DAUFUSKIE ISLAND — Property owners and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition are celebrating after thwarting a 3.9-acre sand mine in the center of the island and near historically and culturally important Gullah/Geechee buildings and landmarks.
The developers, Dolphin Daufuskie Group, LLC and Dolphin Shared MGMT Services, LLC, have abandoned their appeal of the Beaufort County Board of Zoning Appeals’ decision to deny a special permit for the proposed sand mine. A statutorily mandated mediation occurred on August 10, 2021, from which there was no resolution. The deadline for filing the required second notice of appeal after the mediation was September 13, 2021.
The property owners and the Gullah/Geechee group were concerned over the project’s harmful environmental impacts as well as the significant impacts on quality of life and livelihoods.
Significantly, Daufuskie Island is designated as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The proposed site of the mine would adjoin, along with the property owners’ homes, Oyster Union Society Hall and Mary Field Cemetery, the largest Gullah/Geechee cemetery on the island.
The parties were represented by the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, a nonprofit public interest law firm.
“The project would not have served the interests of the community; in fact, it would have resulted in significant damage to the island’s historic and cultural resources and the Beaufort County BOZA understood that. We are pleased that their decision stands,” said SCELP staff attorney Leslie Lenhardt.