South Carolina General Assembly
121st Session, 2015-2016

Download This Bill in Microsoft Word format

A197, R211, S139

STATUS INFORMATION

General Bill
Sponsors: Senator Cleary
Document Path: l:\s-res\rec\004.kmm.rec.docx

Introduced in the Senate on January 13, 2015
Introduced in the House on April 28, 2016
Last Amended on April 26, 2016
Passed by the General Assembly on June 2, 2016
Governor's Action: June 3, 2016, Signed

Summary: Coastal zone critical areas

HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

     Date      Body   Action Description with journal page number
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   12/3/2014  Senate  Prefiled
   12/3/2014  Senate  Referred to Committee on Agriculture and Natural 
                        Resources
   1/13/2015  Senate  Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 95)
   1/13/2015  Senate  Referred to Committee on Agriculture and Natural 
                        Resources (Senate Journal-page 95)
    2/5/2015          Scrivener's error corrected
   1/13/2016  Senate  Committee report: Favorable with amendment Agriculture 
                        and Natural Resources (Senate Journal-page 61)
   1/14/2016          Scrivener's error corrected
   1/20/2016  Senate  Committee Amendment Adopted (Senate Journal-page 15)
   1/21/2016          Scrivener's error corrected
   4/21/2016  Senate  Amended (Senate Journal-page 21)
   4/21/2016  Senate  Read second time (Senate Journal-page 21)
   4/21/2016  Senate  Roll call Ayes-39  Nays-0 (Senate Journal-page 21)
   4/22/2016          Scrivener's error corrected
   4/26/2016  Senate  Amended (Senate Journal-page 55)
   4/27/2016          Scrivener's error corrected
   4/27/2016  Senate  Read third time and sent to House 
                        (Senate Journal-page 33)
   4/28/2016  House   Introduced and read first time (House Journal-page 10)
   4/28/2016  House   Referred to Committee on Judiciary 
                        (House Journal-page 10)
   5/24/2016  House   Committee report: Favorable Judiciary 
                        (House Journal-page 13)
    6/1/2016  House   Read second time (House Journal-page 13)
    6/1/2016  House   Roll call Yeas-114  Nays-0 (House Journal-page 13)
    6/2/2016  House   Read third time and enrolled (House Journal-page 5)
    6/2/2016          Ratified R 211
    6/3/2016          Signed By Governor
    6/9/2016          Effective date See Act for Effective Date
    6/9/2016          Act No. 197

View the latest legislative information at the website

VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

12/3/2014
2/5/2015
1/13/2016
1/14/2016
1/20/2016
1/21/2016
4/21/2016
4/22/2016
4/26/2016
4/27/2016
5/24/2016


(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

NOTE: THIS IS A TEMPORARY VERSION. THIS DOCUMENT WILL REMAIN IN THIS VERSION UNTIL FINAL APPROVAL BY THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.

(A197, R211, S139)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 48-39-130, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PERMITS REQUIRED FOR COASTAL ZONE CRITICAL AREAS, SO AS TO ALLOW CERTAIN TECHNIQUES TO BE USED TO PROTECT BEACH AND DUNE CRITICAL AREAS WITHOUT APPLYING FOR A PERMIT WHILE ACTING UNDER AN EMERGENCY ORDER; TO AMEND SECTION 48-39-290, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO RESTRICTIONS ON CONSTRUCTION OR RECONSTRUCTION SEAWARD OF THE BASELINE, SO AS TO ALLOW FOR THE USE OF WOOD-LIKE MATERIAL FOR WALKWAYS AND SMALL WOODEN DECKS, TO NARROW THE EXCEPTION OF GOLF COURSES FROM PERMITTING REQUIREMENTS, TO EXPAND PERMITTING EXCEPTIONS TO SANDFENCING, REVEGETATION OF DUNES, MINOR BEACH RENOURISHMENT, AND DUNE CONSTRUCTION, TO ALLOW FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL TO ISSUE GENERAL PERMITS IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, AND TO ESTABLISH THAT THE DEPARTMENT'S PERMITTING COMMITTEE COASTAL DIVISION SHALL CONSIDER APPLICATIONS FOR SPECIAL PERMITS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 48-39-280, RELATING TO THE FORTY-YEAR RETREAT POLICY, SO AS TO PROHIBIT THE BASELINE FROM MOVING SEAWARD FROM THE POSITION DETERMINED ON DECEMBER 31, 2017, AND TO ELIMINATE THE RIGHT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND LANDOWNERS TO PETITION THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT TO MOVE THE BASELINE SEAWARD UPON COMPLETION OF A BEACH RENOURISHMENT PROJECT.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Techniques allowed to protect beach and dune critical areas under an emergency order

SECTION    1.    Section 48-39-130(D)(1) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(1)    The accomplishment of emergency orders of an appointed official of a county or municipality or of the State, acting to protect the public health and safety, upon notification to the department. However, with regard to the beach and dune critical area, the following techniques or a combination thereof, shall be used in accordance with guidelines provided by the department are allowed pursuant to this item:

(a)    sandbags, provided that a bond is supplied to reasonably estimate and cover the cost of removal;

(b)    sandscraping;

(c)    renourishment;

(d)    any other technology, methodology, or structure pursuant to Section 48-39-320(C), provided that:

(i)        the emergency order for use is only issued by the department; and

(ii)    a bond is supplied to reasonably estimate and cover the cost of removal; or

(e)    a combination of these techniques."

