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"New SC beach hotels could face stiffer building rules"

The State

January 4, 2014

The January 4th edition of Columbia's The State newspaper featured an article entitled "New SC beach hotels could face stiffer building rules."

Reporter Sammy Fretwell wrote that a "26-year-old state policy that allows developers to construct high-rise hotels along flood-prone beaches faces scrutiny this year...."

Fretwell spoke to Environmental Law attorney Mary Shahid about the beach management law that SC leaders adopted in 1988 and pre-filed legislation aimed at changing it.

An excerpt from the report:

Critics say DHEC’s interpretation violates the spirit of the 1988 law.... state Sen. Ray Cleary is pushing to change the law, making it clear that new buildings can no longer be developed closer to the ocean than the existing line of beach development.

Charleston attorney Mary Shahid, an ex-state coastal regulator, said the bill raises flags because many people buy coastal property with the expectation building restriction lines can change if the beach builds up.

“This could certainly interfere with very reasonable expectations,’’ Shahid said. “We’ve been buying and selling property under the beachfront management act for 20-something years.’’

Read more from The State.

In December, Nexsen Pruet's Public Policy and Government Affairs team called on Shahid for "Public Policy Alert: Pre-filed legislation to amend South Carolina permitting law in certain coastal areas."

She co-authored the cover story for the September 2013 edition of South Carolina Lawyer magazine - “Climate Change, Beach Erosion and Beachfront Regulation."