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Health Insurance Plans Made Easy and Affordable

Trying to find the right health insurance plan for you or your family can be a complex, often difficult task. Just trying to find the best carrier can be stressful and confusing on its own. That is why the Health Insurance Solutions Team was founded – to take the stress and confusion out of the health insurance process. Our goal is to help hardworking men and women find the best protection for their unique needs.

Unlike some health insurance brokers, we make every effort to learn about the kind of health insurance you really need. When you speak with an agent from The Health Insurance Solutions Team, know that we will never try to upsell you on a plan that you can’t afford. Instead, your knowledgeable, helpful health insurance agent in Sullivan's Island will help you navigate the uncertain waters of the health insurance world. Once we understand the health insurance plan you need, we will explore your options. That way, you can leave our conversation feeling informed about your health insurance options and confident that you are making the best choice possible.

We are proud to have served people just like yourself for more than 15 years at the Health Insurance Solutions Team. We have helped countless individuals, families, and business owners find the coverage they need at a price that won’t send them into bankruptcy. If you know that you need health insurance but don’t know how to start or what to look for, we’ve got good news – you’re in the right place.

Do You Really Need Health Insurance?

Before we talk about the solutions that our health insurance broker in Sullivan's Island provides, we should address the elephant in the room. Everyone regardless of age or health, can benefit from a health insurance plan. Even the healthiest of people want to maintain their health and have protection in the event of a catastrophe. One of the best ways to stay healthy and plan for unexpected events is to visit your doctor for an annual check-up. When you have a health insurance plan, these visits are often fully covered by your insurance carrier when you choose an in-network doctor. Without health insurance, you will be responsible for the full cost of any medical care – even routine check-ups with your primary care physician. If something horrible happens, and you don’t have health insurance, you may have to pay the full amount for the emergency care you receive. Even young, healthy individuals can benefit from the right health plan. After all, nobody plans on getting sick or injured, but bad things can happen to anyone. Something unexpected like a broken leg can cost more than $7,000 to treat when you don’t have coverage. A three-day stay in a hospital can cost upwards of $30,000. That can be an incredible amount of money to pay out of pocket. Having a health insurance plan set in place can help you get quality care at a much more affordable price, especially if something unforeseen happens.

Do You Really Need Health Insurance?

Who We Serve

At the Health Insurance Solutions Team, our mission is to educate and empower our clients so that they can get the best access to medical care possible. Because everyone has their own unique set of needs when it comes to health plans, we serve a wide range of clients.

Individuals

Individual plans, also called personal health plans, are health insurance policies that you can purchase solely for yourself. When you work with Health Insurance Solutions, your health insurance agent in Sullivan's Island will go over your health plan options and help find the best fit for your needs. Individual health plans are not tied to your employer, so you can make a career change without having to worry about losing your health insurance. For individual plans, we offer major medical, short-term, and fixed benefit plans that include life, dental, vision, and other coverage options.

Families

Finding the right health plan for your family can be a real challenge, but our experienced health insurance agents are here to help. We understand that not all members of your family will have the same needs. To help your family get the best coverage possible, we search for custom plans that will meet each of your family members’ needs. Whether you’re looking for major medical coverage or fixed-benefit plans with no deductibles, our experts are here to serve you. Common coverage options include vision, dental, life, STD and LTD, long-term care, and more.

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Self-Employed

Entrepreneurs have their own set of needs in terms of health plans and how much they can afford to spend on coverage. Once thought of as a small percentage of the workforce, 57 million Americans freelanced in 2019 alone, according to the Upwork and Freelancers Union. If you are a consultant, independent contractor, or freelancer, the Health Insurance Solutions Team will find a plan that caters to your current needs and future endeavors. Common health insurance plans for self-employed people include vision, life, dental, and stand-alone prescription coverage. We also offer major medical, supplemental, short-term, and fixed-benefit plans at a range of prices that you can afford.

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Small Business

Offering health insurance to your employees is one of the best ways to keep your team happy and attract diligent workers to your company. If you are a business owner who wants to provide health insurance to your employees but cannot do so because the cost of benefits is too high, worry not. Our experienced health insurance agents will work directly with your employees to help them find the coverage they can afford. We also offer hybrid plans that can be customized so that both you and your employee’s needs are met. Whether you need a major medical package or voluntary benefits only, the Health Insurance Solutions Team has got you covered. Common small business health insurance plans include life, LTC, medical, vision, 401K administration, and dental insurance.

