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AC Repair in Sullivan's Island, SC

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South Carolina is one of the most beautiful places in the United States to call home. However, our local weather can be extreme - high temps and thick humidity in the summer and chilly winter weather during cold months. As a local HVAC company in Sullivan's Island, SC, we know how crucial it is to have a quality HVAC system in your home and experienced technicians to keep it working correctly.

With more than 35 years of serving the Lowcountry, we are proud to be an active part of our local community. As your neighbors, we are here for all of your HVAC needs, whether you need a new AC unit installed this summer or a heat pump replacement this winter. With a reliable team of NATE-certified technicians and decades of experience in our industry, no HVAC project is too big or small for us to handle.

We offer highly competitive pricing and convenient financing options for all of our clients. At the end of the day, our goal is to make it easy and affordable to live comfortably in your home all year long. We are committed to hard work, honesty, and integrity with every service we offer. If you aren't 100% satisfied with our work, we'll do our part to make it right.

Service Areas

Here are just a few of the reasons why homeowners and business owners in South Carolina trust Action Heating & Air Conditioning:

  • We have been serving clients in South Carolina since 1983 - before many of our clients were even born!
  • We provide a wide range of HVAC services for both heating and air conditioning.
  • We are committed to giving our clients the highest quality products and services at affordable prices.
  • As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we have the best HVAC units available.
  • We are members of the South Carolina Association of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors.
  • We are members of our local Chamber of Commerce and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

If you need a trusted AC repair company in Sullivan's Island, know that our team is geared up and ready to help you today. While you browse our website, have a look at just a few of our specialties here at Action Heating & Air Conditioning:

Air Conditioning Repair in Sullivan's Island, SC

Summers in the Lowcountry are hot, humid, and sticky. After a long day at the beach or downtown with your friends, nothing feels better than kicking back on the sofa while your air conditioning cools you off. On the other hand, nothing feels worse than walking into your home and feeling warm, stale air hit your face. Those who know, know - having your AC go out during a South Carolina summer is no joke. With time, a relatively minor inconvenience can turn into a real health problem.

In situations like these, something has probably gone wrong with your HVAC system. If your AC has stopped working in the middle of summer, it's time to call Action Heating & Air Conditioning right away. Our team of certified HVAC professionals has years of experience repairing and servicing AC equipment. It doesn't matter how old your unit is or what brand you bought - we have the skills to get your home comfort system up and running in no time.

Heating And Air Conditioning Sullivan's Island, SC
Here are just a few of the AC issues that our talented team can help solve for you:
 Heating And Air Conditioning Services Sullivan's Island, SC

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Over time, condensation builds up in your AC equipment because of its cooling process. This accumulated byproduct must be drained regularly, or the increased amounts of moisture can damage your air conditioner's components.

 AC Repair Services Sullivan's Island, SC

Air Conditioning Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is the substance responsible for keeping your home nice and cool in the summer. When refrigerant levels drop due to a leak, it will affect your AC equipment's ability to cool your home. If your HVAC unit isn't blowing cold air, this could be a reason why.

 HVAC Repair Services Sullivan's Island, SC

Heater Keeps Running

This is a common AC issue in South Carolina and the U.S. in general. Sometimes this problem is fixed by switching your thermostat to "auto." If that doesn't work, you may have a broken thermostat or a wiring issue that needs to be addressed quickly.

 Air Conditioning Sullivan's Island, SC

Burning Odors

It's normal for your heater to produce a slight burning smell if it hasn't been used in a while. However, if you are experiencing a persistent burning smell during the summer months when your air conditioning is on, it could be a serious problem. Turn off your HVAC system immediately and call our office as soon as possible so that we may send out a technician to diagnose your problem.

 AC Repair Sullivan's Island, SC

Broken Air Conditioning Compressor Fan

This fan plays an important role in your AC unit's heat transfer process. When your air conditioning fan breaks, your AC equipment won't be able to cool your home off in the summer when it's needed the most.

