But those hoping for the property’s conservation should not count on permitting battles and environmental lawsuits alone; the land has some value, and its owners deserve to be compensated to some degree for a conservation agreement that would preclude development. Of course, there may be a wide disagreement over the dollars involved, given the property’s proximity to the high-valued real estate of Kiawah Island as well as the folly of building on land so subject to erosion and flooding.

Town officials sent the developer a letter this month asking it to fulfill the two obligations, and it’s certainly possible this could lead to yet another legal battle. That turn would be regrettable. It would be much better for both sides to focus on a conservation deal that would settle this matter once and for all.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a precedent-setting ruling in 1992 in a case only five islands north of Kiawah (Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council), saying if government restricts all potential use of a piece of private property, that is considered a "taking" — and the property owner is owed compensation. We agree with what Amy Armstrong, executive director and general counsel at the S.C. Environmental Law Project, told Ms. Cox: "As long as the developer owns the property, there’s a threat."

The property is valuable for conservation not only because it provides habitat for wildlife but also because it adjoins Charleston County's Kiawah Beachwalker Park, which is so popular most summer weekends that there is a waiting list for its limited parking spaces. And that's not surprising: Beachwalker offers access to more than a mile's worth of beach and creekfront, around which bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles and seabirds are common visitors. In short, it's one of South Carolina's most pristine sections of beach publicly accessible by car.

Both South Carolina and Charleston County leaders should engage on ways to strike a conservation deal here for many reasons, including the prevention of unwise attempts to harden the land for development and the preservation of wildlife habitat and high-quality public access. The time to strike that deal is now, before more dollars are wasted on legal battles or ill-considered development plans.

Click here for more opinion content from The Post and Courier.

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Resident concerns push beach boardwalk changes on Kiawah Island

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A new concern surrounding development being built on Kiawah Island has recently come to light by residents and change is now in the works.The questions revolve around two boardwalks that were built for “The Cape,” beachfront condominium complexes, to give the people that will be staying there beach access.The boardwalks stick out too far onto the beach, and it raised a red flag for Jim Gidcumb, who bikes on the beach daily.“At high tide, all of a sudden there’s this bo...

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A new concern surrounding development being built on Kiawah Island has recently come to light by residents and change is now in the works.

The questions revolve around two boardwalks that were built for “The Cape,” beachfront condominium complexes, to give the people that will be staying there beach access.

The boardwalks stick out too far onto the beach, and it raised a red flag for Jim Gidcumb, who bikes on the beach daily.

“At high tide, all of a sudden there’s this boardwalk that runs right into the ocean,” Gidcumb said. “I could not pass it and neither could pedestrians or emergency vehicles, and so I said something isn’t right here.”

After he and others expressed concerns, staff with DHEC’s Ocean and Coastal Resource Management came on-site to assess if the builds were compliant. They determined that recent beach erosion caused the boardwalks to be on the active beach, and the developer is working to shorten the structures.

“It’s a real safety hazard if you can’t traverse this beach at all hours,” Gidcumb said.

The Town of Kiawah said they are assessing to ensure that the boardwalks are compliant and respond to needs of accessibility for emergency and code enforcement vehicles.

“The next step will be to figure out how far back these boardwalks need to be to be in compliance,” Gidcumb said.

DHEC said as long as the boardwalks are shortened properly, they will meet the requirements of the applicable state regulation.

“It would be better to be proactive than reactive, as we’re kind of in a reactive mode now, but that’s fine,” Gidcumb said. “Catching it before it was completed means it can now be addressed and remediated.”

Gidcumb said at the end of the day he just wants to ride his bike on the beach safely and he appreciates the town and developer’s response on this issue.

For more information about this from the Town of Kiawah, click here.

Copyright 2024 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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