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Travelers

If you travel regularly for business or pleasure, it pays to plan ahead and protect yourself. Because unexpected events happen all the time, you could lose a lot of money if your business trip or vacation is canceled at the last minute. Situations like this can be particularly concerning on international business trips and on long vacations. Whether you get sick before your trip or have valuables within your baggage stolen, traveler’s insurance can help minimize expensive cancelation fees and costs.

Health Insurance Solutions Team for Individual and Family Health Insurance

Health Insurance Solutions Team for Individual and Family Health Insurance

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Most Popular Types of Coverage

Figuring out the kind of insurance you need is a crucial part of the health insurance process. Do you have a prescription for eyeglasses or contacts? Do you have a condition that requires you to visit the doctor on a regular basis? Health insurance plans change depending on what you need. At the Health Insurance Solutions Team, we will provide you with a trusted health insurance agent in Sullivan's Island to help you choose the best plan for your budget.

Here are a few of the most popular types of coverage that our clients ask about:

Major Medical

This type of insurance covers minimum essential benefits and meets the standards of the ACA for family and individual coverage. Major medical insurance is a fantastic option to choose if you want to be sure all of your medical expenses are covered. Major medical plans usually cover ten essential benefits:

  • Outpatient Procedures or Ambulatory Care
  • Hospitalization
  • Check-Ups and Preventative Care
  • Prescription Medications
  • Emergency Services
  • Pediatric Care Services
  • Laboratory Services
  • Newborn and Maternity Care
  • Addiction Counseling and Mental Health Care Services

If your goal is to cover a full range of care, major medical plans are often the best choice. We recommend you contact our office today to learn more about the major medical plan options available to you. As a licensed, private health insurance broker in Sullivan's Island you do not need to wait until Open Enrollment to protect yourself with a major medical insurance plan.

MAJOR MEDICAL
DENTAL

DENTAL

From basic cleanings to complex procedures like root canals, dental work can be awfully expensive. When you have dental insurance, you will have peace of mind knowing that you won’t have to pay for your procedure out of pocket. In general, a quality dental insurance policy will cover some or all of the following:

  • Routine cleanings and checkups (copay may be required)
  • X-Rays
  • Filling Cavities
  • Bridges, Implants, and Crowns
  • Root Canals and Repair Work
  • Emergency Services Oral Surgery, etc.)

It should be noted that some types of dental equipment and services may be covered at higher levels of coverage. While preventative work like cleanings is typically covered, some procedures require out-of-pocket costs.

VISION

Usually purchased as an addition to your medical insurance, vision insurance helps cut back on costs associated with eye care Like dental insurance, vision insurance is great if you know that you will regularly visit the eye doctor or just want to protect yourself for a “worst case scenario.” In general, a quality vision plan will cover some or all of the following:

  • Routine Eye Exams
  • Medical Eye Care
  • Vision Correction Products (Eyeglasses, contacts, etc.)
  • Surgeries for Vision Correction (LASIK, etc.)

It should be noted that not all types of vision insurance will cover medical issues related to eye care. For instance, if your optometrist discovers a medical problem during your eye exam, they may refer you to a different doctor. While vision insurance may not cover all eye-related medical services, major medical health insurance often does.

VISION
LONG-TERM CARE

LONG-TERM CARE

It might be hard to imagine at this stage of your life, but as you age, there is a chance that you will need long-term care services. The question is, how will you or your loved ones pay for this kind of care? Many people choose to eliminate the burden of senior care by purchasing long-term care insurance. Services like meal preparation, medication assistance, and help with day-to-day activities like bathing are not covered by regular health insurance plans. Long-term care insurance will help you or your children lessen the expense of care when you have chronic medical conditions, dementia, or disabilities. When you speak to one of our health insurance agents, ask if you can purchase a policy that reimburses you when you receive care in the following locations:

  • Routine cleanings and checkups (copay may be required)
  • In a nursing home
  • In your own home
  • In an assisted living center
  • At a long-term residential senior facility

Expert Help Is Only a Phone Call Away

We call ourselves the Health Insurance Solutions Team because we are committed to finding you the best, most affordable options for your health insurance needs. We work with all the major insurance carriers, such as:

  • Aetna
  • Advent Health
  • United Healthcare
  • National General
  • Humana
  • Transamerica
  • Many More

Unlike some health insurance brokers who only care about making a sale, we don’t view you as a financial transaction. We believe that serving others never goes out of style. That’s why we prefer to educate you on your health coverage options so that you can make an informed decision. As your health insurance agent in Sullivan's Island, we would be honored to help you seek out a plan that is the perfect fit for your life. You will receive the same excellent level of service whether you are a business owner with employees or a single individual.

