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Pawleys Island: State agency reviewing permits for competing creek docks

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

Permit applications for a pair of docks on Pawleys Creek that would terminate in the middle of the undeveloped portion of Myrtle Avenue are under review by the state Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

The comment period closed last week on the application by Henry Thomas, whose family owns a house at 181 Atlantic Ave. He wants to build a 42-foot-long walkway leading to a dock in front of the house at 180 Myrtle Ave. That house is owned by William and Kathryn Walter, who have also applied for a dock permit. The families have been at odds over an easement to the creek for several years.

Pawleys Island Town Council heard from both families this month and declined to comment on either permit. However, Mayor Bill Otis pointed out that state regulations require a dock to start on private property. Plans submitted to Coastal Resources show the proposed docks beginning in the middle of the 30-foot right-of-way on Myrtle Avenue.

The road is dirt north of Third Street and the marsh encroaches into the right-of-way.

The Walters oppose the Thomas permit. In a letter to the agency, they say that the Thomas property isn’t on the creek. If built, the proposed dock would interfere with their view and creek access.

Thomas, who opposes the Walters’ dock permit, said his plan places the dock on the site of a mooring post that has been used by his family for over 80 years.

“The Walters had a dock back there once. We had a mooring post,” Thomas said this week. “I just don’t want to lose the mooring post.”

The Walters’ dock will sit atop that post, if approved, he said. He doesn’t object to the neighbors having a dock as long as it doesn’t block the post.

The Walters dispute the provenance of the post.

“This is clearly only a post with a rope tied to it and no identification,” they told the agency. “The pole now has a Thomas sign on it and appears to have migrated toward the left. Another neighbor, Robert Moses, has asked the agency to make sure any new dock doesn’t block the channel.

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