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Build a castle in the sand, pay a fine out the butt

After an Isle of Palms (near Charleston, SC) patrol officer twisted his ankle on the beach one night, the morons on City Council set to work to regulate the villainous children who dig sand on the beach, leaving holes. Jessica Johnson reports for The Post and Courier:

Building in the sand is free, but beach lovers who leave their castles behind could soon pay the price.

Under a new proposal, beachcombers could get a $128 to $500 ticket for not flattening sand castles and not filling in holes when they're through. City leaders intend to discuss the proposal more in the next month.

* * * * *

Police and Mayor Mike Sottile said enforcement would be nearly impossible. They would have to watch the creation from start to finish and then catch its sculptors as they walk away.

Isle of Palms City Councilman Ryan Buckhannon, who sits on the public safety committee that formulated the law's first draft, said the provision is part of a bigger proposal aimed at stopping droves of tourists from leaving items and large holes behind.

"It's a disposable world now," he said.

Tourists often abandon their tents, coolers and surfboards for others to enjoy. The proposed law would require people to pick up after themselves and knock over sand castles before leaving the area.

Read the entire story at the link above. Naturally, the enforcement would be just as difficult for "tents, coolers and surfboards" as it would for sand castles and holes. As one commenter noted, what about those pesky sea turtles? They sneak onto the beach, dig holes, and leave their soft eggs covered up like a trap for the unwary beach patrols - should we fine the turtles, too?

OR, as another noted, maybe the night beach patrol officers could carry flashlights so they don't walk into holes - you know, sort of like a normal human being who must navigate uneven terrain in the dark?

Isle of Palms beachfront homeowners are notorious for fighting against public access, while simultaneously demanding millions in public funding for "beach renourishment" to replenish the sand which the anti-environment Atlantic Ocean takes away without regard to local ordinance. Next time they show up at the state legislature with their hands out, I hope they are told to "go pound sand."

Thanks to readers Kris Franzen of South Carolina and Doug Ridley of New York, who both tipped me to this story.


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Comments (23)

Not sure about US law but .... (Below threshold)

Not sure about US law but ... wouldn't the sand, being below the high tide line, be federal property and therefore outside the city's jurisdiction?

IANAL, be gentle.

Most of the beach is above ... (Below threshold)

Most of the beach is above the high water mark. Sand castles built below that, at low tide, will be taken care of naturally when the tide comes back in.

I'm just curious, Is wizban... (Below threshold)

I'm just curious, Is wizbang going to write any articles about the standoff in Basra?

This story was so skewed fo... (Below threshold)
Bev Ballow Isle of Palms SC:

This story was so skewed for whatever reasons..
The ordinance is a addition to the curent trash laws, and is intended to correct the leavings of tents, chairs and other abandoned debris on the beach. No, the tides do NOT correct the huge holes people dig with shovels. What is so astonishing about the idea of leaving a beach, like the woods and other public property the way you found it. Pristine for others to enjoy. No one wants to stop sandcastle building etc., just protect our endangered sea turtles nesting, as well as people!

It is being discussed elsew... (Below threshold)

It is being discussed elsewhere. I would check out Michael Yon's stuff. Unlike you he is over there,

If the nut who wrote the or... (Below threshold)

If the nut who wrote the ordance lived in my neighborhood there would be a lot of finger pointing and laughing.

What about the "morons" at ... (Below threshold)

What about the "morons" at the Post & Courier who were told that the regulations revolved around the amount of debris that was left on the beach from vacationing beach goers and excessively large holes which prevented automotive patrol of the beach and emergency rescue on the beach and had nothing to do with sand castles. The only response from the reporter was "my editor really justs wanted to make fun of the Isle of Palms". Controversy will sell more papers then fact. Is this true reporting? This is not the first time that this reporter has pulled something like this. It's too bad that some people are just Sheep and follow what they are told by the P&C and do not take the time to find out the truth for themselves.

#3 ttyl, aka post hijacker,... (Below threshold)

#3 ttyl, aka post hijacker, as david suggested, go here:


Now, back to the sandcastles. It's actually the massive moats surrounding the sancastle that break the ankles. A flashlight or a bright moon solves the problem. It's amazing this sort of complaint comes from a local. It's usually the tourists who wander out without a flashlight.

I twisted my ankle on a san... (Below threshold)

I twisted my ankle on a sand moat. Tottaly my fault. When you play ultimate Frisbie you need to survay the playing ground

"It is being discussed else... (Below threshold)

"It is being discussed elsewhere. I would check out Michael Yon's stuff. Unlike you he is over there,"

Why the hostility? I'm actually just interested in other perspectives on things, and I assume you are not over there as well.

Where do I find Michael Yon's stuff? I suppose I can just google but if you have a link it is appreciated.