When you’re ready to protect yourself and your family with quality health insurance, we will be here to help guide you along the way. Contact us today so that we may discover your insurance needs and provide you with a quality insurance solution that will give you peace of mind for years to come.

Expert Help Is Only a Phone Call Away

Call us (843) 364-9155 for a complimentary consultation and evaluation of your healthcare coverage.

Latest News in Sullivan's Island

Sullivan’s Island Town Council votes to reexamine forest cutting plan

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The Sullivan’s Island Town Council has voted to weigh its legal options in the plan to cut the maritime forest. The town agreed to cut 150 acres of the maritime forest in a legal settlement last year.The issues with the maritime forest have been ongoing for years, but stem from a conflict with homeowners arguing the forest hurts property values...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The Sullivan’s Island Town Council has voted to weigh its legal options in the plan to cut the maritime forest. The town agreed to cut 150 acres of the maritime forest in a legal settlement last year.

The issues with the maritime forest have been ongoing for years, but stem from a conflict with homeowners arguing the forest hurts property values by blocking the view of the beach. They also allege the forest is overgrown and creates homes for pests.

However, local groups like “Sullivan’s Island for All” say the forest is a storm break, helps address flooding and provides a unique island habitat.

“The wildlife and the environmental ecosystem that’s out there is one of a kind, not only for Sullivan’s Island but probably for the entire country,” said Dan Krosse with Sullivan’s Island for All. “This is a national gem.”

Krosse says the settlement was reached with a previous iteration of the town council. Earlier this year, the island held a municipal election in which four of the seven council members were replaced. Krosse says that election was a referendum on the maritime forest settlement.

“Even though four new council members were elected here, the people who wrote the settlement said there’s nothing anyone can ever do, you can’t touch this settlement and we find that hard to believe,” Krosse said. “It just seems crazy to a lot of people.”

Krosse says there was very little public input on the settlement because meetings were shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions last year.

Sullivan’s Island for All sought outside legal advice from Land-Use and Environmental Lawyer Ross Appel. They say there are two legal mechanisms the town council take advantage of in an attempt void the settlement. Those mechanisms are a Declaratory Judgement Act and Rule 60 of the South Carolina Civil Procedure.

The town council chose to seek its own, outside legal counsel to get an idea of what options are available. Council members did not discuss the decision but did make it clear that this is just legal advice at this point and not necessarily an attempted to void the settlement.

Cyndy Ewing has been a Sullivan’s Island resident for 20 years. She says this decision is a win for the forest but adds it’s just one step in the movement to save it.

“This has obviously been a good thing,” Ewing said. “We are going to give full support to the town council members that voted for this and also try and woo the two council members who voted against it and let them understand what the science is.”

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Sullivan’s Island Town Council votes to seek legal review of maritime forest settlement

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Town Council affirmed it would seek an independent lawyer to review the town’s rights under a settlement agreement that cleared the way to remove parts of a maritime forest.The council voted 4-2 during a Sept. 29 special meeting in favor of seeking a legal review of the lawsuit, part of a decadelong issue centering around a conserved forest on the island’s southern half of its beachfront side.The maritime forest, once scrubland, has developed over the years into a mature thicket of tr...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Town Council affirmed it would seek an independent lawyer to review the town’s rights under a settlement agreement that cleared the way to remove parts of a maritime forest.

The council voted 4-2 during a Sept. 29 special meeting in favor of seeking a legal review of the lawsuit, part of a decadelong issue centering around a conserved forest on the island’s southern half of its beachfront side.

The maritime forest, once scrubland, has developed over the years into a mature thicket of trees and wetlands growing outward toward the Atlantic Ocean.

It sprouted on slowly accreting land, a side effect of jetties that stop ocean sand from drifting away from the island — a rarity in South Carolina, where most islands are eroding at various rates.

Four residents living next to the forest filed a lawsuit in 2010 against the town and its council, alleging the government had violated their property rights.

Among their chief complaints: The overgrown, unruly brush harbored vermin and mosquitoes, limited breeze flow and presented a fire hazard.

A local ordinance permitted these residents to trim their bushes to be no less than 3 feet tall, but the town had denied their applications to do so, the suit alleged.