Our Special Offers

One of our goals as a company is to provide HVAC repair services at fair and competitive prices. In addition, we want you to feel confident about investing in high-quality heating and cooling systems without having to worry a lot about the costs. We make sure to provide honest and accurate quotes and we offer a variety of financing options. We want you to get the best bang for your buck, so here are some special offers.

See Our Offer

If you are experiencing any of the problems above, be sure to hire a professional contractor to fix your issues. For your safety, don't ever try to make HVAC repairs on your own unless you are trained. When the time come to have your air conditioning system repaired, our team of licensed AC technicians will handle all of the hard work on your behalf. That way, you can stay safe and have peace of mind knowing you're in good hands.

Air Conditioning Install in Sullivan's Island, SC

Your HVAC system works hard all year long. If you have gone years without much maintenance or AC repair, you probably bought a great HVAC unit. However, with constant use and even normal wear and tear, even the highest-quality HVAC systems are prone to malfunctions. Eventually, it will need to be replaced.

If you need an energy-efficient, reliable cooling system for your home or business, you have come to the right place. We have decades of experience installing new AC systems for our clients and can handle any installation project you have. As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we have the most top-rated AC systems available in South Carolina.

At Action Heating & Air Conditioning, we know that buying a new air conditioner and installing it can be a huge source of stress. But when you work with us, it doesn't have to be that way. We have made it our mission to make the AC installation process easy and efficient for our customers. That way, they can focus more on living life and enjoying their home while we work hard on their AC install in Sullivan's Island.

Whether you plan to replace a faulty air conditioning system or need a Carrier unit for your new construction home, we have got you covered. We will work with you directly to find the best fit for your home and budget. We are also happy to answer all of your AC installation questions prior to and during your initial service appointment.

 Heater Repair Services Sullivan's Island, SC

Common Signs That You Need a New AC Install in Sullivan's Island, SC

Trying to figure out whether your air conditioner needs to be repaired or replaced can be a tricky decision to make. Most people have a hard time letting things go, and that includes AC units. It can be hard to know when to let go of the old and welcome in the new. To help save you time and make your decision a little easier, keep the following signs in mind. If you find yourself saying, "that sounds like my AC unit," it might be time for a new air conditioning installation.

 HVAC Repair Sullivan's Island, SC

Strange Noises

Almost all air conditioners make a bit of low-level noise as they warm up and turn off. However, if you hear loud, unusual noises, it might be a sign that your air conditioner's time is coming to an end. Buzzing and rattling noises are often indicators of a loose part. Grinding and whistling noises may mean something more serious is happening. Because these issues won't dissipate over time, it's crucial to have your air conditioner examined if you hear loud, strange noises.

Frequent Repairs

Sullivan's Island AC repair is essential for keeping your air conditioner working efficiently. Sometimes, however, it makes more sense from a cost perspective to install a replacement system. This is especially true if your repairs are racking up. Some AC experts suggest using the "$5,000 rule" if you're considering a new AC install. Simply multiply the age of your air conditioner by the costs you have been paying to repair your unit. If that amount is over $5,000, it may make more financial sense to install a new air conditioner rather than pay for expensive repairs throughout the year.

Higher Energy Bills

If you notice that your energy bill has significantly increased in price, it could be a sign that your HVAC unit is struggling to cool your home effectively. Try to be mindful of your air conditioner's cooling cycles. If you notice frequent cycles, even in the summer, it could be the reason for your increased energy bill. In these cases, it's best to have an expert test your system to see if a repair or replacement option is best for your family.

Age of Air Conditioning Unit

This sign is a no-brainer and one of the easiest ways to tell if you need to install a new AC system. On average, your HVAC unit will have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. If your unit is more than ten years old and doesn't have the "pizzaz" that it once had, it might be time to think about installing a new air conditioning unit.

R-22 Refrigerant

Old air conditioners usually require a type of refrigerant called R-22. This substance is very harmful to the environment and has been all but outlawed on newer HVAC systems. If your AC unit is old enough to require R-22, you should give serious thought to replacing your system with a newer, environmentally friendly solution.

Call Action Heating & Air Conditioning Today!