"3 ttyl, aka post hijacker,... (Below threshold)

"3 ttyl, aka post hijacker, as david suggested, go here:"

Look shithead. I'm not interested in jacking your discusiion I could care a less about it. Not am I interested in having a discusiion on Basra with you. You are clearly a moron. My question which was polite, is whether or not wizbang is going to write any articles about Basra. I ask because I'm curious about what they have to say on the issue. That's all, there was no hidden criticisms of this site in what i wrote. I am genuinely interested in whether they are planning any articles on the subject. I assume they would have a different take on the subject and I do enjoy reading multiple opinions.

Anyway, Please get back to what ever it is you are writing about and don't talk to me again. I'll follow the link and read what the article says. I'm not interested in wasting any more of my time with an idiot such as yourself.

ttylYou might want... (Below threshold)


You might want to bookmark this

And your next quest into rudeness will
cause you a great deal of discomfort
in attempting to post, especially after
hijacking a thread.
Try OT-ing next time.

ttylLook at the to... (Below threshold)


Look at the top right hand side of the blog:

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Search this site:

I'm so, so sorry you took offense at my comment. I mistook your off topic question for troll speak. Maybe the editors will take you up on the suggestion. Best of luck.

If the "huge holes" are NOT... (Below threshold)

If the "huge holes" are NOT for sand castles (and my granddaughters only used a garden trowel, I promise), then what is their purpose, and who is digging them?

I stand by my position that a hole below the high tide mark, of almost any size, will fill back in with the tide. Of course, this doesn't help you if you stumble into it before the tide comes back . . .

Concerning "stuff" left behind, the question of enforcement comes in again. Are you going hire enough officers to watch everybody? And if you do catch someone packing up their car with some stuff left on the beach, how do you prove they didn't intend to go back and get it?

It would seem simpler and cheaper to hire someone to clean up the beach, or use the people serving "public service" sentences to do it. And, if shovels are the problem, why not just ban any shovel over 18" long? That leaves the kids alone, but prevents big holes from being dug in the first place.

I apologize as well. thanks... (Below threshold)

I apologize as well. thanks for the link.

We go to the Isle of Palms ... (Below threshold)

We go to the Isle of Palms near the pier every year. I will have to be sure our grandson re-fills his diggings. What a croc! Will the turtles be fined when they dig their holes?

JimMy experience is ... (Below threshold)

My experience is limited to HHI. I've seen tourists dig huge holes above the traditional high water mark (and,gasp!, I have done the same with my kids), however, I don't know if what I'm calling the traditional high water mark(that point at the bottom of the dune) is in the proposed law.

I'm taking a light hearted approach here. I frequent the SC beaches often and have seen holes large enough to break an axle. My point is that flash lights, headlights or a full moon would eliminate the need for such laws. And if locals are complaining (I used to be one) they have no excuse. The tourons (as we called them) pay for much of the local govt budget.

Chief RZ Good poin... (Below threshold)

Chief RZ

Good point. But don't mess with the turtles.

No one, and I mean no one, can touch the turtles.

Ironically, I think we were all supposed to turn our lights off at 8PM tonight to honor Earth Hour. Whoops, I forgot. Basketball game on. But if I were in a beach front home during turtle nesting season, there would be a large fine for having lights on.

Will the turtles be fined when they dig their holes?

Of course not! We should fine the raccoons that eat most of the eggs anyway. If not them, let's fine the crabs :)

ttyl, I write about things ... (Below threshold)

ttyl, I write about things that meet certain criteria: 1) I find them interesting; B) I think I can convey that interest to the audience; and III) I have something original to contribute. The fighting hasn't triggered all three things for me.

But if you're curious, Dafydd ab Hugh has a rather interesting take on the situation...


Ab Hugh's got an excellent ... (Below threshold)

Ab Hugh's got an excellent point there Jay Tea.

Hugh ~ My fault for introdu... (Below threshold)

Hugh ~ My fault for introducing two similar terms with dissimilar meanings. The dunes would indeed be above the "traditional high water mark" determining jurisdiction, although I believe virtually all dunes on the east coast are under protection. I understood the problem to be huge holes on the beach, and remarked that holes dug below the high tide mark (which changes regularly, of course) while the tide was out, would be filled in when it comes in.

Perhaps the IOP Council has some numbers for us? HOW MANY "tents, coolers, lawn chairs" & etc. are left during a typical week, in-season?

I'm trying to contact the P&C to see if the reporter indeed said her "editor just wants to make fun of the IOP" or not, as alleged. Lord knows, they offer lots to ridicule.

You people have way too muc... (Below threshold)
Nob City:

You people have way too much time on your hands.

How often do you see a Poli... (Below threshold)

How often do you see a Police Official Walking the Beach, I go to Isle of Palm and Sullivan Island and never see them walking, They are usually sitting in the patrol cars. Most likely they might ride a 4 wheeler and at excessive speed. Maybe the Town Council should slow the 4 Wheeler down to 15 mph. Maybe the hole was from a Dog D O DO dump that he fell in.






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