The issue wouldn’t be decided until 10 years later. On Oct. 2, 2020, following private mediation talks, the council voted 4-3 to settle the lawsuit, thus greenlighting the plan to thin the forest.

The agreement reached between the plaintiffs and the town stipulated several tree species and shrubs would be cut depending on their location in the forest, some with diameters as large as 17 inches.

Opponents to the settlement maintain the green space must be conserved and nature should be left to run its course. Many of them had attended the most recent council meeting, requesting members bring the settlement back before a judge to clarify certain parts.

More than two dozen people gathered at the Sept. 29 special meeting, spreading out to follow social distancing guidelines. Some stood along the crowded room’s back wall, eager to speak.

But there was no opportunity for public comment; the council entered executive session almost immediately after the meeting began, much to the chagrin of residents.

Council members debated for around an hour before coming to a vote.

Members Scott Millimet, Justin Novak, Mayor Patrick O’Neil and Gary Visser voted in favor of hiring outside legal counsel while Greg Hammon and Kaye Smith voted against. Councilman Bachman Smith was not present.

Susan Middaugh, who has lived on Sullivan’s since 1980, said she was thrilled with the council’s decision to seek a legal review of the settlement.

Middaugh serves as a board member with Sullivan’s Island For All, a local conservation group staunchly opposed to the settlement. Her main issue is the manner in which the lawsuit was settled, she said.

The four council members who had supported settling weren’t forthcoming during their campaigns on how they felt about preserving the maritime forest, Middaugh said.

But two of them were ousted during the May election, their seats replaced with council members who both oppose the settlement.

Now, conservationists such as Middaugh are hopeful the current council, with its 5-2 majority, will consider any legal recourse that could be taken to amend the lawsuit.

One piece of the settlement the conservationists have pushed against is a “good faith and fair dealing” clause, which stipulates parties to the agreement can’t hinder the cutting work.

A lawyer whom a group of conservationists hired to examine the settlement raised a key question: Would this current agreement unfairly “bind” the council from making future public policy decisions?

“We’re trying to get (Town Council) to at least get a judicial review,” Middaugh explained. “It doesn’t directly challenge the settlement, it’s like a judicial review of the terms of the settlement to see if it’s legal.”

Debate over how to best manage the maritime forest has sharply divided this close-knit island community. The two sides — those for and those against the settlement — fundamentally disagree over many of the issues at play.

Vermin and mosquitoes exist everywhere on the island, and the brush doesn’t present the kind of fire hazard a pine forest would, for example. Breezes are blocked primarily because of large homes stacked several stories high and built next to one another, Middaugh said.

Conservationists also believe the forest serves as an important protective barrier against potential storm surges. But one pro-settlement resident said if a major hurricane hit Sullivan’s Island, the dense vegetation wouldn’t stand a chance.

These people are also adamant the forest is a tinderbox — just think back to the 2009 Myrtle Beach fire, one said.

Both sides, however, can agree the crux of the issue isn’t really about rats, or wildfires, or getting a good breeze. It’s about the view.

The town had placed the maritime forest into a land trust in 1991, after Hurricane Hugo devastated much of the island. The trust protected the forest from being built up, which pleased conservationists as well as ocean homeowners; both the trees and their beach view would be protected.

But the forest grew over time, with little oversight from the town, said pro-settlement residents.

Some people took matters into their own hands, removing nuisance vegetation themselves. The group of four who filed the 2010 lawsuit against the town and council “went about it the right way,” said Kimberly Brown, a Sullivan’s resident since 2015.

Two of the plaintiffs, Ettaleah and Nathan Bluestein, lost the ocean view they had after first moving to the island, along with the ability to even go through their yard, Brown said.

“He has no path to the beach, he’s got no view, he’s got no breeze,” she said, adding the Bluesteins were just trying to get back what they once had.

Brown said she understands conservation-minded folks like Middaugh, and identifies as conservation-minded herself.

“We all are. Everyone loves trees,” she said, adding none of the pro-settlement folks were “looking to wipe everything.”

But the town had promised residents living along the maritime forest it would always maintain the land, along with their ocean views, Brown said.

“The town kind of went back on their word, and that’s what this whole thing is about,” she said.

Some residents felt frustrated following the council’s vote, as it meant more stalling before a final decision would be reached, despite the fact the lawsuit was settled nearly a year ago.

“We had come to an agreement, we mediated, let’s honor it,” Brown said. “If everybody kept going after something when they couldn’t get what they wanted, it’d be kind of lawless.”

The council adjourned after taking its vote without discussing any other business or elaborating on next steps in seeking guidance from an outside attorney.

