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Judge temporarily halts construction plans for road on Captain Sam's Spit

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Captain Sam's Spit aerial taken Sept. 28, 2017. Jerry McMahon/Provided

A judge has issued a stay on construction on a road to Captain Sam's Spit, an environmentally fragile bit of land near Kiawah Island.

Administrative Law Court Judge Ralph King Anderson III earlier had ruled the economic benefits of building homes on the narrow spit at the tip of the Kiawah Island resort outweighed its natural preservation.

But this month he agreed to a stay before any construction could begin.

The stay was at the request of the Coastal Conservation League and its attorneys with the South Carolina Environmental Law Project.

The decision is the latest twist in the legal fight over the spit's development.

The groups have argued that construction would cause irreparable harm to the site if he did not grant the motion for a stay.

“Fortunately, the judge made a decision that ensures protection for Captain Sam's Spit, one of our state’s most significant and valuable resources, until an appellate court can determine if his decision to grant the permit was proper,” SCELP’s Executive Director Amy Armstrong said in a media release.

“We are encouraged by the court’s decision to momentarily halt the dangerous, irresponsible construction of a road and steel wall to Captain Sam's Spit,” Coastal Conservation League Executive Director Laura Cantral said.

No construction has begun.

Kiawah Island Developers hopes to build as many as 50 homes on the site. 

The stay is the latest in more than a decade of legal wrangling over permits that would allow development on Captain Sam's Spit, a 150-acre, teardrop-shaped sand strip along Captain Sam's Inlet.

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Reach Schuyler Kropf at 843-937-5551. Follow him on Twitter at @skropf47.

Political Editor

Schuyler Kropf is The Post and Courier political editor. He has covered every major political race in South Carolina dating to 1988, including for U.S. Senate, governorship, the Statehouse and Republican and Democratic presidential primaries.

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