March 2, 2023

Sarah Haselhorst, The Island Packet

Developer who wanted a resort on untouched Beaufort County barrier island drops appeal

A developer who was vying to build a luxury resort on a Beaufort County barrier island dropped its appeal against a July circuit court decision that upheld the denial of a special permit to build on Bay Point Island.

The 1,200-acre undeveloped island sits at the mouth of the Port Royal Sound and has been described by environmentalists as a “coastal treasure.” It serves as a haven for wildlife and is vital to the Gullah/Geechee Nation and the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association, who’ve fished the waters for centuries.

“With very few remaining natural barrier islands 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, South Carolina Environmental Law Project executive director, in a Thursday news release.

Environmentalists say this is a major victory, and this likely quells the fears of a luxury resort on Bay Point Island. But it doesn’t mean the island is out of harm’s way.

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