Coastal Observer


Land use: Judge says zoning code doesn’t require update with comprehensive plan

Georgetown County is not required to change its zoning ordinance to mirror its comprehensive plan, a Circuit Court judge said in a ruling this week. Judge Kristi Curtis last month dismissed a suit by...
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Land use: Council looks at ban on storage facilities along Highway 17

Tougher standards for storage facilities along Highway 17 on the Waccamaw Neck failed to gain approval from Georgetown County Council this week. Instead, council members want to consider prohibiting the structures. The county planning...
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Pawleys Island: Town rolls out new type of walkway

It took just 30 minutes to install a plastic mat over the dune at the First Street beach access on Pawleys Island. It replaced a wooden walkway that was destroyed by Hurricane Ian nearly...
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Pawleys Island: Rising waters at the forefront in town meeting

The top prize in the door prize drawing that wraps up the Pawleys Island Civic Association’s annual meeting is always a kayak. This year, the winner could have paddled home. A series of high...
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Passages: Singer-songwriter recalls ‘my only boss’ – Jimmy Buffett

Marshall Chapman was playing at 12th and Porter, a club in Nashville. Jimmy Buffett and the songwriter Will Jennings were sitting in the front row. “They got up and left in the middle of...
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Safety: School threats bring call for more action

As the number of reports of threats at schools grows, one Georgetown County School Board member is demanding action to keep students safe. “You can’t put a value on a child’s life,” Board Member...
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Land use: Updating a plan, rebuilding trust

In creating a new land use plan for Georgetown County, consultants also hope to rebuild trust between citizens and officials after a series of contentious land use decisions that have spawned four lawsuits. “It’s...
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Land use: Forum provides talking points for new bid to update comp plan

Lauren Kelly is a study in contrasts. Her two favorite places are Rome and Jackson Hole, Wyo.; one shaped by buildings, the other shaped by glaciers. One dense, one sparse. “They both have something...
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Murrells Inlet: Water rescue team essential in community surrounded by water

Two visitors to the Waccamaw Neck’s beaches lost their lives in June trying to help swimmers in distress. Unfortunately, it’s something firefighters see all the time. “If you’re not trained to perform the rescue...
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Roads: Waccamaw River bridge will get new supports

George Chastain knows what happens when accidents block the Highway 17 bridges leading into Georgetown. He knows what to expect when traffic over the Waccamaw River bridge is reduced to one lane in each...
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Hurricanes: Between Ian and Idalia, resilience plans take shape

Georgetown County delayed replacing three walkways at Litchfield Beach destroyed by Hurricane Ian 10 months ago because there was no place for the contractor to stage equipment during the summer tourist season. So those...
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Tourism: Flaw in city’s code leaves vacation rentals out in the cold

You can book a night in a home in Georgetown’s historic district or a loft on the waterfront, but unless the owner is living there the short-term vacation rental isn’t legal. “They’re not legal...
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Environment: Water district weighs costs and claims in ‘forever chemical’ suit

It will cost at least $28 million to remove contaminants known as “forever chemicals” from the drinking water provided by the Georgetown County Water and Sewer District. The utility must decide in the next...
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Observer staff wins 17 press awards

Coastal Observer staff received 17 awards for excellence in reporting, photography and design from the S.C. Press Association, including eight first-place awards. The awards were presented last week in Columbia, where Charles Swenson, Coastal...
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Georgetown County Board of Education: First and third Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Beck Education Center. For details, go to Georgetown County Council: Second and fourth Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Council Chambers, 129 Screven St., Georgetown. For details, go to Pawleys Island Town Council: Second Mondays, 5 p.m. Town Hall, 323 Myrtle Ave. For details, go to   , .