Exceptions on construction or reconstruction expanded

SECTION    2.    Section 48-39-290(A) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 25 of 2011, is further amended to read:

"(A)    No new construction or reconstruction is allowed seaward of the baseline except:

(1)    walkways no larger in width than six feet and constructed of wood or other department-approved wood-like material;

(2)    small wooden decks no larger than one hundred forty-four square feet and constructed of wood or other department-approved wood-like material;

(3)    fishing piers and associated amenity structures which are open to the public. Those fishing piers with their associated amenity structures including, but not limited to, baitshops, restrooms, restaurants, and arcades which existed September 21, 1989, may be rebuilt if they are constructed to the same dimensions and utilized for the same purposes and remain open to the public. In addition, those fishing piers with their associated amenity structures that existed on September 21, 1989, and that were privately owned, privately maintained, and not open to the public on that date also may be rebuilt and used for the same purposes if they are constructed to the same dimensions;

(4)    golf courses for repair and maintenance, and any action taken pursuant to Section 48-39-135;

(5)    normal landscaping, sandfencing, revegetation of dunes, minor beach renourishment, and dune construction;

(6)    structures specifically permitted by special permit as provided in subsection (D);

(7)    existing pools if they are landward of an existing, functional erosion control structure, or device;

(8)    existing groins, which may be reconstructed, repaired, and maintained. New groins may be allowed only on beaches that have high erosion rates with erosion threatening existing development or public parks. In addition to these requirements, new groins may be constructed, and existing groins may be reconstructed, only in furtherance of an ongoing beach renourishment effort which meets the criteria set forth in regulations promulgated by the department and in accordance with the following:

(a)    The applicant shall institute a monitoring program for the life of the project to measure beach profiles along the groin area and adjacent and downdrift beach areas sufficient to determine erosion/accretion rates. For the first five years of the project, the monitoring program must include, but is not necessarily limited to:

(i)        establishment of new monuments;

(ii)    determination of the annual volume and transport of sand; and

(iii)    annual aerial photographs.

Subsequent monitoring requirements must be based on results from the first five-year report.

(b)    Groins may be permitted only after thorough analysis demonstrates that the groin will not cause a detrimental effect on adjacent or downdrift areas. The applicant shall provide a financially binding commitment, such as a performance bond or letter of credit that is reasonably estimated to cover the cost of reconstructing or removing the groin and/or restoring the affected beach through renourishment pursuant to subitem (c).

(c)    If the monitoring program established pursuant to subitem (a) shows an increased erosion rate along adjacent or downdrift beaches that is attributable to a groin, the department shall require either that the groin be reconfigured so that the erosion rate on the affected beach does not exceed the preconstruction rate, that the groin be removed, and/or that the beach adversely affected by the groin be restored through renourishment.

(d)    Adjacent and downdrift communities and municipalities must be notified by the department of all applications for a groin project.

(e)    Nothing in this section shall be construed to create a private cause of action, but nothing in this section shall be construed to limit a cause of action under recognized common law or other statutory theories. The sole remedies, pursuant to this section, are:

(i)        the reconstruction or removal of a groin; and/or

(ii)    restoration of the adversely affected beach and adjacent real estate through renourishment pursuant to subitem (c), or both.

An adjacent or downdrift property owner who claims a groin has caused or is causing an adverse impact shall notify the department of the impact. The department shall render an initial determination within sixty days of such notification. Final agency action must be rendered within twelve months of notification. An aggrieved party may appeal the decision pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act.

A permit must be obtained from the department for items (2) through (8). However, no permit is required pursuant to this chapter for associated amenity structures constructed on fishing piers if local governmental bodies having responsibility for the planning and zoning authorize construction of those amenity structures. Associated amenity structures do not include those employed as overnight accommodations or those consisting of more than two stories above the pier decking. Associated amenity structures, excluding restrooms, handicapped access features, and observation decks, may occupy no more than thirty-five percent of the total surface area of the fishing pier or be constructed at a location further seaward than one-half of the length of the fishing pier as measured from the baseline. The department, in its discretion, may issue general permits for items (2) and (5) where issuance of the general permit would advance the implementation and accomplishment of the goals and purposes contained in Sections 48-39-250 through 48-39-360."

