COVAR Meeting Announcement and New Dog Beach Rules

The next COVAR meeting (Developing and Funding Reserves for Property and Landscaping Improvement for Associations/Regimes) will be Saturday, December 12 from 10 AM to 12 Noon at the Lake House.  All Seabrookers are welcome to attend.

It is with great pleasure that I announce the adoption on July 28 of Town of Seabrook Island (TOSI) Ordinance 2015-02, amending, updating and significantly strengthening Section 32 of the Town Code, Waterways and Beaches.  This event marks the achievement of a significant step in COVAR’s collaboration with TOSI and Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA) in an effort to address Seabrook Island beach matters during the course of the last three plus years.

The ordinance defines “beach” and “primary frontal sand dune” and acknowledges the rights in these areas of private property owners “whose seaward (property) boundary extends below the high-tide line or the high-water mark.”  The ordinance significantly strengthens beach and dune protection in harmony with SIPOA Rules and Regulations, while recognizing the access rights of private property owners through the dunes to the beach, provided they are in accordance with applicable state, federal and TOSI regulatory requirements.  Of particular significance are provisions specifically providing for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources-chartered activities of the Seabrook Island Turtle Patrol, which make it clear that such activities are not in violation of the ordinance.  The ordinance also contains significant provisions relative to various beach activities, such as vehicle access and operation; wildlife and marine life protection; domestic animals/pets; watercraft; overnight storage of beach equipment; fires and fireworks and holes/structures, to name the most significant.  The COVAR Board highly recommends that all Seabrookers obtain a copy of the ordinance and study it in detail to ensure that they and their renters and guests don’t inadvertently run afoul of its provisions.  To facilitate this process, the Board has distributed a copy of the ordinance to association/regime presidents and representatives, their respective property managers and rental agents.  As a public service, electronic copies for other interested parties can be requested by e-mailing me at allanwkeener@bellsouth.net.

Two items relative to waterways and beaches covered in the August “COVAR Corner” article, bear repeating here because they address the greatest concerns expressed over time are:  1) seasonal rules for dogs on Seabrook’s beaches, which is now being addressed, starting with new and clearer signage at SIPOA and selected other beach access points, which clearly inform dog owners of the rules for each season and 2) the hours of the seasonal beach patrol, which TOSI has extended from 10 AM-6 PM to 6 AM-6 PM and is contemplating other schedule adjustments to further enhance coverage. As previously stated, the COVAR Board will continue to engage with TOSI officials, concerning enforcement of seasonal dog and other rules governing conduct on Seabrook’s beaches and keep you advised of its progress.

Submitted by Allan Keener

 

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