Over our 35+ year history, we have built our reputation on honesty, skilled workmanship, and reasonable pricing. If you are on the hunt for the highest quality air conditioning repair in Sullivan's Island, SC, give our office a call today.

Call us at 843-890-0532

Protecting Your Investment

Your air conditioning system works very hard every day, all year long to keep your home comfy and cool. Machines that work hard year-round are going to require maintenance and ongoing services to stay operational.

As a family-owned and operated HVAC company in Sullivan's Island, SC, we know better than anyone how expensive it can be to maintain an AC unit. We know that money doesn't grow on trees. We also understand that finding last-minute resources to fix an air conditioning system can be challenging. That is why we offer extended warranties for your new or existing AC equipment. With an extended warranty from Action Heating & Air Conditioning, you benefit from repairs, replacement, and additional services covered under warranty. That way, you can enjoy your HVAC products as long as possible.

 Heating And AC Services Sullivan's Island, SC
If you're having second thoughts about purchasing an extended warranty, consider these points:
  • Generally speaking, HVAC equipment lasts anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, warranties provided by the factory will often expire before the service life of your cooling unit is over. With an extended warranty, your indoor comfort system is covered even if the factory warranty expires.
  • Having an extended warranty on your AC system gives you the chance to project and plan for any HVAC costs. This helps you balance your budget and anticipate expenses so you aren't caught off guard. Having a warranty will also help protect your budget against increases in labor and parts costs due to inflation.
  • If you're thinking of selling your home, having an extended warranty may help raise your home's value. You may also be able to transfer your extended warranty to your new home if you choose to do so.

Latest News in Sullivan's Island, SC

10 Islands off of South Carolina That are a Must-See

The beach is the main attraction for any tourist headed to South Carolina. While many beautiful islands off the coast are also popular spots, others remain more hidden gems. Whether you want to brave the sands and waters or enjoy a day full of shopping, food, and sightseeing, these islands have something for everyone.10. Goat IslandGoat Island is a small, uninhabited island off the coast of South Carolina. Thi...

The beach is the main attraction for any tourist headed to South Carolina. While many beautiful islands off the coast are also popular spots, others remain more hidden gems. Whether you want to brave the sands and waters or enjoy a day full of shopping, food, and sightseeing, these islands have something for everyone.

10. Goat Island

Goat Island is a small, uninhabited island off the coast of South Carolina. This tiny oasis features sandy beaches, grassy hills, and a variety of wildlife. Visitors to Goat Island can enjoy kayaking, fishing, hiking, and more. There is also a lighthouse that is open for tours just off the coast. The island got its name Goat Island because a local celebrity known as Bubba Love and his friends brings a few goats every summer and leave them there.

9. Isle of Palms

Isle of Palms is known for its amazing beaches and golf courses. The island is also great for fishing, boating, and windsurfing. You can find plenty of restaurants and bars on the island as well. Isle of Palms is a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. One of the great things about this island is that they offer beach wheelchairs for free. So if you are disabled or you have a disabled loved one who needs to go to the beach, you can take them without any stress.

8. Sullivan’s Island

Often called “the jewel of the Lowcountry,” Sullivan’s Island is a beautiful place to visit, with plenty of activities to keep visitors busy. From swimming and surfing to kayaking, fishing, boating, and even horseback riding, there’s something for everyone in your family to do. If you’re looking for more than just a beach vacation, you’ll find plenty to do on this beautiful island. From taking in the history at Fort Moultrie and the lighthouse to enjoying several charming downtown shops and restaurants, any visit to Sullivan’s Island is an experience you won’t forget.

7. Folly Beach

Folly Beach is one of the islands that is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. This beach is located in the Charleston area and is a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The beach is also home to various shops and restaurants, making it an ideal place to spend the day. Folly Beach is well-known for its diverse landscape, with large dunes and flat areas perfect for sunbathing. The beach is also a great place to go fishing, as there are various fish that can be caught in the ocean waters. Other available activities include surfing, swimming, and kiteboarding.