Commentary: Sullivan’s Island’s accreted land is hardly a ‘marvel of nature’

I have lived on Sullivan’s Island for 25 years. I’m a physician, and consider myself to be an advocate of the environment and historical preservation.In fact, I own the only property on the island that has been recognized and awarded the Carolopolis award by the Preservation Society of Charleston.When I read Brian Hicks’ column Wednesday, I wondered if he’d ever stepped foot in the island’s accreted land.He described the maritime forest as a “public park and a marvel of nature,” ...

I have lived on Sullivan’s Island for 25 years. I’m a physician, and consider myself to be an advocate of the environment and historical preservation.

In fact, I own the only property on the island that has been recognized and awarded the Carolopolis award by the Preservation Society of Charleston.

When I read Brian Hicks’ column Wednesday, I wondered if he’d ever stepped foot in the island’s accreted land.

He described the maritime forest as a “public park and a marvel of nature,” but I challenge him or anyone else to stroll off of the public beach paths that cut through it.

If invasive species are your thing, then what you find may be a “marvel,” but be sure to bring your snake boots and thick clothing. The vast majority of the accreted land is nothing like the picturesque photos routinely published in The Post and Courier.

There is no mention in the settlement agreement of a plan to “chop down much of the island’s maritime forest,” as Mr. Hicks describes it. The agreement — copies of which are readily available through the town’s website and other public sources — spells out exactly what vegetation will be removed and what will remain.

I have been a witness to the accreted land battle on the island that has lasted for nearly 30 years. The self-described “islanders” who have orchestrated this 11th-hour effort to upend the settlement agreement are united only in their opposition to any reasonable land management.

Some even have gone so far as to physically block machinery that was widening the Station 16 beach path after a girl was assaulted on it in 2007.

The accreted land issue really should have been settled right after that horrible event.

Her haunting testimony — “I thought ... this is it, nobody can hear my screams ..., I’m all alone” — still resonates as a warning that the unnatural overgrowth has gone too far.

The settlement agreement that was proposed in the regular course of town business, and supported and voted on by the prior elected Town Council, is a reasonable compromise.

The alternative is many more years of additional lawsuits and hundreds of thousands (or perhaps millions) of dollars in legal fees borne by taxpayers.

Mr. Hicks applauded Mayor Pat O’Neil for making the analogy that relying on the town attorneys’ advice was essentially like getting a second opinion from the same doctor.

Well, if you’re a hypochondriac and have seen the same doctor for 20 years, and yet insist that the doctor is now wrong, you’re going to have to foot the bill if you want all the tests repeated.

That’s exactly the case here. The insurance company is going to deny the care, and we’re going to pay our second-opinion lawyer hundreds of dollars an hour and a hefty retainer.

Up until now, an insurance policy has paid the town’s legal fees, which are in a million-dollar range to date.

Now, William Wilkins’ legal fees will be paid by the town directly.

Which, of course, means that we the taxpayers will pay.

It is important to note that protected land grants and town-owned rights of way on the mayor’s side of the island — the waterway side — have little if any restriction imposed on shrub and tree removal.

Despite what the “conservationists” say, the settlement is a reasonable compromise that serves our island well. It should be implemented by the town without further shenanigans or delay.

The only thing the opponents want to preserve is conflict and hostility, and their vitriol has poisoned our island community.

Mr Hicks’ opinion seems nothing more than an echo chamber fed to him by the usual suspects.

Steven Poletti is a Sullivan’s Island resident.

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Pickleball expands across Charleston area; Sullivan’s Island considers more courts

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — The racquet sport of pickleball has soared in popularity in the Charleston area and across the nation, and now Sullivan’s Island is considering adding four dedicated courts.What’s pickleball? It’s played with hard paddles and a plastic ball, like a Wiffle ball, usually as a two-on-two doubles game. The courts are similar to tennis courts, but smaller, which makes the game more appealing to older players.“It’s small tennis or big ping-pong,” said Steve Gergick, ...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — The racquet sport of pickleball has soared in popularity in the Charleston area and across the nation, and now Sullivan’s Island is considering adding four dedicated courts.

What’s pickleball? It’s played with hard paddles and a plastic ball, like a Wiffle ball, usually as a two-on-two doubles game. The courts are similar to tennis courts, but smaller, which makes the game more appealing to older players.

“It’s small tennis or big ping-pong,” said Steve Gergick, director of Mount Pleasant’s recreation department.

