March 13, 2023

Shamira McCray, The Post and Courier

Bay Point developer drops appeal of permit decision for proposed luxury resort

A developer has dropped an effort to obtain a permit to build a luxury resort on the barrier Bay Point Island.

Talks of the 50-unit resort date back to 2016. It has faced opposition since then from environmentalists, locals and government officials who acknowledge the island is a highly erosional natural preserve.

Bay Point Island LLC and opposing parties last month agreed to dismiss the appeal of a denied permit that would have sought ecotourism-related housing and dining facilities, plus other amenities, according to a S.C. Court of Appeals document dated Feb. 28.

″(The appeal) is unequivocally a good thing and signals a true victory for the outpouring of citizens who spoke out in opposition to a resort on Bay Point,” said Jessie White, the Coastal Conservation League’s south coast office director.

Bay Point sits at the northern edge of where Port Royal Sound meets the ocean. It can only be reached by boat or aircraft and has become highly erosional in some parts.

Migratory birds use the island as a spot to stop, rest and feed. Sea turtles and horseshoe crabs use the beach there too.

Recreational boaters often pull up on the Bay Point shores, and the Gullah/Geechee people have long used the surrounding marsh and waterways for sustenance fishing.

“With very few remaining natural barrier island left in South Carolina, and particularly those as culturally and ecologically rich as Bay Point, their protection is needed now more than ever,” said Amy Armstrong, executive director of the South Carolina Environmental Law Project.

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