6. Dewees Island

Dewees Island is a small, private island located just north of Charleston. This barrier island is only accessible by ferry and is 11 miles north of Charleston. According to Wikipedia, the island has an area of 1.875 square miles, which means that you can explore the whole island in just a day. The island has a lot of history to learn as it is home to civil war blockades, revolutionary war soldiers, and Indians. Visit the island today and have lots of fun while learning the history of the natives.

5. Deveaux Bank

Deveaux Bank is home to one of the most important bird rookeries in the country. The island is also a horseshoe-shaped barrier island that provides a great place to relax and enjoy the incredible views. Deveaux Bank is special because it is only accessible by boat. The island of Deveaux Bank has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. It was once home to a thriving community of oystermen and their families. The island was once called the “Oyster Capital of the World.” Today, Deveaux Bank is a beautiful island that has maintained its natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy exploring the island by kayaking or paddleboarding, or they can relax on the beach.

4. Fripp Island

Fripp Island is one of the most beautiful and luxurious islands. This 6.546 sq mi barrier island is filled with vacation homes, resorts, and a golf course. There are plenty of activities on the island for visitors to keep themselves busy such as biking, fishing, golfing, and swimming. The beaches on Fripp Island are also some of the best in the area and are perfect for a relaxing day of sunbathing. Whether you are looking for a relaxing day or an action-packed vacation, Fripp Island is the perfect place to visit.

3. Daufuskie Island

Number three on our list is Daufuskie Island. This island is only accessible by ferry and is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Once you are on the island, you can explore the many art galleries, take a nature walk, or relax on the beach. There are also several restaurants on the island, so you can enjoy a good meal while enjoying the quiet atmosphere of Daufuskie Island.

2. Edisto Island

Number two on the list is Edisto Island. Named after the Guale Indian word for “black water,” Edisto is a Lowcountry gem. With tens of miles of beach to explore, there’s plenty of room for fun in the sun. Along with miles of unspoiled beaches, there are also plenty of trails to wander and activities like kayaking to enjoy. Other notable attractions include the Edisto Memorial Gardens, the Historic Edisto Village, and the Edisto Island Serpentarium. According to the island website, the island also has emergency services. It does not mean they intend to get hurt, but if you need them, they are readily available.

1. Kiawah Island

Kiawah is a world-renowned island resort destination that is only a half-hour away from the city of Charleston. It has beautiful scenery, white sand beaches, and plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy. Some popular attractions on the island include its many golf courses, pristine water parks, and wildlife sanctuaries. Visitors can also enjoy kayaking, fishing, and biking on the many islands’ many trails.

Conclusion

South Carolina is known for its beautiful beaches and fascinating history. This list of the top ten must-see islands in South Carolina includes some great places that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Whether you are looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an action-packed adventure, South Carolina has the perfect island destination for you.

Bids for Dominion’s Sand Dunes Club on Sullivan’s came in $2.8M below prior offer

Dominion Energy hoped to sell the beachfront Sand Dunes Club on Sullivan’s Island for $19 million to a company owned by Ben Navarro, but now plans to sell it for much less — $16.2 million — to the former owner of Money Man Pawn.The $19 million offer from SDC Island Resident Club LLC, a subsidiary of Navarro’s Beemok Capital, evaporated after the state Public Service Commission ordered the utility to seek bids for the property.Dominion received three bids for the 3.5-acre space and ...

Dominion Energy hoped to sell the beachfront Sand Dunes Club on Sullivan’s Island for $19 million to a company owned by Ben Navarro, but now plans to sell it for much less — $16.2 million — to the former owner of Money Man Pawn.

The $19 million offer from SDC Island Resident Club LLC, a subsidiary of Navarro’s Beemok Capital, evaporated after the state Public Service Commission ordered the utility to seek bids for the property.

Dominion received three bids for the 3.5-acre space and has asked the Public Service Commission to approve the highest one, the $16.2 million offer.

“Although Dominion Energy would have preferred to sell the property to SDC Island Resident Club LLC for $19 million, that option no longer exists, and the company has concluded that $16.2 million is a fair price for the Sand Dunes Property,” Rhonda O’Banion, media relations manager for Dominion, said April 18.