Baseline may not be moved seaward after December 31, 2017

SECTION    3.    Section 48-39-280 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 48-39-280.    (A)    A forty-year policy of retreat from the shoreline is established. The department must implement this policy and utilize the best available scientific and historical data in the implementation. The department must establish a baseline that parallels the shoreline for each standard erosion zone and each inlet erosion zone. Subject to Section 48-39-290(D), the baseline established pursuant to this section must not move seaward from its position on December 31, 2017.

(1)    The baseline for each standard erosion zone is established at the location of the crest of the primary oceanfront sand dune in that zone. In standard erosion zones in which the shoreline has been altered naturally or artificially by the construction of erosion control devices, groins, or other manmade alterations, the baseline must be established by the department using the best scientific and historical data, as where the crest of the primary oceanfront sand dunes for that zone would be located if the shoreline had not been altered.

(2)    The baseline for inlet erosion zones that are not stabilized by jetties, terminal groins, or other structures must be determined by the department as the most landward point of erosion at any time during the past forty years, unless the best available scientific and historical data of the inlet and adjacent beaches indicate that the shoreline is unlikely to return to its former position. In collecting and utilizing the best scientific and historical data available for the implementation of the retreat policy, the department, as part of the State Comprehensive Beach Management Plan provided for in this chapter, among other factors, must consider historical inlet migration, inlet stability, channel and ebb tidal delta changes, the effects of sediment bypassing on shorelines adjacent to the inlets, and the effects of nearby beach restoration projects on inlet sediment budgets.

(3)    The baseline within inlet erosion zones that are stabilized by jetties, terminal groins, or other structures must be determined in the same manner as provided for in item (1). However, the actual location of the crest of the primary oceanfront sand dunes of that erosion zone is the baseline of that zone, not the location if the inlet had remained unstabilized.

(B)    To implement the retreat policy provided for in subsection (A), a setback line must be established landward of the baseline a distance which is forty times the average annual erosion rate or not less than twenty feet from the baseline for each erosion zone based upon the best historical and scientific data adopted by the department as a part of the State Comprehensive Beach Management Plan.

(C)    The department, before July 3, 1991, must establish a final baseline and setback line for each erosion zone based on the best available scientific and historical data as provided in subsection (B) and with consideration of public input. The baseline and setback line must not be revised before July 1, 1998, nor later than July 1, 2000. After that revision, the baseline and setback line must be revised not less than every seven years but not more than every ten years after each preceding revision. The department shall establish the baseline and setback line for all locations where the baseline and setback line were established on or before January 31, 2012. Nothing in this section allows the seaward movement of the baseline after December 31, 2017. In the establishment and revision of the baseline and setback line, the department must transmit and otherwise make readily available to the public all information upon which its decisions are based for the establishment of the final baseline and setback line. The department must hold one public hearing before establishing the final baseline and setback lines. Until the department establishes new baselines and setback lines, the existing baselines and setback lines must be used. The department may stagger the revision of the baselines and setback lines of the erosion zones so long as every zone is revised in accordance with the time guidelines established in this section.

(D)    In order to locate the baseline and the setback line, the department must establish monumented and controlled survey points in each county fronting the Atlantic Ocean. The department must acquire sufficient surveyed topographical information on which to locate the baseline. Surveyed topographical data typically must be gathered at two thousand foot intervals. However, in areas subject to significant near-term development and in areas currently developed, the interval, at the discretion of the department, may be more frequent. The resulting surveys must locate the crest of the primary oceanfront sand dunes to be used as the baseline for computing the forty-year erosion rate. In cases where no primary oceanfront sand dunes exist, a study conducted by the department is required to determine where the upland location of the crest of the primary oceanfront sand dune would be located if the shoreline had not been altered. The department, by regulation, may exempt specifically described portions of the coastline from the survey requirements of this section when, in its judgment, the portions of coastline are not subject to erosion or are not likely to be developed by virtue of local, state, or federal programs in effect on the coastline which would preclude significant development, or both.

(E)    A landowner claiming ownership of property affected who feels that the final or revised setback line, baseline, or erosion rate as adopted is in error, upon submittal of substantiating evidence, must be granted a review of the setback line, baseline, or erosion rate, or a review of all three. The requests must be forwarded to the department board in accordance with Section 44-1-60, and the final decision of the board may be appealed to the Administrative Law Court, as provided in Chapter 23 of Title 1."

Permitting Committee Coastal Division, special permit applications

SECTION    4.    Section 48-39-290(D)(2) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(2)    The department's Permitting Committee Coastal Division shall consider applications for special permits."

Time effective

SECTION    5.    This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor; however, Section 48-39-130, as amended, remains subject to the repeal provision pursuant to Section 5, Act 41 of 2011.

Ratified the 2nd day of June, 2016.

Approved the 3rd day of June, 2016.

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This web page was last updated on June 23, 2016 at 10:29 AM