“It really has exploded within the last eight to 10 years, and really within the last five,” he said. “It’s very, very popular with seniors, but my kids play it in middle school.”

Mount Pleasant, Charleston, Summerville and other towns and cities have been adding pickleball courts. Developers are often including them in new home communities as amenities, particularly in active-adult communities.

“I can tell you there is a very large, and growing larger by the day, pickleball community,” said Laurie Yarbrough, Charleston’s director of recreation.

Pickleball courts can be found indoors, outdoors and in senior centers.

“It’s easy to learn and it’s inexpensive,” Yarbrough said. “Build as many as you can, and people will use them.”

Sometimes the game is played on tennis or basketball courts that serve dual purposes, with striping for pickleball games and a portable net. Recreation departments have also installed dedicated pickleball courts, as Sullivan’s Island is considering.

Sullivan’s Island currently has four tennis courts, split between two locations. In both locations one court is dual-striped for both tennis and pickleball.

“In the nicer months there is high utilization of the courts,” said Sullivan’s Island Administrator Andy Benke. “Some of the residents have requested more.”

Sullivan’s Island is seeking proposals for design work and cost estimates for up to four dedicated pickleball courts. The town’s request for proposals says the courts would be “in the general area of Citadel Street and Middle Street” which is where two of the town’s tennis courts are located.

There’s an open field there next to the tennis courts, but Benke said the town would need to consider parking, drainage and other issues. Mayor Patrick O’Neil said he’s heard some opposition to the idea from nearby residents.

“Nothing is set in stone, or pickleball court material, whatever that is,” said O’Neil, who hasn’t played the game.

“Who knows?” he said. “I have no idea what a pickleball court costs.”

Benke said it’s also possible new courts could be located in Stith Park near Town Hall, which is home to the other two tennis courts, if the town decides to build them. The island doesn’t have a recreation department, and its courts are free to use on a first-come basis.

Sullivan’s Island adjusts forest cutting plan to account for wetlands

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — This barrier island community is adjusting a plan to cut trees and shrubs in its maritime forest after a survey found extensive wetlands on the accreted land.The forest was at the center of a decade-long lawsuit brought by some homeowners on the edge of it who wanted to thin the thicket. They complained of vermin and wildfire risk, among other factors. The suit was ...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — This barrier island community is adjusting a plan to cut trees and shrubs in its maritime forest after a survey found extensive wetlands on the accreted land.

The forest was at the center of a decade-long lawsuit brought by some homeowners on the edge of it who wanted to thin the thicket. They complained of vermin and wildfire risk, among other factors. The suit was settled by the town in October with a plan to cut many smaller trees, over the objections of other islanders who wanted the forest to stay largely wild instead.

That settlement, it turns out, is mostly unworkable because so much of the area slated for cutting is protected or contains wetlands. The exact boundaries of wetlands can only be determined in a survey, and the town conducted one in January and found 65 acres. Other parts of the land are “critical area,” or special coastal zones that the state of South Carolina protects.

Town Council voted 4-2 at its March 16 meeting for a new work plan and a court filing indicating the settlement was being adjusted. The same four council members who voted to settle the case last year approved the changes: Tim Reese, Chauncey Clark, Greg Hammond and Kaye Smith. Councilwoman Sarah Church was not present.

Now, the plan involves highly technical determinations of what can be cut and what cannot, as opposed to eliminating most smaller trees of certain species.

“I don’t know that this is any better, maybe in some ways it is, maybe in some ways it’s worse, but there’s no way I can support anything here,” said Mayor Pat O’Neil, who opposed settling the suit last fall as well as this week’s adjustments.

Work would begin in November, pending approval by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and Army Corps of Engineers.

A vocal group of islanders who don’t want the forest cut argue it provides protection from storm surge, wildlife habitat and a unique natural amenity. The forest is on land that slowly accreted on the south and central sections of Sullivan’s beach; sand collects there because of nearby jetties that keep the entrance to Charleston Harbor clear.

Some, like Larry Kobrovsky, hoped that leaving the original settlement in place would actually mean that cutting wouldn’t happen because state and federal regulators wouldn’t have approved of the original plan.

Councilman Bachman Smith also said he thought the regulatory issues might “shut the whole thing down” if the council hadn’t passed the changes.

But Town Attorney Derk Van Raalte said it was unlikely such a move would work.

“You’re in a relationship with (the plaintiffs) and in a relationship with that court order, and it’s difficult to walk away from,” Van Raalte said.

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