The PSC order was meant to ensure that utility ratepayers’ interests were being served by seeking the highest price for the property, but appears to have cost them $2.8 million instead.

PSC spokesman Rob Bockman said the commission can’t talk about pending cases under rules of judicial conduct.

Dominion has said in filings to the commission that the sale of the property would not change the utility’s rates or pricing.

Prior to the PSC order in February, Navarro’s company was widely expected to buy the property, partly because Sullivan’s Island signed an agreement with Beemok more than a year ago outlining how the 3.5 acres and historic club could be used.

“While Beemok decided to not take part in the public bid process to acquire the Sand Dunes Club, we are hopeful that the process results in a positive outcome for the Sullivan’s Island community at large,” said Chris Allen, a spokesperson for Beemok Capital.

The company rebuffed questions about why it lost interest after previously offering what would have been by far the highest bid.

The top bid of $16.2 million came from John Derbyshire on behalf of a company called JLLM LLC. In South Carolina, limited liability companies (LLCs) are often created for real estate deals.

“We are hopeful that the property transaction will receive all necessary approvals, and we can move forward in the best interest of our customers and the communities we serve,” said O’Banion.

Derbyshire declined to comment. He’s a former owner of Money Man Pawn, a large chain of pawn shops known for their eye-catching yellow-and-green paint scheme, which was sold for $30 million in 2013.

Derbyshire is also known for accumulating extensive property holdings through foreclosure sales, and for buying local restaurant properties. In 2020, one of his affiliates bought Shem Creek Bar & Grill for $4.9 million, and at the time he owned properties that housed restaurants on Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms.

The Sand Dunes Club plan laid out in the memorandum between Beemok and Sullivan’s Island called for using the power company’s facility as a membership club for island residents.

The agreement detailing how the property could be used applies regardless of the owner, according to the town. It’s actually five adjoining properties, and houses could potentially be built on four of them.

The Sand Dunes Club building is protected as an historic structure and could not be demolished without the town’s permission.

The beachfront venue was once part of Fort Moultrie. In the 1950s, South Carolina Electric & Gas bought the property from the federal government for $27,000 as properties associated with the fort were being sold.

With a large clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and direct beach access, it was used for decades as a corporate retreat, by island residents, and rented out for events and meetings. Dominion Energy acquired the property when it bought SCE&G.

Sullivan’s Fish Camp Set To Open This Month

Staff Report for Island Eye NewsThe team behind Charleston-based hospitality group, Basic Projects, has announced the official opening of Sullivan’s Fish Camp, opening this month at 2019 Middle Street on Sullivan’s Island. Designed to feel like an old-school fish camp, Sullivan’s is a casual and family-friendly neighborhood spot serving dayboat seafood, cold drinks and frozen cocktails. Influenced by its seaside location, Sullivan’s presents a bright, contemporary take on the traditional Southern fish camp, off...

Staff Report for Island Eye News

The team behind Charleston-based hospitality group, Basic Projects, has announced the official opening of Sullivan’s Fish Camp, opening this month at 2019 Middle Street on Sullivan’s Island. Designed to feel like an old-school fish camp, Sullivan’s is a casual and family-friendly neighborhood spot serving dayboat seafood, cold drinks and frozen cocktails. Influenced by its seaside location, Sullivan’s presents a bright, contemporary take on the traditional Southern fish camp, offering a fresh perspective grounded in nostalgia and rooted in highquality offerings and local ingredients. The Sullivan’s team is made up of familiar faces including Owners/Operators Ben and Kate Towill; GM Jonathan Bentley, who worked for many years at neighboring restaurant The Obstinate Daughter; Executive Chef Davis Hood; and Bar Manager Jordan Moton. Sullivan’s is the third concept from Basic Projects, who also own and operate Basic Kitchen in Charleston and Post House Inn in Mount Pleasant. The team lovingly restored the iconic Sullivan’s Seafood Restaurant, a family-run institution that was known for its shrimp and grits, homemade Key Lime pie and small beach town feel for over 30 years. The original Sullivan’s opened in 1988, just before Hurricane Hugo hit and nearly destroyed the restaurant. Owners Sammy Rhodes and Donna Rhodes Hiott rebuilt, and Sullivan’s became a tradition for island visitors and locals alike for a quarter century.

Basic Projects hopes to bring this treasured institution forward into the next 30 years, preserving the elements that endeared it to the community while introducing a fresh take on the neighborhood landmark.

Having grown up on IOP, jumping off jetties and finding any bit of surf, Chef Hood has developed a menu true to his history and personality – playful, perfect for the beach and inspired by Southern ingredients. With a focus on local fisherman and farmers, Chef Hood’s menu is filled with fresh and playful iterations of the Fish Camp classics, balancing fried seafood baskets, with bright crudos, daily oysters, First Jetty seafood towers, and perfected lobster rolls. Fittingly, the dessert menu features soft serve with extra sprinkles, a beach town delicacy.

A seaside restaurant wouldn’t be complete without a long list of cold drinks and Sullivan’s cocktail program delivers with a variety of classic and modern drinks. Moton takes notes from the 70’s tiki craze with MaiTais and Daiquiris, a Frozen Paloma on tap, cold beer and a full wine list. Highlights include the “Banana Hammock” with whisky, coconut, banana and bitters, and the “Big Gulp,” a large format cocktail served in a glass blown fish bottle.

Continuing with the seaside summer holiday theme, a merch shack at the front of the restaurant is well stocked with beachy totes, iconic tees and hats, along with bottle openers and boat float keychains. The design direction of Sullivan’s speaks to its core identity as a Fish Camp brought forward into the next thirty years. Kate Towill, founder and creative director of Basic Projects, designed the restaurant and worked with several local artists and tradesmen to create a space that is rooted in Sullivan’s Island and South Carolina. Island resident and local artist Mickey Williams created an old English pub sign for the restaurant exterior, and Duane Raver, the legendary artist of the original SCDNR fishing charts, loaned Sullivan’s his illustrations for their placemats. Custom stained glass Billiard lamps by Charlestowne Stained Glass Studio and millwork by local craftsman Ryan McKiernanround out the statement pieces. Other notable design elements include an oversized map of Sullivan’s Island commissioned by Nicaraguan artist Augusto Silva. Quite like stepping into the cabin of a 70’s sailboat, the dining room is furnished with lacquered wood of sea-faring sensibility. The floors are a checkered bright yellow and cream linoleum tile, and a mix of vintage pieces and art and colorful, playful patterns bring a sense of whimsy throughout. The team worked with local design firm SDCO on thoughtful branding elements with a sense of humor, including quirky signage, custom ceramic plates and drinkware, and fully outfitted merch shack filled with tees, totes, hats, boat floats and bottle openers.

Sullivan’s will be open for lunch and dinner service, Monday through Sunday, and reservations will soon be released on Resy. For more information, visit sullivansfishcamp.com and follow @sullivansfishcamp on social media.

Town leaders, advocates say cutting of Sullivan’s Island Maritime Forest likely illegal

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Sullivan’s Island leaders say they’re hiring an attorney to look at ways to overturn a plan that could lead to large portions of the island’s maritime forest being cut down. The vote to hire Attorney William Wilkin came just days after a portion of the forest was potentially illegally cut near Station 26 on the island.Drone footage provided by SI4ALL shows a section roughly the width of a house was cleared. The clearing is raising concerns for residents while town official...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Sullivan’s Island leaders say they’re hiring an attorney to look at ways to overturn a plan that could lead to large portions of the island’s maritime forest being cut down. The vote to hire Attorney William Wilkin came just days after a portion of the forest was potentially illegally cut near Station 26 on the island.

Drone footage provided by SI4ALL shows a section roughly the width of a house was cleared. The clearing is raising concerns for residents while town officials say they are investigating to determine if the cutting was illegal.

“We were heartbroken and devastated to see the extent of the cutting,” says Karen Byko, President of SI4ALL.

The clearing has town leaders and residents including Byko scrambling to stop the chop of the island’s accreted forest the say provides protection from storms and flooding while offering a home for native wildlife.

“Concern is that we are devastating the very thing that is protecting us and it provides a home to our wildlife partners,” says Byko.

A majority of the cutting happened behind a house near Station 26 on Atlantic Avenue. Zillow records show the house was listed for sale on February 10th, around the time the cutting was believed to have happened, for $2.9 million. The house was then taken off the market five days later on February 15th after concerns over the cutting were raised at a town council meeting.

News 2 went to the home in front of the cutting to ask the owners if they knew anything about the cutting, a housekeeper was the only person home at the time and declined to answer questions.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says they haven’t received any tree cutting permits from either the Town of Sullivan’s Island or private residents. The agency says they recommended more discussion at the local level late last year before permitting any clearing of vegetation.

Town councilmembers Gary Visser and Scott Millimet called the cutting illegal and disheartening to see.

“The disregard for our community that they are a part of,” says Visser. Millimet called the act “extremely selfish.”

Sullivan’s Island Mayor Pat O’neil says the town is conducting a serious and thorough investigation into the cutting to identify those responsible and hold them accountable. Town officials are hopeful stricter penalties for cutting trees will be adopted by Town Council moving forward.

“If somebody says you’re going to have to wear an orange jumpsuit for 30 days, that might be a bigger deterrent,” says Millimet.

“We hope that they will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” says Byko.

The Army Corps of Engineers says they have not been contacted to investigate the cutting. Town officials say they will continue to investigate the incident.

DHEC says Sullivan’s Island forest cutting will need a permit

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — A plan to thin parts of the maritime forest here will face stricter scrutiny from state regulators after the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said the cutting is extensive enough that it requires a permit.The thinning is part of a lawsuit settlement reached in October 2020 between the town and some homeowners who live on the edge of the thicket. The plaintiffs wanted more management of the wild land, which has slowly accreted along most of Sullivan’s Island’s beach for dec...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — A plan to thin parts of the maritime forest here will face stricter scrutiny from state regulators after the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said the cutting is extensive enough that it requires a permit.

The thinning is part of a lawsuit settlement reached in October 2020 between the town and some homeowners who live on the edge of the thicket. The plaintiffs wanted more management of the wild land, which has slowly accreted along most of Sullivan’s Island’s beach for decades. A staunch group of activists on the island, however, want the area mostly left alone.

So the town put together a plan based on the settlement for state and federal regulators to review. The Army Corps of Engineers already determined the work wouldn’t require one of its wetland disturbance permits. But DHEC said in a Dec. 20 letter that in a few parts of the forest, the cutting is significant enough that a state environmental permit is required.

Some parts of the land would be left mostly untouched. But in other areas, the plan calls for removal of several smaller trees.

Specifically, DHEC wrote that in parts of the 100-foot “transition zone” area that is closest to adjacent homes, 96 percent of the trees would be removed, based on a 2014 survey of the plants there.

In a portion of the accreted land area that stretches from the edge of island’s elementary school to Station 28½, 80 percent of the trees would be removed, DHEC wrote.

“This level of tree removal is significant; therefore, a Major Critical Area Permit … would be required if the Town pursues the activities described in the work plan,” the agency wrote.

Sullivan’s Island Town Council did not discuss the letter in its Dec. 21 meeting, when three members of the seven-person panel were absent. Town Administrator Andy Benke said he expects a discussion on the forest in January.

Jamie Hood, an attorney for the homeowners who sued the town and then settled, said in an email that the plaintiffs would keep working with Sullivan’s Island to make sure the plan is approved by the state.

“We will need to consider whether there are modifications to make to the current work plan or if the permit application should be submitted with the current work plan as is,” Hood wrote.

At the same time, a turnover in Town Council since the settlement was reached and pressure from a vocal group of activists on the island may ultimately serve to scuttle the work.

The council recently decided to hire an outside attorney, William Wilkins, to review the settlement. Wilkins, a former federal judge, wrote in a letter earlier this month that the agreement may be unenforceable, because it is too restrictive of the council’s powers to make policy for the town.

But to actually challenge the settlement, the council would have to vote on moving forward with a legal action.

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